I just spent my Friday night reading someone's archives. After reading their post today, I emotionally emptied myself into their vast space of grief, and I felt like a mother with empty arms that longed to hold her child and it was overwhelming. I had to read more about her. I couldn't stay satisfied with just knowing what she was going through on just that day. I needed to know August, and September, that was all she had for me to read, she lost all the other months when she switched from one server to another. I'm not going to say who she is because that is not the point. Many of you already know her, some of you might not, but I will say that she lost her Mother to cancer and it was as a mother that my knees buckled at these words, "Why is it that I think one hug from her, the one thing I can never have, would fix everything." I wept, no, I bawled, because I have an adult daughter of my own and I imagined that these words could easily one day be hers and it tore my mother's heart. My daughter reads my posts and she told me that I often make her cry silent tears from her desk at work, so I'm glad that today will be Saturday, otherwise I would not post this knowing she would read it and her tears would not be able to be silent on this day. Grieving is a very harsh emotion to live with, we all will end up living with it eventually, but the pain is tangible and sometimes it feels like it could actually destroy you.
When my daughter was in High School, the doctors said there was nothing else they could do for me and we all looked death in the face. On my worst sick days, the days when I was pale, lifeless and my eyes were orbs of fear, my sweet daughter would collapse at my feet, hold on to me tightly and weep saying, "Please don't die momma, please, please don't die. I can't live without you, please don't die!" I would pick her up and wrap my arms around her and I could not tell her that I wasn't going to die, at that time I could only say, "I love you, I will always love you." It never felt like it was enough and we still live one day at a time, one month, one year, and we cherish time now like never before. Our lives are not a cliche, it's our truth and we deal with it.
When I chose the picture that I did, I thought I looked pale and my eyebrow is raised up, like I'm saying something with a facial expression, instead of words. I make this face, I own that look, it's mine. It's an, 'I told you so' look, or, 'You know what I think about that' look. It's the face of a mother who wants her child to make the right choice, but also believes enough in her child that she will. I also chose this picture because if I get to look down from heaven, that will probably be the face that I'll have. I'll raise my eyebrow and smile just enough to let my lovelies know that I expect them to do the right thing, but love them no matter what.
Godmother was right honey, we are all born with a space inside of us that needs to be filled. Sometimes we do need some 'extra' love and that is nothing to be ashamed of. When you can't get to sleep, it's okay to imagine that someone is spooning you and if you need help, please just ask for it. If you feel like you need to be hugged, held tight until that space feels a little bit more bearable to live with and mommy isn't here with her arms held out wide for you to enter, then go find other arms. Go on with your life, you have permission to live.
When doctors can't guarantee a Mother of how many years she has left, we have to have 'the' talk with our children. I had to have 'that' talk with mine. And even if it pains them to hear it, the last thing I want my children to do is to waste big chunks of their lives grieving over me. I said, "You can make it without me, you're brave and smart and there are a whole lot more people out there that love you and will be here for you, so live. Be happy, don't stop being you, life is short, it really really is, so don't waste it...live" ~ And we cried and held each other, our stomachs hurt as we allowed ourselves to feel that pain, but then we wiped our tears and I kept reading my book and they went back to doing homework. And.....I'm still here, for now....and today I read her post and wanted to reach into that screen and pull her into my Mother's arms and hold her so tight, I wanted to lie down with her and spoon her, stroke her hair and tuck it behind her ear and hum until she fell asleep. I wanted that space inside to shrink just enough to make it bearable, I want this post to make you feel cared for and I want you to live. Fight for it, you're worth it, take my cyber hug, click away from 'a walk in my shoes' and feel loved. Take it from me, a mother, she wants you to be free......so fly :)