Thursday, December 13

trying...






...to keep chronicling life with my camera, but the photos are mostly out-of-focus, tho' my settings are all the same. Is it me or the camera? Probably me, as I feel rather out-of-focus myself...




...to read helpful books...but can't concentrate very well...so it is mostly novels that simply take me away. Soon I will pick up Winter Solstice...again...it will be just right, I think...
















...to get out...with dear people and lights and music...and it is always good. Sometimes eating and drinking lovely things while my husband and others play with abandon....sometimes hanging out in the grocery store with beloved young men who break into dance...





A difficult outing was to the Respite Christmas party, to see all of the people who had become so dear-to Mom and to me-over the past two years. After all the hugs and tears and good wishes, I left the bustle to quietly take in the exhibit of paintings done that summer, paintings I had never seen. One was Mom's...





...and I was brought to my knees by the sweet and unexpected message I found with the painting...





...and then another, at a friends house...I was helping with her Christmas decorations, distracted as always by the books on the shelf nearby. I pulled out one that I vaguely remembered giving to my friend's daughter many years ago....we read my inscription together, and I was putting the book back when my friend turned the pages to my mom's inscription when she had given the book to me, years before that....




I know that I will continue to receive these messages...probably for the rest of my life. Mom was always, always generous to me. I am surrounded by tokens of her love.


 


I understand that one day those messages will be wholly welcome to me and that one day I will stop spending so much of my energy trying not...to mind my gaze falling on all of the reminders of her recent days...to see the photos of her that come up on my screensaver and in my library of photos when I gather them for a blog post...to want to run away from all of the decisions, large and small that must be made...

There are three things that don't take any trying...filling most of my hours with the simple work of uncluttering, arranging, cleaning and other homely tasks. Watching movies and television shows when I am too tired from my exertions to move another inch. Digging and planting in the garden and the wild hedgerows with my beloved.

Funny, tho', how my favorite shows lately are filled with life and death and the very real details of both (Call the Midwife and William and Mary)....details that would not have touched me so if I had watched them a mere four and a half weeks ago.





I've been trying to sort out why I feel so lost, so often. I think it is because....I thought I was in this for the long haul....I thought we would see this coming from a long way off. Instead, it happened so quickly, so surprisingly, so swiftly. And yes, she went beautifully and peacefully, and I wouldn't have wanted her to stay to face a life of pain and confusion...but the changes have been hard to take in. At first....I likened it to losing a spouse...because there was "her" chair...there were "her" clothes...there were all the routines and rhythms we had become so used to over the years...but that wasn't really it.

Then I likened it to losing a child-without the tragedy, of course-for I did so much for Mom that we do for our children. I took care of all her needs, bought all of her clothes, bathed and dressed her, prepared the environment for her, entertained her and put her down for naps (and hoped they were long ones!), tucked her in at night with a kiss and always the same words...but that wasn't right, either.




Just now, I am not trying so hard...what to liken it to, how to proceed. I am doing what I am led to do...and what needs to be done...letting go of a lot, trusting that everyone and everything will wait for me...knowing it will all fall into place again one day...and that Mom's messages will bring more smiles than tears, and that old book pages blowing in the wind won't seem so profound to me...





I will write again soon with some details about what we are doing to honor Mom in the weeks to come, for I know some of you have been wondering...



3 comments:

Lynn said...

Cherish those boys dancing in grocery stores, as I know you do, Lesley. My lads (along with generous amounts of my homemade rose elixir!) and their antics (and hugs) are my very best heart healers. xoxo

Cathy said...

Dear Lesley,

I appreciate your honest and sometimes even raw emotions shared here in this place. No matter how long you had to care for your mother, or future thoughts that it might flow into many days (or years), you now realize it was not long enough.

Sometimes I find myself "shutting the door", so to speak, attempting to hide it in the closet...until later. Ongoing life doesn't stop long enough for me to process even a small bit of what goes on within me. Whether that is good or bad I don't know. But one thing I do know, it takes time and grieving is very individual. There are times I wished I'd opened the door and allowed more of mine to show. (Perhaps it is not too late.)

You are still very much in my thoughts and prayers.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing, Lesley. Take your time. Your friends are all here sending love and light your way.
xx, Julie