Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother's Day

Days like these are bittersweet moments for me. I woke up this morning, wishing I could stay under the security of the blankets, a little longer. What would today bring...would my family remember me or forget? As I struggled to get myself together, I was pained by the fact that I couldn't recall any good memories of my mom. Just the gaping reality that she is no longer here.

Standing in front of the mirror, I saw only sadness. Changing my outfit, several times, could not hide what I saw, reflecting back at me. My kids toddled in, with a hand-made card for me. I was touched and teary-eyed. I got a lovely breakfast of eggs and almost burnt toast--even that is endearing. Yes, they did remember me--thank you, Troy for that. They love me and I love them back. I am 'better than I deserve', as a popular radio talk-show host, has reminded me. But the feelings remain.

I am learning that my grief is a process that will not be over, in one season. Another layer is peeling back, as I'm trying to sort out what I'm feeling and what to do with it. I'm thankful for a friend who talked with me this morning. Her perspective and similar experience helped me realize that I'm right where I need to be. Since I am young and have a young family, there is much demand for my time and energy, leaving little leftover to work on the issues of grief. I get precious few moments to unravel the emotions that are tied up inside of me. It's funny how one day, you realize that there is more work to do. My life is pretty good, all things considered. I'm very thankful for who I have around me and for all that has been provided to meet our needs. So it's coming as a bit of a surprise that I'm now feeling dissatisfied...again.

We went to the cemetery to plant some flowers. I found a lot of comfort in making mom's resting place beautiful. It's the one thing I can do well for her. Even though I know that is not where she is currently residing, it is a marker for me--a place where I can come and honor the life that she lived. I'm waiting for the good memories that I know are in there, somewhere, to resurface and take the place of what I don't want to recall. I may need to get some help...and I think that for the first time, I'm realizing that I need to do this in order to move forward.

It's hard to be with family members that have not gone through the same losses you have, while you are trying to process through it. They don't understand, nor can you expect them to. Even those who do know what it's like, to lose a parent, may not be able to grasp your emotions at the moment. For they are at a different place, in their own grief. Maybe it's been longer for them and they are in a good place in their life, right now. Rather than take it personally, I choose to accept the fact that no one human being can fill me up with what I need. God will likely surround me with many people who will be able to help me heal. As long as I trust in the source for all healing, I know that in the end I'll make it through.

My day turned out better than I woke up thinking it would be. I took a picture of those flowers we planted and sent it to my brother( via text message) who lives out of state. I hope that it blessed his day since he could not be here. I talked to both step-parents as well, and had good conversations with them. Couldn't ask for better, in that department. God has been very good to us.

I received some gifts that were fun: a group picture of the grand kids, and one of just mine...a petunia flower for my own garden, too. We had an awesome meal with my husband's family and some yummy desserts to top it all off. Got a chance to chat some with those in our family who do know what it's like to lose a parent. It's good to take the risk of going a little deeper, to allow some transparency into what is typically more small talk.

Just when I was ready to pull out of the drive, my mother-in-law gave me a hug and thanked me for being a good mom to my own kids. That was nice of her. So yes, I am better than I deserve. That doesn't mean I feel differently, but it means that God is God, and I am not...He has given me everything I need, right now. Even this period of sadness so that I can come out ahead, moving forward.