What I Learned from my Mother
My head is filling up again.
Last summer the to-do lists took over with tyranny. Every morning I sat up in bed and my brain powered on to reveal a never-ending to-do list or decisions to make or stuff to think about. But finally, we are slowly settling into our new home, finding our feet again, and I am not using the GPS as much anymore, my compass re-set.
I found a page in my journal of topics I would have liked to write about- on three different blogs. The ideas no longer seem fresh, the intense moment gone, but can be re-kindled. I still have things to say. Thank goodness. I guess that means I am still alive. I finally exhaled.
I read Julia Kasdorf’s poem and I wonder what my children learned from me. I know that since the summer of 2007 their biggest lessons could be: bad things happen. It is ok to cry. Mommy can be weak. Mommy can be so in pain she swears and rolls about on the floor. There are kind people always. Friends come and go, at least some of them.
I cannot teach you anything, that’s what I tell them. I can’t teach you, you will learn by yourself, because you want to. So I am not sure what they have picked up, and what they have internalized.
But I sure hope, that there will always be this softness and this grandness in their hearts, to reach out to the grieving with humble open palms, to abide with sorrow, to walk gently along. To live with an alertness and wide-open eyes, because we don’t know when. The moment is now.
But you know what? How I yearn to teach: to hold Ferdinand’s hand as he makes his first squiggly line, to hear his voice repeat my words, to point to a bird, flower, and leaf and say the name.
Ferdinand. I still miss. He fills my entire heart today.