And I hear the words: Be still and trust my plan. I’m more than you think I am.
And then, with tears streaming, I know it’s true.
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." ~Walt Whitman
01 Jan 2017 2 Comments
As I recently wrote, my son moved into his new apartment. Apartments, as we all know, usually need furniture. As a mother, I want to (over) help him with this. When I got my first apartment, my mother and my grandmother went to great lengths to make sure I had everything I might need or want, opening their cupboards, closets, drawers, and wallets to help me get things I didn’t even know I would need. I always knew that I would do the same for my own children one day.
The current need for my son’s apartment is for a kitchen table and chairs. I remembered my grandmother’s kitchen table has been stored at my brother’s house for years. I checked to make sure it was still there and usable. My brother determined (after some digging) that it was.
I started thinking of how my grandmother, Big Nana, spent most of her life helping her family. She has been dead since 2004, but she is still helping her family all these years after her death. Because now her kitchen table and chairs, at which we ate so many wonderful, lovingly prepared meals, will now serve my son and his girlfriend.
And here is the biggest gift of all: when my brother was looking for the chairs, he found a photo Nana, as well as some of my mother and father that I have never seen before.
It feels like they are all saying ‘Hello’ to us from heaven tonight, and letting us know that they are still watching over us and taking care of us, even though they are not here physically with us anymore.
What a wonderful start to 2017.
30 Dec 2016 2 Comments
My firstborn is moving out and getting his own apartment. I am happy and excited for him.
I am also sad that he is no longer living here. I am still checking the driveway to make sure he is home safe at night, and he moved out almost a week ago. This new feeling that I’m experiencing–I’ve dubbed it HappySad.
I flash back on my own first leave-taking from my family of origin. My mother tearing up. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m afraid I’m never gonna see you.” I reassured her that of course she would still see me. I would come by all the time. I’d call. She just looked at me with those eyes that knew the truth, even as I ‘doth proclaim too much’.
She was right, of course. I rarely went over. I eventually started calling her once a week because I felt obligated, not out of a true desire to speak to her. I loved my mother, so it wasn’t about that. I don’t know what it was about, to tell you the truth. I just moved out and I didn’t look back (until I had to move back, but that’s another, sadder story).
I was free!
So, as I watched my son excitedly packing up for his move to his first apartment, part of me was channeling my own mother, feeling her exact emotions, I am sure. “I’m never going to see him now,” I thought.
What goes around, comes around.
10 Dec 2016 4 Comments
Here is #5 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How, (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jeanne Emerson!
Who: Hi. My name is Jeanne Emerson. I’m a grandma, gardener, artist, yogi, retired social worker and grieving mother. I’m fortunate to live in a peaceful and cozy home in southern Maine…it is my sanctuary. I am calm here, reflective, often tearful and recently, joyful…again. And, I’m about to celebrate my 65th birthday. WOW.
What: I never really thought that I would feel brave about this but I do. My one brave thing is to allow the feeling of joy back into my life. My son Scott died three years ago. He was 35 years old, funny, handsome, loving and very artistic. His death came as a shock, no preparation…but even if I had been expecting it, it still would have been a shock. No mother could prepare for this.
When: The call came at 8:45 on a Tuesday night. (Tuesday has become my least favorite day of the week ever since).
Where: I was home, the phone rang and the police officer had the nerve to say, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son is dead.” How could he say something like that about my child?? I hated that officer at that moment. I couldn’t spare any compassion for him then, no ability to care about how awful that call must have been for him to make. Compassion could and would come later.
Why: I’ll never know. I won’t know why Scott died at such a young age, with so much more to offer, so much more to experience. (please believe me, I have driven myself to extreme exhaustion trying to understand). But here’s what I do understand…healing can happen, life does in fact go on (as much as you may not want it do)…joy can enter again.
How: This part of the interview is perhaps the easiest to explain. My joy has come back because of trust. My husband, Tim, my son Matt, family members and very precious friends believed in me. They trusted me when I was a wailing mess on the floor, they trusted me when I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying, they trusted me when I couldn’t eat, sleep or get out of my pajamas, they trusted me when I would sit and stare, unable or unwilling to talk. Somehow they trusted my process, that I just had to go through this my way (albeit dramatic and probably frightening to witness), but trust they did. AND, miraculously, bit by bit, I started to live again without my son (well, without him in the way I knew him before his death….this is another interview but I KNOW that he is still with me, guiding me, encouraging me in my artistic pursuits, laughing with me and still loving me). I feel very brave for laughing, running, playing, creating and loving. This is my most important brave thing….so far.
Jeanne, thank you so much for your brave, powerful words. ❤
Check out Jeanne’s designs at FOUND in Kennebunk (42 Main St; 207-604-5009) and on her website: emersondesigns.net
26 Sep 2016 Leave a comment
I have never bought People magazine before, but I picked up a copy last week, just for something different to read.
Anyway, there was another article about the children of parents who died during the 911 attacks, children who were in utero then and never got to meet their parent. Reading these stories was heartbreaking, but it also made me think about how insignificant what I had been worrying about before I began reading really was.