My mother’s gift
My emotional changes are like waves sweeping into shore and then out again. Some days I barely think about my past life of being married and living in Portland Oregon. Other days I feel nostalgic and sad and I can’t believe that I am divorced. I think on my sad days I miss the best part of my marriage and family, and I don’t think about the hurt and confusion. Obviously there was a big part of it that was good, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed as long as I did. But I have become a different person over the last 5 years and I no longer fit in my former life.
It started with my mom passing away. As I walked through my childhood home to collect belongings from my past, before most of it was given away or taken to Goodwill, I felt the pointlessness of collecting ‘things’. What did all these things matter? They were just objects that I saw daily as a child and belonged in a past life. The house without my mom in it was just a house. The things without my mom admiring them, were just things. None of it mattered without my mom giving it all meaning. I came back home from that trip hungover and depleted. My mom had been such an energy force in my life even though I barely talked to her as an adult. Now she was gone! Just like that.
It messed with my head and my emotions. It made me realize how short life is. It made me remember my mom’s struggles with my dad, and how he bullied and belittled her. Why she stayed, I will never know as she often talked about leaving him. And what if she had left? What life would she have had on her own, in her own apartment, making her own decisions? She often talked about moving into San Francisco when I lived there and getting a quaint bright place where she could walk to nice restaurants and shop easily. She never did it.
It made me look at my own life, and realize how unhappy I really was. How I was making the best of a marriage that brought me little joy, and where the affection was getting less and less. Is this how I wanted to spend the rest of my life? No! Parts of me felt dead already. I wanted to feel love and affection again. I wanted to speak freely without being worried that my words would be used against me, or that I would be made fun of. I wanted to smile again and mean it.
So, I decided to start a journey towards that change. I didn’t know at the time if my marriage would evolve with me, or if I would have to leave it. But I made myself, my writing and my art a priority and decided wherever that took me is where I was going to go. It brought me to Southern California, and led me to a divorce. Once I decided to follow my own intuition I felt that the universe stepped up to show me the way. I never felt, or feel alone, even when I am alone.
After a few months of living in Southern California, I finally had the time to start dating. On my first date I thought I was going to pass out I was so nervous. But luckily he was a kind good looking gentleman and it was a pleasant evening. Slowly I got the hang of talking to men again in flirtatious way, and letting my walls down to let their energy in. Now, it makes me smile to think of all of the interesting conversations I have had with men over the last few months. Some of them are so open and no subject is off limits. They make me laugh, feel pretty and feel desired. I am not sure what I am looking for, but I am enjoying exploring all of the possibilities. Do I want to be married again? I don’t know. Do I even want to live with someone again? Right now no, but will that change? Sometimes it scares me how wide open my future is. I have no plans except to keep writing and creating my art. Everything else is up for grabs.
All of the experiences that I am currently having, my mom did not get to experience. She didn’t get to feel pretty and attractive again. She didn’t get the chance to be in control of who she let into her life. My dad disrespected her boundaries, and made her feel undesired. That is a terrible place to be for a woman. As distant and toxic as my relationship with my mother was, I know she would be proud of me right now. One of the last conversations I had with her was about moving me to Southern California. She encouraged me to do it, she said, ‘You’re young, do it, you could start a whole new life!’ She said it with such longing in her voice that I cried. I wanted something different so badly.
I was still married when she died. She will never see my art or read my blog. I carry her strength and her spirit with me in everything I do. In life she was an insurmountable energy force that hid her hurt by lashing out. In death, she gave me the gift of a new life. Her spirit was finally at peace, and it allowed me to find peace also.
So this life I am living is something that is a gift to me. And I am grateful for every person that comes into my life and affects and changes me in some way. It feels good to be open, accepting and engaged with others. Every day I learn something new, actually every moment.
As I watch the waves roll in to the shore, and roll back out again I realize that life is not meant to be stagnant or certain. There is no guarantee about anything no matter how well I plan. Long after I am gone, the ocean waves will still be sweeping to the shore and back out again with no particular goal. They will just exist, and be beautiful, and change from moment to moment.