May 12, 2012
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Your sister sent me a Mother’s Day card. It is the first in many years. I bought myself a bouquet of pink roses from you and put her card in front of it.
Happy Mother’s Day to me.
Aunt Karen called me earlier this week. “We are going to Tillicum Village for a salmon bake on Sunday. Want to go with us.?” “Us” being your cousins Lisa and Ryan. Lisa’s kids, Tanner, Alicia and baby Annalise. Annalise you have not met.
“We take a boat to Blake Island for a fun filled day.”
“A boat to Blake Island for a fun filled day?” I asked.
“Yep.” She answered.
“Count me in.”
This morning my heart was beating funny in my chest. It does that sometimes. I thought “What if this is my last morning, my last afternoon, my last evening?”
Do you know how when someone asks you a question you really have to think about it? You are shocked at the frankness of the question? You have to spend a few moments with the question?
I did not want to answer.
I did not want to accept the implication.
Taking a deep breath, willing my heart to find its rhythm, a thought rises up in me.
Answer the question. Be the question.
Live the question.
I hug my pillow around my head as the tears fall.
First, I must take a moment to mourn. Mourn my childhood. Mourn the mother I never had. Mourn the years of adulthood that I lost fighting for survival. Mourn the years I spent in marriages that kept me down. Mourn the death of you. Mourn your sister’s anger and estrangement. Mourn my father and that I cannot be with him.
Nested in my bed, my home, sun shining through the blinds, birds chirping over morning seed the question persists.
“What if this is my last morning, my last afternoon, my last evening?”
First I let the tears finish falling. Accept the grace of feeling. Let myself linger there until I have had enough.
Sadie, laying next to me, shifts her weight against me.
This is a day of sunshine. A day for planting seeds and seedlings. For watering things that will grow, provide color, a place for butterflies, birds, bunnies, and a little tree frog. This is a day to build cages around new growth, allowing it every chance of survival.
This is a day I will plant things that will nourish me through fall and winter.
I bought my dad a Martha Stewart Contour Pillow for his neck. The hospital pillows and the pillows at the rehab center are like hard stones.
On Friday I asked him, “Are those pillows uncomfortable for you dad?”
“Yes.” He answered.
“Would you like me to bring you one more comfortable?”
“That would be nice.” He smiled.
After I finish planting, I will drop the pillow off to him. I know his wife will go ballistic. I cannot help that.
I have not interfered with her relationship with my father. She is his wife.
Why is she interfering with my relationship with him? I am his daughter.
I cannot ponder questions that have no answers.
But this “what if”? It speaks of possibilities.
My tears water seedlings of change, of choice, of mindfulness this mourning.
I’m about to come alive.
I can’t cry hard enough.
My life is brilliant this morning.
Because I am going to spend the day living.
I love you baby girl. My heart is full of you.