I’m sitting at the local Ruby Tuesday’s ready to unleash my words across these typed, virtual pages because it has been too long. Too terribly long to bear the burden of not writing. My mother passed away twenty-seven days ago suddenly, but not unexpectedly. I had only been in Charleston for four hours for a much needed reprieve from my busy life when I got the call my mother was in the hospital in dire straits. An hour later I received the call that she was dead. Then, I scrambled to get a flight back home.
Since then I have struggled with a myriad of emotions and responsibilities. My son was stricken with strep in the midst of the funeral and due to the stress and the meeting of so many other mourners at the funeral, my whole family became ill. Many of us had to take antibiotics to fight off the infections.
Then, ten days after my mother’s death, we purchased a giant schnauzer puppy that we had already given a down payment for. The pup was a highly anticipated addition to the family before my mother died.
On top of all of the above, I, of course, had to continue to teach. To try to manage to spark the writing beasts in adolescents more interested in their peers’ worlds than that of writing substantial essays to launch their high school careers.
It hasn’t been easy. That’s an understatement.
And, I am supposed to be grieving my mother. So many people have said there is no loss like a mother’s passing. But, with a mother that suffered from severe anxiety and physically and emotionally abused me, it’s a bit difficult to feel devastated at her passing. On one hand I had a brutal upbringing, but on the other hand, she taught me hard work, perseverance, and the importance of family. For every good memory, I have a terribly difficult memory.
I came to terms with my abuse and my mother’s illness years ago. I forgave her. It was only in the past four years that I understood how much of that abuse damaged me psychology and its influence emanated to all my relationships. It took me a few years to see those dark tides and to shed the light necessary on them to deplete their strength.
I’ve teeter tottered between good memories and terrible ones. I’m grieving the mother I wish I had and the mother I actually did have. It’s the pain of realizing that she really is gone from this world and that I have only one parent left that grieves me. My parents were imperfect, but they loved me more than anything else on this earth. I am their child, and there is no bond like that anywhere. I will miss the best of my mother, and I am grateful she is in paradise now freed from the pain of her own mind.
Meanwhile, I’ve been hiding from my own writing. But, the universe and the Lord know me better than I know myself. I have received coincidences, proddings, and signs to begin again that thing that gives me a pure delight of light. It lights my paths no matter how lost, how grieving, how unsure I am. It’s always a quiet, strong voice that rings through me: WRITE. Its silver thread pulls me forward in the ever remembering of myself.
So, I sit here alone in Ruby Tuesday’s writing this blog, eating my gluten-free pasta, drinking my overpriced wine, and grateful I ran away from home to do that one thing that brings me an uncomplicated and unrestrictive joy: writing.