Sunday, February 19, 2017

How long before I'm an adult?

It'll make sense. Maybe.

Last week, my husband and I had a fight. We don't usually fight; we disagree and we may even have heated conversations, but we rarely have moments of intense anger. Maybe that's why we're approaching our 19th wedding anniversary. Or maybe we're just too lazy to move our things into different houses, I don't know. That's not even the point!

In the middle of my anger I decided to be really enlightened and do what Pema Chödrön always says, which is to make room for the gap. What that means is that I didn't react right away and I spent some time being quiet, letting my anger subside and seeing what was left that I really wanted to communicate. When I came back to my friend and spouse I still got it wrong, because I am a hot mess, but I swear I got closer to the Truth than I ever have in an adult conversation. We had a good talk and yada, yada, yada we'll likely celebrate a 20th anniversary. 

Since our conversation I've let the gap remain and I've made even more headway into the Truth. If you've been here before you know that my mom died almost 13 years ago. If you've never had to start living your life without ground beneath your feet, or air to breathe, then spend some time reading blogs about that sort of loss. There's no time today to explain it to you except to say that it changes every day - that some days it's okay and I can bear it, and other days it rips me into shreds of myself. My quiet brain kept leading me back to her and, in a tangential way, my argument with Mister was deeply rooted in this one-sided relationship I now have with my mom.

She was fiercely independent; so much so that she couldn't really figure out how to ask for help. My best guess is that when she did, she was often denied because when someone who is profoundly capable asks for help, it's usually met with some level of scorn. No one likes to have to step in and help someone who clearly doesn't need it. So my mom did most things on her own and I see myself following her footpath. I perceive scorn when I ask for help whether it's there or not, and of course that's on me. But it stops me from asking for help when I need it and I think if mom was here and could see me doing it, she'd likely tell me to get over myself and do better. 

I had a dream the other night that my mom magically came back. She'd been dead and then she just came the world of my dream this made sense and we didn't have to question it. My current family pod (Mister, two sons and me) moved in together with her in the apartment in which I'd grown up.The whole dream I was rushing around trying to take care of everyone and it was chaos, and dream-me kept thinking, "This isn't right. I don't belong in this house with her. We belong in our own house because she's not supposed to be my family in THIS way anymore."

What a strange method to grow up and away from a parent, right?? She's not even here and I still have to grow up and evolve separately from her. That's messed up for sure, but it's also a gift if I stand back and give it room; if I allow the gap again. So here she is still teaching me, and our relationship is still growing and changing because we never really leave each other. We leave indelible marks on one another and those don't go away. 

This might not mean much to you as you read it, but maybe there's something in it that makes sense on the day you're reading it. If not....well, I'm not the boss of you. You know the rules and no one made you read this far. But I'm glad you did.



  1. This is beautiful. You are a great writer. Your mom was the best.

  2. I miss her too. She was so wonderful. It's the worst. Dreams are the blessing and the curse.

  3. "So here she is still teaching me, and our relationship is still growing and changing because we never really leave each other." That is the Truth. She has always been with you and always will be. Her physical presence is unconscionably missed because, well, we thrive for contact and interaction. Her larger presence though is there, it's in you and it shines through!