Monday, January 11, 2016

Reflections on your birthday

You and I had a terrible disagreement when my daughter was three years old.  We didn't speak for about eighteen months.

Every time the phone rang my stomach would lurch, and so my husband bought us our first answering machine so I could feel safer and screen calls. 

I came to your house a few weeks after our altercation and you wouldn't answer the door to me. 

You sent me flowers on my birthday that year, and I was angry and hurt and didn't respond to what I now know was your way of reaching out.  

The next time you reached out I did respond, and we met and talked and sorted out things enough to continue a relationship until the time of your passing. 

Ours was a turbulent relationship, but, still and all, one where love did exist.  Sometimes I couldn't see it, but I know, as I remember you today, that it was there. 

So now I have a small sense of how it must have been for you - those months of silence.  Of course this was before email and twitter and facebook and text messages.  I imagine your only knowledge of what I was doing came through other family members.  

Now I sit in the middle of my own estrangement with my daughter.  It is uncomfortable and devastating and I am unsure how it can unfold.  There is a lesson here that I am destined to learn. 

You and I found a way through the distance.  My younger sister and I found a way through the distance.  

If there is love - there must be a way through this distance. 

For now, my dreams are filled with her.  My days are filled with her.  My tears are filled with her.  

I am trying to keep track of her through social media but that has gone silent.  

I am trying to pray and hold my faith and wish for grace.  

The days are not getting easier.  

I am sorry.  I should have reached out to you a second time.  I shouldn't have given up. I should have responded to your flowers and Christmas Card.  I didn't, and I am sorry for the time we lost. 

And now?  Now you are there, and I am here.    

Thank you for all you did for me, the times you were there for me, the memories we shared together. 

Happy Birthday, Mum.  I miss you.

 



9 comments:

  1. Not sure of the words to respond to this so accept a virtual hug instead.

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  2. As Mae West would have said "families, you can't live with them and you can't live without them". And as my father still says "it will all come out in the wash". I know very helpful advice when you're in the midst of something but somehow the old guy is right.
    Hugs to you and yours. xo

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  3. My brother and I have travelled this path too. It's simultaneously well worn and perilously rocky. And for what it's worth, I think you are absolutely right that love will find a way. I don't believe that time always heals... Nor should it on occasion. I wish I could lend you a pair of comfy shoes to help on the journey... Perhaps some transglobal stereo-wearing of Mary-Anne socks could be helpful!?!

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    1. Yes, let's do that. I will wear mine today.

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    2. Consider it done... Cold change just blew in. Xx

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  4. A difficult topic with which you are not alone. Mother-daughter, daughter-mother. It isn't easy either way. Patience. Hope. Love.

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    1. Thank you. I know I am not alone, but it still feels lonely.

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