Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21st...

will always be my momma's birthday, though she's not been here to celebrate the last 18. She was a few weeks shy of her 65th birthday when she died. I have now officially lived with sweetie pie as long as I was in momma's house. (19 years of marriage in January---I went to live with momma when I was 2, got married when I was 20...). The reality of that amazes me. I continue to talk to my children about her as if they knew her too...they didn't. Sometimes I suspect they think I'm making her up. Sometimes, I wonder if I am too...

She's missed a good bit of my life...I think the most important parts. The milestones, the things she would have been proud of...the becoming of who I think she hoped I would become.

I know she would have been full of advice (much of which I wouldn't have wanted to heed and I would have had to concentrate hard not to roll my eyes), been a loving Granny to my children(even though she wasn't always able to be to me...she was so very bone tired and with a weary heavy soul--she showed love in ways that I didn't understand). Kids brought out the best in her. She would have delighted in the boy...and said that he's full of meanness with that sparkle in her eyes revealing that she thought any boy worth his salt was filled with some meanness. She would have fallen head over heels for him. I have a hard time picturing her with the girl...I think girls were harder for her...she would have loved her and been proud of her, but I'm not sure the girl would have been sure. Maybe...but then, their relationship would not have been anything like ours was...and it's hard for me to imagine that. It's hard for me to imagine my life with her still in it...

I do not know how I would have handled the guilt that would have come from moving so far away from "home", and from her. Maybe she would have moved with us, maybe we would have made her life better, easier. Life decisions that have seemed clear to us would have been more complicated...If she had lived longer, my life could have been completely different with different paths and choices as options. I would have felt responsible and obligated...to what end, I'm not sure.

At 20...or 16...or 12...there was no way for me to appreciate her the way I do at 39. The perspective of understanding the motivation and driving forces through the lens of life have changed my heart...I no longer doubt her love or feel that I was just a burden to her. I understand that some of the times that she shook my self esteem was not even about me...it was deeper and stronger than I could have ever understood. She was attempting to be in control of my well being using whatever means necessary, and the harsh words left deep wounds. It was easy for me to believe I was more of a burden than a delight. Now, I focus more on the sweeter words she spoke, the tender moments in which I truly felt as if I belonged to her. It's easier, now, to believe she did love me and that she thought I was worth the effort. It's easier for me to know that because she loved me she carried the burden of taking care of me...when at age 44 she was asked if she would take me, she said, "yes" when "no" would have been the much easier choice! Most times I never remembered she had a choice. For her loving me meant providing food, shelter, safety--anything else was a luxury...and our luxuries were few but I treasure them infinitely more now understanding that they came at a high price.

I am so thankful to a Sovereign Father who guided me...placing me where He needed me to be so that in His perfect time, I would be drawn to Him. After years of asking "why"... I have been given an answer in the stillness of my soul that "I might never understanding the horrors I was protected from". I am grateful that in the process, He chose to use a wonderful, courageous, resourceful, witty, unconventional, spirited, strong-willed woman, yearning for a second chance, to shape me and guide me...and love me.

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