Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 80 years old today. She was born in 1938. I always remembered that because she was just 18 when she had me. Just out of high school, pushed by family and society and custom to get married to a man who didn't want to be a father let alone a husband. To be fair, he was little more than a child himself. I guess I ought to be fair. But he left us, and she never did, no matter how hard things got. No matter what happened, she was a lioness in her mothering. Protective. Providing for us. Possessive.
She had two deep passions in her life. The first was born by force, some would say. But it was also a choice. She was pushed by life and by circumstance to look into a mirror and see what she had become, was becoming, might become. She looked honestly, painfully into that mirror. And she broke. Screaming and crying, she smashed the mirror and brought forth her adamant will to refuse to become the abuser, refuse to repeat the violence and hatred she had been dealt as a child. She demanded of God to bring an answer, a solution, a way to break out of the pattern. And the solution came, the answer came in a nearly magical way, and because of that, I believe in that magic. Not in miraculous healing, although I have to say I hold space for that possibility as well. But I believe that God heard her and her raging and crying and WANTING an answer opened the space for an answer to come to her. I believe that can happen. For me too.
The healing of her damaged soul was her first passion.
I found a box full of her journals after she died of cervical cancer in 2003. Every single one of them was full, not of personal notes or history or happenings in her day, but of thoughts on healing, discoveries about the soul and emotions, ways to communicate the importance of this to others, notes on workshops and seminars and books she wanted to write. Every page was about the healing process. It was what drove her.
Her second passion was children. Her children and her grandchildren. Often when she would return to me after being with one of the other kids families, she would cry and cry for days with the wounds inflicted by them. I would ask her why? Why did she still go visit them when they obviously only wanted to play guilt trips on her and hurt her with old wounds they held onto, festering. She would look at me with troubled eyes, and say, I love them. They're my children. They're my grandchildren. I love them. And when the next year's visit time would roll around, off she would go again, to try again. She couldn't help it. She loved them. That mother's love is just part of who she was.
She was my best friend, my healing partner, my best and truest mirror, and a constant inspiration. She taught me how to love. She showed me what it means to be trustworthy. And she gave me the greatest gift of all, the gift of healing of the soul. I miss her every day.
Happy Birthday, Mom