Posts Tagged With: mothers day

Giving In and Saying It Anyway

The earth somehow keeps spinning.

The earth somehow keeps spinning.

I’ve resisted as long as I can.

The voices have occupied my head for a day or more now. Ignoring them makes them grow louder. Sometimes what you want and what you need oppose each other like two big scary dogs, teeth bared, back hunched, a low growl, narrowed eyes, hackles up.

Fine. I give in. Here it is. The thoughts that have raced through my head the past twenty-four hours.

I’m not a Mother’s Day fan.

There. I said it.

What?

You want an explanation? Do I really need to give one?

Seriously, this year I decided to let go of that whiney, complaining, high expectations, nonsense that surrounds a holiday to celebrate motherhood. I had determined to embrace the joy, the beauty, the gift of life attitude of this greeting card holiday.

I nearly lost my Mom this past year. Twice. Heart stopping in its possibility, that thought has haunted me the past day. Haunted me since last July the first time it happened.

I’m sorry, but I can’t let my mother die. That can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t ever never ever never happen. My life would come to an end if that happened. You see, there’s this spiritual umbilical cord-like thing that attaches her life to mine and mine to hers. Her blood beats in my body. I’m part of her and she is part of me, in more ways than the merely physical.

We might go a week or two or even a month without talking on the phone and six months or more without seeing one another, but the connection of daughter to mother is strong and undeniable and filled with comfort and power and this undefinable somethingness I can’t find a word for.

How does anyone survive the death of their own mother? And then, how much more pain is there on Mother’s Day when your mother isn’t there to call on the phone, or have over for dinner, or send a card to?

I don’t ever want to find out.

When my best friend died five months ago part of me broke loose and has rattled around inside me trying to find a landing-place. So far it just keeps banging around, running into things, pinching, jabbing, stabbing, clanging about.

She left behind four children who today celebrate, mourn, cry, thrash, scream, yowl, sob, pretend, remember, deny, cherish, ache. My heart hurts for them, for their unspeakable pain and loss.

Then I think about all the mother’s that might have passed away this year, last year, all the years and such sorrow washes over me. How does the world keep spinning in the face of such things?

I have no idea.

I do know that Mothers possess a singular sort of magic.

Maybe it’s sort of like this. Some thing in the power of motherhood pushes life forward, keeps this impossible ball spinning on its axis, gives us strength and will to put one foot ahead of the other, and whispers in our ears, “Live!”

 

 

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Categories: Death, parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sibling Rivalry? Never…

Dear J, J, L and L,

Do you remember how I’d always answer when you asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day?

“Peace on earth, good will toward siblings.”

You all hated that answer. Or at least, you’d groan and say,” MoooOOOoooooooommmmmmm” in a whine of exasperation. I don’t blame you. It’s nearly impossible to run to Target or JC Penney and buy a cute box of good will. Even Wal-Mart, surprisingly, doesn’t carry either generic good or ill will in a bag. And wrapping up peace has so far proven unmanageable to even the biggest big wigs in the world.

It wasn’t that you guys never got along. (That was a double negative, which in math means a positive, right?) Let me rephrase that.

Ummm.

Okay, try this.

You guys didn’t fight constantly. I’ve seen worse. Much worse. And you didn’t come close to some the shtuff I’ve witnessed in other families.

Well, except for the Palestine and Israel years but we’re going to ignore that for the moment. Of course there was the infamous Scrabble incident but I blame myself for that one, in that I responded disproportionately to the constant volley of incoming fire between said “countries” during the game.

“I think this clearly shows that we spend far too much on fancy charts and graphs.” ~ attribution ??

“I think this clearly shows that we spend far too much on fancy charts and graphs.” ~ attribution ??

From what I’ve heard and seen, our family did pretty dang good on the siblings cooperating and getting along well ‘scale of warfare and petty grievances.’

I can tell you’re thinking, “has Mom really lost her mind now?” And you’d be partly correct, but I blame your dad for that more than you four. What you’re seeing and experiencing here is selective memory, and the fog that distance and time provides.

I’m not pretending there weren’t some all out brawls between you, because we all know there were some intense moments, days and weeks, yeah, and months and years. And yet, look at you now. You still speak to each other, you stay in touch, there’s no lasting damage to anyone’s psyche. We can get together as a whole family and there isn’t any major drama. How many families do YOU know that can say that?

I feel pretty dang lucky that it all turned out okay. And that it was more good than bad on the grand scale of things as far as sibling rivalry, conflict and combat goes.

You spent endless hours yelling “Marco” and “Polo” without any bloodshed or maimings. (Whining, yes. Cheating, probably.) Constructing hundreds of blanket forts without any broken bones, stitches, clawing or biting seems noteworthy. We even camped together without accidentally on purpose losing anybody. (We won’t bring up losing J at the gas station that one time, that was entirely my fault, nothing to do with sibling rivalry.)

Hot Wheels. Only the beginning of many thrills to follow.

Hot Wheels. Only the beginning of many thrills to follow.

J and J, you were each others best buddies for the longest time. I considered that the biggest benefit of your birth dates occurring only sixteen months apart. You worked together so well in so many ways. The most infamous example being when one of you, sleepless and bored during nap time, broke several slats off the end of the crib so the other one could crawl out and play trampoline on the bed with you. Evil genius right there, and great teamwork.

One of my most cherished pictures is big bro J with little sis J riding on the back of the Hot Wheel. You two were, even then, extreme thrill junkies zipping and zooming around like speed demons. Happiness personified!

Look how sweet and adorable! Amazing!

Look how sweet and adorable! Amazing!

And then Big L, you had this amazing gift of tongues when it came to Little L’s mangled language those first few years. What would I have done if you weren’t so in tune with what she said in body language and in words? What a great sister you were providing translations so that she and I weren’t so confused and frustrated in the communications department.

And then, few years later, as you patiently, every night for months, read Harry Potter out loud, until little L decided she couldn’t wait until bedtime and started reading alone as if it were oxygen.

What great siblings you all were and still are to each other. Pretty impressive!

I look back on those years and feel, relief, yes, but mostly JOY for the gift you gave me of motherhood. You continue to present me with delightful surprises and elation beyond anything you could buy at a store.

YOU four are my Mother’s Day gifts. Nothing can top that.

Thank you!

All my love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Friday Letters | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Six Things about My Mom You Should Know

 

Mother & Child

Dear Mom,

It’s no surprise to you I’m a word person. You’d think I’d easily write out thousands of words expressing love and appreciation on Mother’s Day. Instead I find the emotions so powerful, particularly this weekend with my son’s wedding, that I struggle with every word I write.

Maybe a list would help me pull my words together. So here’s a few things that I’ve learned from you, about life, about living, about mothering, about the world.

  • Mother is the center of it all. And with mom comes family. Nothing is more important than that bond we have as family. Think about it. When something happens, everyone’s thoughts go to family. Where are they? Are they okay? I want to find them and be with them. If it’s a happy event, we want to share it with everyone in the family. If someone is missing, we feel their absence more than ever. I was lucky to always have you there at home when I came home after school, after a date, out late. There you were. And there you still are, at the center of our family’s lives.
  • Mom has everything you need. All you need as a little kid is everything; food, shelter, love. And mom is there for all that, twenty-four hours a day. Bad dream? Mom comes in to scare away the demons and brings a feeling of safety into the room. Mean kids? Mom reassures you that you’re still loved and cared for. Everything I needed you gave me; compassion, manners, bravery, perseverance, a good work ethic, an ability to laugh. Everything that adds beauty and dimension to my life you gave me also; a love of music, a passion for books, a reverence for nature, a desire for creating.
  • A mother’s influence lasts a lifetime. I am who I am because of my mom’s belief in me, her loving me no matter what nonsense I threw her way, her willingness to sacrifice and her example of sharing.
  • Being a mother is the greatest gift I know. Motherhood defies definition, how it feels, what it looks lile, how it works. Each mother creates her own mothering style.  It’s the hardest, most aggravating, most fulfilling, most heartbreaking, best, worst, wonder-filled insanity a person can involve herself  in. Thanks for not giving up on such a difficult journey that continues to this day. What a ride it is, huh?
  • The world would stop spinning the right direction without moms. Or at least it would feel that way. Can’t imagine the world without my mother in it. Don’t want to. It probably doesn’t even exist if she isn’t there. I’m sure there’s a law of physics that explains that.
  • Unconditional love is what a mother is all about. And I have felt that from you and have hopefully passed that on to my own children. Thank you for that. I know I wasn’t always very lovable, or tolerable, or pleasant, or kind or appreciative. I think I’ve come a very long way since those teen years, thanks in great measure to your never giving up on me. And I know, thanks to your prayers on my behalf.

I know there’s much, much more that you taught me, but I think those six things sum it up fairly well. Thank you for being the mother I needed. Thank you for your continued love, support, sacrifice and caring. I plan on many more Mother’s Days with you, so stay well, enjoy life, and know you are loved beyond words.

All my love,

Kami

unconditional.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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