My mom. September 23, 2016
I remember how I loved to hold her hand. I have this one memory which returns to me often.
We are sitting in the back seat of my grandpas big black car on our way to dinner. The whole family is together... Grandma and Grandpa in the front seat with Phillip in the middle, me on the far left by the window in the back seat, mom next to me, then Mike and then dad by the window on the right. My mom use to wear these white gloves. She was always so pretty and wore nice dresses. I loved admiring her, she was so beautiful. I especially loved her hands.
She was a young mother, I was born when she was just 21, my older brother was born when she was 19 and my younger brother was born when she was 23.
She was busy.
I loved when we’d go to Grandmas and go out to dinner. I got to sit by her in the backseat of the car.
I'd take her white glove off looking at each finger while holding her hand in mine. I'd admire the ring she wore and how pretty her nails were.
This comforted me so much and is one of the few memories I have of my mom as a child.
I don't have many memories of her because she was a young mother in an unhappy marriage and much of her energy was for getting the basics done… feeding the kids, getting us to school, going to work and trying to suppress the raging emotions she had, which she didn't have the time to process or the know how to do so.
I eventually ran away soon after my parents divorced. I too was overwhelmed by emotions and not knowing how to process them. My brightest idea was to run.
So my memories are spotty... mostly admiring her from distance while she ran around taking care of the house and us kids.
Today as I hold my moms hand 50 years later, arthritis has reshaped her bones. Bulges exist where there once were smooth curves, her milky skin now covered with spots of various colors and the once long fingers now permanently bend to the side.
And still, I feel such great joy in admiring her beauty.
We were apart from about age 15-38. I might have seen her three times during this period of my life. I was now the busy shadow running around taking care of my to dos.
When I reached out, after 20 years or so, it was around 2006. I remember looking for her number, nervously calling, hearing her voice message and hanging up.
She sounded different. A flood of feelings rushed through me. Is this fear I'm feeling? Is it sadness for our lost time? Is it anger because she never chased after me proclaiming her love for me and wanting me to stay in her life?
I paced around the room with phone in my hand. Should I call her back today or wait till tomorrow? More pacing and then I called again.
A dry hello was on the other end this time. Hi it's Elisabeth..pause....
And as if lost time never existed, I was home again with my mom.
I gifted her a plane ticket to come stay with me shortly after our phone call. Our friendship of mother daughter begin, the pause button was off.
Today 10 years after our new relationship on my 50 year birthday, I have lot's of wishes.
I wish I would have seen her more often. I wish I could have shared more of my life with her.
I wish I could have helped her with her health and diet, sharing what I know about nutritional balancing. I wish I could have downloaded what I know about processing emotions into her so they would move through her body and not get stuck turning into "dis_ease". I wish I had held her hand more often when she went through the pain of her "soulmate" dying.
I feel sad not having been with her through her dark times.
When she came out of surgery today, a biopsy surgery to help identify something "different" happening in her body... I was there.
She was lost and confused, in great pain and agony. I put a a cold compress on her head and neck. I rubbed her shoulders and touched her body with great love and appreciation.
Here lay the woman who shared her body for me allowing me to grow into a little baby girl. This is the woman who suffered in childbirth in order to give me an opportunity to live a life. This is the woman who worked two jobs in order to feed me and my brothers after the divorce and this is the woman who so lovingly let me go ... not wanting me to suffer or be unhappy...but wanting me to find my joy and find what would make me happy in life.
As I work my way down to her feet, I sit at the foot of the gurney and hold her feet in my hands.
A peachy color begins replacing the pale white,
the fear and confusion from coming out of anesthesia and meeting pain in her body eases as we look into each others eyes and truly see each other.
Time disperses and the simplicity of presence, the infinity of life remains.
I am here and so grateful for this woman who gave me life.
Thank you mom, I love you so much.
Happy Birthday to both of us.
I will forever be yours.
3907 Medical Parkway #102