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Posts Tagged ‘mothers day’

Woke up to a gorgeous day the middle of the week here in Northern California. Slight breeze to keep you cool, perfect air temperature, around 82, and a clear, brilliantly blue, sky overhead. Walking was definitely on the calendar I decided, and then lunch with a friend. We chose a regional park populated largely by Canada geese. This time of year their fuzzy little offspring are visible all over the park area area where it circles the man made lake dominating the center. Do love to see babies. Even a baby porcupine is sweet, however, we didn’t pass one on our trail. There were a lot of warning signs showing pictures of striking rattlesnakes so I kept my eye on my feet as often as I could without tripping over something on the path in front of me. I try to walk at least forty minutes every day. Makes me feel better emotionally and physically to stretch my legs on a regular basis, and I’m sure my joints will thank me one day when I’m older.

Life has been incredibly frenetic of late. I can’t seem to catch up even with my fancy new running shoes carefully tied in place. Twice this week I’ve overlooked scheduled appointments, and one day I made double plans for the day with two different people. Then, as it turned out, I couldn’t go with either person, because I already had a hair appointment on the books for the middle of the day. Sigh. Scattered is the adjective immediately coming to mind but numbnut isn’t far behind it.

Today is Mother’s Day. I will be celebrating with my daughter and her family. Mother, though not present physically, will definitely move among us as we talk of funny stories involving her, or shared family moments she was a part of. I’m not sad anymore, but rather a peace has settled over me. We had our time, and we made the best use of it. I don’t have regrets, which makes her passing somehow more palatable. So, we will laugh, probably shed a tear or two, eat, and enjoy each other. Truly each day is the day we have, so it is always best to fill it with happy moments and lots of love.

Since my mum passed, my soul has occupied a quiet space. Grieving her is a bit different then the two men I have lost. Mother was by my side from my beginning to her end. Beyond mother and daughter, we were friends. Certainly we all knew as the years added up, her time her with us was winding down, but still each Saturday I miss getting in the car and going to see her beautiful face. As I’ve said many times, life is but a series off hellos and goodbyes.

I have much to say about the situation of women’s rights currently going on in this country but for today I will simply say, Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who signed up to raise the generation coming up after them. It is a brave, brave, endeavor we take on when bringing a new life into the world. Few of us ever feel we carried this oh so important task out to the best of our abilities. If we don’t remind ourselves of our shortcomings, odds are our children surely will. Smile. I know I wouldn’t trade my son and daughter for anything else this world has to offer. They have brought me more joy than any other part of my life. I want to thank my mom for always being a part of raising them, and loving them as much as I did and do.

Enjoy your day and bask in the limelight for a brief moment before you find yourself once again standing over a pile of dirty dishes, or throwing a load of laundry in the washer. Women are a powerful force of nature, I believe, we just don’t quite know it yet.

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Last night we watched Nomadland. Though beautifully acted and directed, let me just say this is not a movie choice you want to make if you are having a particularly bad day. Steeping you quickly into the darker side of the human reality, Frances McDormand takes the viewer on a realistic and poignant journey of loss, homelessness, and isolation. Got to give it to her. She put forth her most unadorned self freely, with no apology, which for me, who has difficulty going to the grocery store without make up and hair in place, was so refreshing.

I understand full well the feeling of not having a roof overhead. Back in the early 1990’s I spent two weeks with no residence to call my own, no money in my pocket to rectify the situation, and only a case of Vienna sausage, two large bottles of water, and a bottle of Chardonnay with which to sustain myself. In my case, I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel, but still was it was a life lesson I shall never forget. The experience allowed me to appreciate even the smallest of creature comforts such as flushing a toilet, or slipping into a warm, comfortable bed each night.

I believe our time here on earth to be a series of connected lessons. Perhaps this is not true for others, but my life certainly has been. Often, when I did not take heed of the message the universe was trying to convey to me, the same lesson repeated itself until I fully understood the point of the information being transmitted. Sort of like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Hopefully, I have waded knee deep through most of the karma I created in my younger years at this point, and shed the bulk of it in the process. I try to be the best version of myself possible each and every day. This does not mean I always attain that goal, but that is my intention when waking up in the morning.

Many of the earliest lessons I learned from my grandmother and my mother. My grandmother, gone for many years now, left many life lessons behind for me to lean on. She was a steady, consistent force of nature and she taught me much in the nine years I lived under her roof. My mother, before the dementia claimed much of her memory, showed me both what to do with my life, as well as at times, what not to. Both paths helped me to find my way. Mother is getting along in years, there’s no denying. Sometimes, I don’t want to look at this, because when I do, I have to imagine my world without her in it. As she loves to say she is my biggest fan. No matter how badly I screwed up, my mom still insisted on digging around in the detritus, until she found the good in me. Together, we’ve shed tears, laughed until we cried, shared grief, helped raised my children, been a part of raising theirs, and never allowed miles, however many spread out between us, to break our bond. Always, I knew my mother to be a safe port in the storm. When lost, unhappy, sad or just in need of a hug, her door would be the one I would knock on, her number the one I called. In her eyes I was infinitely special. Though I have often viewed myself as a highly flawed being, somehow to her, I was perfect. No one, I am sure, will ever love me again quite the way she does. When I think of saying goodbye after traveling these many years together, I recognize the pain will be great. Along with the sadness, there will be such gratefulness for having been allowed to spend this time with her.

Certainly, it would be a fairy tale to say our relationship existed without bumps. My mother was a helicopter parent before the term was ever coined. I was her “only chick” and if I didn’t give her something to worry about, which I often did, she’d look around until she found something she could land on, and worried about that. Mothers and daughters, the eternal struggle. I know I feel this at times with my sweet daughter. I wonder on occasion if I should simply initiate our conversations with “I’m sorry for everything I’m going to say or do wrong before we hang up”, just to cover myself prior to opening my mouth. I hear this from many of my female friends with adult daughters. Perhaps it is that we still perceive these wonderful strong women as our little girls. I really don’t have the answers, but I do know it’s not without peril this mother and daughter dynamic from time to time.

So, this Mother’s Day means a lot to me. Sunday we are coming together as a family to honor our oldest member. Thankfully, the pandemic has begun to release it’s tight hold on us. With everyone freshly vaccinated, there will be opportunities for hugs and I’m sure a special time spent together. Life seems lately to move forward at a record breaking clip, with adjectives such as fast and furious setting the tone for how we barrel through our days. There is little time for quiet reflection, or being in the moment. Sometimes we forget to stop and actually see the people populating our world, to hear them, or touch them. The virus offered up a gift with all the pain, surprisingly, allowing a spotlight to shine on this missing connection, the forced isolation highlighting how very important those we love are to our well being and peace of mind.

Today I agreed to allow hospice to begin to share in the care of my dear mother. As the doctor explained, this is not a death sentence, simply an additional layer of personal attention to promote her well being. Uh-huh. I can feel her hand slipping out of mine. People will say about older people, “they lived a long life”, or “they had a good run”. No matter how many birthdays they’ve celebrated, I’m not sure if it ever feels like it’s time for us to them to go. I can see she’s beginning to get tired, so I will allow the universe to unfold the story in whatever way it must and simply be content to be a player on the stage.

If you have your mother still with you, give her a hug and remind her how much she means to you. If you do not, then lift a glass to her, I’m sure she’ll get your message. Have a good one. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.

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