Letter for Letting Go: Releasing My Mother and Holding Her in My Heart
Dear Sweet Friends,
This morning, as I drove home from dropping my daughter off to school, words began floating around me. I was wondering how to begin to write and share. Sometimes those deepest parts of our lives just need to be shared. We think we are doing it for ourselves, to help us heal and move on, but I know that as many times as I have read someone else’s sharing here, it is often for me, too. So today, as I share, I am sharing for US. Maybe that part of my story that moves me is meant to touch you in some way.
I haven’t been here much since December. Life has been full. On December 3rd, my father arrived, and we began his journey toward liver transplant. Anyone who has been a caregiver for a parent knows the kind of time and energy it asks of you. Within five days, I got a call that my mother was hospitalized. I’m not sure I knew how to react since my mother had been the strong one, the healthy one, the one who felt like she would be here forever. I was helping my father, and now it was time to help my mother. But, in the end, all the help I could give was not the healing she needed.
When I arrived at her side, she whispered that she was ready to go Home. She was so sure and so peaceful that I knew in my heart she would soon just go. I spent five days with her in hospice care along with my brothers and sister. All five of her children were there together. I slept in her room each night and talked with her, sang to her. I brushed her hair, massaged her feet, kissed her, held her hand. I told her the stories of her life that touched mine and reminded her of the gifts she gave me by being my mother. When we were all together, my musical family played guitar and gently sang some of her favorite songs…a living memorial. Rather than falling apart, we came together. It was so beautiful.
Her faith was the reason she was surrounded by so much peace. She raised five children to believe and, though we have all grown to believe in our own different ways, she was the common thread. Her quiet presence never told us how to believe. In fact, she never told us how to live. She just invited us to know Love by her living.
In the days that followed her passing, I realized that I felt relief for her and from her. And yes, there are moments when my heart longs for her, and I know that is okay. And there are moments when I completely feel her presence in my life…the song that plays at the right moment, the dream that is more real than life itself, the cool brush of air that flows over me…she is with me always. Sometimes, I have forgotten and picked up the phone to call her, just to hear her say in response to my “I love you”…her “I love you more.” She has invited me to be more tender, more aware, more determined to be true to my heart. She has invited me to love even more, right now, here, today.
~Make it MAGICAL~
My journey continues, not without my mother, but because of her. Is there someone whose touch on your life has been so lasting? Today, let your heart give thanks for that one individual soul. Say a silent prayer of gratitude and acknowledge the gift of a lifetime.