Yesterday became a marked moment in my life for sure. You know, one of those moments that changes everything!
You see, I have been secretly struggling with something. A big thing . The question of my mothers love for me. I’m about to get real and quite vulnerable with you so if you’re not up to that, I suggest you simply sign off now. Its really okay.
Something had been gnawing on my heart for years. Well, more accurately, my entire life. All 60 years.
That’s no exaggeration either. I’m sure it started in the womb. I wasn’t expected to live and mothers life was in danger as well.
Surprise, surprise, surprise…we both survived my birth.
But something was wrong. Very wrong.
She had 4 children and one miscarriage within 4 years and her first little baby girl. Bonnie,died within a couple days of being born. Then came my “Irish twin “brother, who almost died. He had had 2 blood transfusions and the Dr’.s were doubtful that he would make it either.
Thank God he did!
However, before she could turn around, she was pregnant ,yet again,with me. They had warned her that I would die and she was endangered of dying herself if she had me. Being catholic, the alternative wasn’t an option! Good thing!
I’ve experienced many losses but nothing like she had.
I choose to believe with all my heart, that in order for my mother to protect her already devastated and crushed heart, whether, consciously or unconsciously, she disassociated from me to protect her bleeding heart from all the previous losses and her challenging marriage.
Knowing now what I didn’t know then, was that that era didn’t talk or work through their grief. They stuffed it and kept trudging forward.
It was like they weren’t allowed to feel…
Eight pregnancies in 7 years…YELP! I’d be crying for HELP!
(The 5 remaining siblings)
Never speaking of their grave losses until the closing days of their own lives. I found it very odd that both my parents, in the end, talked particularly about Bonnie, the oldest baby girl. Not so much our other sister, Maryann, the youngest sibling to die, but Bonnie, their angel, as they referred to her.
Mother would remind me year after year of how I was supposed to die and how her life was in question too. I think that marked me early on.
After decades of hearing this story replayed, I finally said, “Mother I’m here, I’m not dead. Can we rewrite the narrative now? ” Pretty Please?
I didn’t understand her distance or coldness toward me but I continuously felt it growing up. I just didn’t know how to deal with it or the tools to do so.
We were disconnected at the hip ,so to speak. It was if we were fractured from the very beginning. I longed for more with and from my mother but felt I could never reach her true heart.Because of this deficit in my young impressionable life, I always fought for her love !(Me and my mother back in the 60’s.)
I desperately was seeking her approval. Always!
Even until the end. Just a few days prior to her passing, I gave her a facial…Still seeking I suppose. Mothers passing from this life unto the next, was beyond painful. She didn’t go peacefully but then again, she didn’t live peacefully. My heart still grieves deeply over that horrible day. January 6,2016.
I had prayed with her, read to her, played praise music continually for her in hopes to relieve her internal pain. I choose to believe I did even though she couldn’t say as she was silently slipping away before my eyes.
There’s one part of the story that still plagues us all today and is quite humbling to share. But share I will because its a vital part of redemptive grief and love. Mother chose to cut all her children out of her will. All of us. When I heard those words, I knew. I knew that what I unconsciously felt as a child was indeed, true. It was the strangest emotion I had ever felt. Somehow, that little girl in me that felt so unloved, had finally been validated.
I wept, actually, wailed uncontrollably, the next evening. Not because she didn’t leave me anything monetarily, that was never that important ,but that she didn’t want to leave me or any of us anything. I had felt “unwanted”by mother for decades. This only magnified what I had come to believe as truth.
Until yesterday…3 years to the minute after her passing.
This is what redemptive grief looks like…that is what redemptive Love looks like…
God was always pursued me and my tender heart.
At times ,though, I was resistant to grieving and even love for that matter.
But yesterday . I’m pretty sure He walked on water just for me…
To demonstrate His Love.
I had literally just finished writing this “goodbye”love letter to mother while pensively pondering and listening to the sound of the ocean. It only took me 3 years to write this letter but then agin Gods timing is always right on time.
Here’s the unedited version of the letter…Now, friends, don’t judge lest you be judged…😵😬
Just as I closed my journal and tearfully stared out at the ocean,my best friend of 30+ years, walked up and handed me these 3 roses that had literally just washed up on shore. Her words undid me! She had no idea what I had just written to my mother.
“Here, these are from your Mom. 3 roses for 3 years.” And the rest of her words faded into the backdrop of the ocean. I don’t recall my exact remark but I do recall how I responded once I held those roses. Subsequently, I burst into tears and honestly my eyes haven’t stopped leaking since.
It goes so much deeper than receiving roses from heaven for me at that moment. Its that my father God heard my cry to be loved and delivered that love in the form of roses that had washed up on shore.
I’m telling you, we must have just missed Jesus walking on the water to deliver this gift of love. 😍
Roses, as you know, signify love. I desperately needed a reminder of His love and that in some way, my mother loved me too. 🌹🌹🌹
He knew. She knew. It’s as if they had just read my letter together and Love decided to come down to greet me in a life changing and tangible way. 🌹🌹🌹
He knows every detail of our lives. the good, the bad, the ugly. He’s memorized our thoughts. He’s very well aware of our tear stained and poured out words scribbled on paper. Seriously, my friends, He doesn’t miss a thing!
There’s no place we can go that His Love doesn’t find us. There’s no place we can hide that He doesn’t see. I was wanting to hide my hurting heart. Whenever my heart hurts, I escape to the ocean. It’s where I grew up after all. So it seemed only fitting to go there yesterday. He sees it all. He knew I’d be right there at that quiet spot. He knew my friend would go for a long walk. He knew what I desperately needed. He knew. He’s present in every .little .thing.
(Ps.139:1-3) “O Lord,you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and where I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You observe my going out and lying down; you are familiar with all of my ways.”
He knew this would be a marked moment in my personal story of faith restored and a love relived.
He knew how to reach into my heart and bring even more healing. He knew it would take a walk on water. He’d done it before to bring hope to a doubting heart and He’ll do it again.
I believe Mother knew too.