Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning to Breathe Again

"My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs,
Now I'm free, now I'm free..."

(From the song, 'Marvelous Light')

It's amazing how much better I feel, after letting it all out. There is still some struggle going on inside, but I believe I'm now winning the battle. I am so blessed by the incredible women God has surrounded me with. They have been like a healing balm for wounds that I thought were long gone. Thank you, thank you, thank know who you are!

As I mentioned before, I'm in the middle of a new layer of grief. Maybe I've been in denial for the last 2 years--I don't know--maybe now I'm experiencing the 'anger' that people talk about. I really thought my mom was going to make it through the cancer. She was doing so well, 18 months into the treatment. And then, the brain tumors came...and the rest, as they say, is history.

One of my dreams was that she and I would be close, like a mother and daughter should be. I envisioned that the cancer served the purpose of bringing us to the reconciliation table--that we had eaten our words, drank from the cup of forgiveness, and were about to move on to dessert--you know, the good stuff! I am thankful for those 3 years. But the feelings of abandonment have remained with me, into adulthood. Just when I thought we were going to get past that, she died. My last words to her were these: "Mom, I just don't want you to go--I want you to stay." She responded, weakly, with these words: "God works in mysterious ways." I didn't really want to hear that, as you can imagine.

My childhood, in relation to my birth mom, can be described as trying to get close to someone who was always just out of my reach--both in the physical and emotional sense. She was there, sometimes, and yet she was not. I know that she loved me and made the best decisions she could, at the time, with what she thought would be best for me. But I so miss her.

Last night, I had a dream that I can actually remember. I was standing on stage, at church, trying to read aloud my thoughts and feelings about my mom. I looked up and there were people mingling about the room, not paying attention to what I was saying. I looked out into the empty seats and saw my mom, sitting next to a friend from church. They were talking to each other, smiling, and both women were wearing green. It was more of a sage green as opposed to 'regular green'(if there is such a thing). Mom looked happy, healthy--how I remembered her before she got sick. It was almost as if they were waiting for some event to begin.

I don't know exactly what this vision is supposed to mean. I have some ideas. Maybe it's a message that now is the time to move on from my sadness. I will always miss her, but she is happy now and no longer in pain. The friend that she was talking to is alive and has been battling a slow-growing cancer, for several years. She is currently doing well. Maybe the significance of the two of them, talking, is that they both have won the battle...just in different ways.

The part, in the dream, where no one in the room noticed my sadness, is somewhat puzzling. Maybe that confirms that God is truly the only One who can understand the deep recesses of the heart. So when everyone else is on the outskirts, watching me go through this, trying to walk with me and comfort me...God is the one who is on the inside, doing some work.

As for what event they were waiting for...that I don't know. Maybe the event represents the next chapter in my healing process. The part where I start to move on and am no longer weighed down by what was, what could of been, and what is now. Right now, I still have those days where I feel so alone. One of the women that has been surrounding me, in all of this, said some amazing words: "He loves you. He is proud of you. He is so proud of you, Liz. You're a good mom and good things are coming." I know it's true, but the pain has a way of creating a barrier to receiving love and affirmation. It's part of letting go of the brokenness. Just another layer.

There is never going to be enough good that I can do to deserve the unmerited love of the Father. There will never be enough 'if onlys' to change the past. All I can do is trust the sovereignty of the One whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts...whose ways are not my ways. If I could have my way, my mom would be here, enjoying my kids with me. Living life with me and everyone else that was left behind. It has been hard to let go of that dream.

I'm looking forward to remembering the good times. One memory that comes to mind, right now, is Sesame Street. We always watched that show when we were kids. I think she actually enjoyed sitting there, watching it with us. I believed that it was a real place. I would say, "Mom, I want to go there--I want to go to Sesame Street(as the song goes)" She would reply," But it's not real." I would respond, "Yes it is--it has a street sign!" That was my logic as a 5yr. old. Pretty cool, huh? Those were the good ole' days. I'm enjoying some of my own 'happy days', now that I have a preschooler and a toddler. Kids are so fun. They say the cutest things and the way they process information is intriguing. I love watching them grow!

That's all for now. I don't have any quipped or amusing end comments today. Although I enjoy writing in such a way to tie it all together. That is fun for me. I hope my style doesn't annoy the readers, but that is one of my quirks--love it or not! Enjoy every moment with your loved ones. Each day is precious and is a gift.