Thursday, July 29, 2010
Today is the twenty-first anniversary of my mom's death. It feels so weird to say that number. I still remember when it had been just a few months and I couldn't talk about it without crying. There was another girl on my soccer team--she told me her mom had died two years before. I still remember her telling me that, as she kicked the ball hard into paint chipped wall at school.
I couldn't imagine being in her place. I couldn't imagine two years from then. Now it has been twenty-one years.
I used to think a lot about forgetting. I used to feel bad that whole weeks would go by without thinking about her. But I don't worry about that anymore. I am just grateful for the nurturing she gave me for eleven years: for the the knowledge I have that I am a child of God; for my domestic kitchen goddess skills, which surely came down through her genes; for her openness to alternative healing; and for all the things I do remember.
I remember once she threw a temper tantrum when all four of us kids were being impossible. I don't remember what we did, but it probably involved sweat, dirt, (maybe blood) an electronic that was once in one piece and some wailing and shouting. We were out in the back yard with the dirt hill rising behind us, and she just started jumping up and down and literally throwing a tantrum. Whatever she was ranting probably had something to do with how we should just behave. We all stopped and stared at her in shock and awe. I am grateful for that memory too.
I used to have a lot of fear about dying young. Now I spend that energy thinking about how to be healthy.
It was becoming a mother that really shifted things for me in terms of accepting and feeling at peace with not having a mother. It's weird, this anniversary is sometimes very sad, but today I just feel so much joy at being a mother.
This morning in the car, my daughter asked me, "You didn't have a lot of traffic?"
I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but since it was 7 a.m. there was no traffic in our neighborhood and I said, "Nope. No traffic."
She said, "Yay! I said a prayer for you in my bed."
And then I remembered that last night I left her with a babysitter so I could go to Speechcraft class. As I ran out the door I said I had to leave early because traffic was going to be horrible. And Phoebe must have heard me and decided to say a prayer that traffic wouldn't be so bad. I remember the traffic seemed normal (which means not good) but we got there quickly, and Patrick, my carpool buddy, even commented that it was the fastest we have ever made it to class.
I don't know why but that kind of thing makes being a mom so amazing. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make my child's life wonderful, and it was so sweet to see she also wants that same ease and goodness for me. And I realize that my mother is also still involved in this. A few weeks ago, while in hypnosis, I felt her come and gently touch my hair and tell me to use hypnotherapy to help motherless mothers transition to motherhood. So I am figuring out what needs to be done here as I create this specialty.
I know this post is totally all over the place, but I guess what I want to say is that even though my mom died 21 years ago, we still have a relationship. Sometimes I feel lucky to get get actual visits from her, but often it is with and through my daughter that I feel her presence. And I love that.
I would love to hear from women who lost their mothers early (before 30) either to death, mental illness or abandonment. What has been most difficult about transitioning to motherhood? Most wonderful?