Sunday, May 17, 2015
Yes, yes, I know. We are all sick of THAT song! But this isn’t about Frozen. Or……maybe it is. Maybe it is about being Frozen in a moment, a place, or perhaps just in time.
There is no one on earth that knows better than me just how hard it is to just open your tightly clasped hands and release your captive into the wind. Sometimes we want to hold on to it because it makes us feel good. In spite of the writhing struggle to be free, we want to hold on to it for our own sake. And then, sometimes we hold on to things because they make us feel bad. And in feeling bad, we feel good. It’s like picking at a scab – it hurts like crazy but gives us pleasure at the same time. Neither of these scenarios are healthy for us.
It is hard to admit we made a mistake. Hard to admit we trusted or loved the wrong person. Hard to admit that maybe our situation is partly of our own making. Hard to admit we were wrong…….about anything. Been there……done that. More than once.
This weekend I was honored to attend a wedding. In a weird and convoluted way I was a member of the family of the groom. His father was once my nephew by marriage. I have been happy to know that I am still liked and cared for by my nephew and his family. I think they get IT. The IT being – things happen, people change, love alters, relationships twist and turn and life evolves into different images.
Through a weird twist of fate, I was seated directly across the table from my ex-brother-in law. I could tell that he had no clue who I was and was struggling with his inability to place me particularly after I spoke to him and told him it was nice to see him. Trying to bring clarity to him, I spoke often of my children particularly my son who was named after him.
The moment of clarity happened for him and then his discomfort really increased. He had a difficult time staying at the table and even trying to engage anyone in pleasant conversation. It made me sad.
It has been decades since his brother and I bid one another farewell. Yet still, the unhappiness within him remains. I know it did not help him either that the mother of HIS children was there as well. He maintains the same icy coolness where she is concerned but to a much larger degree.
It truly broke my heart that while most of us were celebrating a love story he was harboring past hurts, massaging old wounds and not enjoying the joy that was all around us. At one time, I thought enough of him to name my child after him, therefore he will forever hold a place in my heart as long as my son bears his name.
The longer you hold on to pain and anger the more it speaks about you and the less it speaks of the people who hurt you. It starts to appear as if YOU are the one who is holding on to a captive butterfly refusing to let it take flight. And if you are complaining that the butterfly is injuring you while you are holding it so tightly, people start to wonder why in the heck you want to hang on to it.
Friday, May 8, 2015
“for all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are those “it might have been” – Whittier
Now, at this time in my life, when I cannot say the things I needed to say to my mother, I find myself sad for leaving so much unsaid.
I wish I had gone back to my earliest memory and laid it all out for her. All the things I remember, all the things I appreciate, all the things I wish I could have changed. And so….while it is too late for her to hear them, it is not too late for me to say them.
Thank you for always doing the very best you could for me. For always making your decisions based on what would be good for me first. I might not have always liked your choices, but I appreciated knowing I was an important part of your decision making process.
I want to thank you for making sure I always had nice clothes to wear. I know you worked very hard at this because until I was in high school you made everything I wore. We didn’t have much but I was never ashamed of how I looked. I was always clean and my hair was always brushed. And I know that was a challenge since I was so tender headed I cried every time you tried to do anything with my baby fine little rat’s nest head. I’ll say that I could have done without the Tonette home perms – nothing happy came from those but I know your intentions were good.
Thank you for those times in life you allowed yourself to be surprised by me. I know the night you sat in the auditorium of my high school and watched me as the lead in Bells Are Ringing you were truly amazed. I think you always knew I was an actress at heart but you learned that night my ability to be anything I chose to be and for that small moment in time you allowed me to be YOUR hero.
Thank you for allowing me to be a child. To play in the dirt, to ride bikes with the boys, to let my dog lick me in the face and most of all for letting me paint that enormous 4 colored pink flower on my bedroom wall.
Thank you for not having unreasonable expectations of my intelligence – for not freaking out when I failed Algebra II.
Thank you for never grounding me – for trusting me enough to allow me to make bad decisions and pay for them on my own. I am glad that I was almost unflinchingly worthy of your trust.
Thank you for making me work for the things I wanted. My cheerleading stuff was infinitely more valuable to me for having to earn the money for it myself. Yes, I’ll freely admit watching my friends drag up and down the street in front of the Falcon Restaurant while I was mopping the floor made me cry more than once. But it taught me that anything worth having was worth working for. And thanks for never asking me for an accounting of what I did with my money…that was also a big indicator of the amount of trust you put in a silly teenage girl.
Thank you for never questioning my choice in sweethearts, instead choosing to believe that if I was interested in someone they must be someone worthy. I made some bad choices, but I also made some very good ones. Good or bad they all brought something to my life in the way of lessons. Lessons of what not to do again and lessons of how to treat other people. My heart got broken a time or two and I think I broke one or two as well, but you let me navigate those waters myself. I am grateful.
Thank you for never trying to pick my friends for me. For letting me be a part of whatever little crowd I chose at different times in my life. Those friends I made are my friends still today so I think I chose pretty well.
Thank you for teaching me a little about cooking, a little about sewing, a little about housework and yard work. But thank you most of all for not making those things MY responsibility when I was young. I never felt like a servant – instead you allowed me to feel like a valued helper.
Thank you for buying that pink formal dress for me to wear in the Miss Stinnett High pageants. I loved that dress and I know it was a financial stretch for you and daddy to buy it for me (even though it was 2nd hand). I always felt beautiful wearing it and a girl needs a few things in life that make her feel that way.
Thank you for the crazy shopping trips where I was your partner in crime to keep daddy from knowing how much money you had spent. Thank you for all those trips to Amarillo that included a great lunch.
Thank you for not trying to talk me out of getting married. I might not have made the best choice but without it I would not have my children, therefore I am grateful for that experience as well.
Thank you for watching my kids, buying them things, taking them places and letting them come and stay with you in the summers. Thank you for loving them….they needed every single person in their lives to love them – you were an important one.
I could never find the time to list everything I am grateful for but these are a few that stand out in my mind.
And, thank you mom for loving me. Thank you for those amazing 2 months at the end when I learned a lot about you and I learned how to fight for you. I wish I had been successful. I miss you very much, but I see you every day when I look in the mirror and sometimes I hear you talk out of my own mouth. You shaped me, you molded me and I am forever your child. Just because you are not here physically does not mean that you are forgotten. You are forever remembered, forever honored and forever loved.
I hope Heaven’s Mother’s Day is glorious. You deserve nothing but beautiful flowers.