Today we gathered as a family to celebrate my moms life. My sisters and brothers families were there, we were minus only a handful to make the gathering “whole”. My mom would’ve loved to have seen us all there together, and as I watched the “goings on” of all, I know she would’ve been so pleased that so many came the long distance, and at great expense, to honor and celebrate her life. My parents divorced many decades ago, but my dad and his girlfriend came. I saw my dad physically choke up once or twice, particularly when he was watching the slide show that my niece’s husband put together from our combined collection of pictures of my mother. My parents were married 27 years, they had five children, built two family homes from scratch to finish with very little “contracting” out. At one point I walked up to my dad and hugged him, told him how lucky we were to have him. His reply? “No, Donna, how lucky I am to have all of you!”
Alongside the pictures of my mother playing on the screen, depicting happy times, a playlist I had created for my mother a couple years ago played in the background. The choice of flowers, white mums, roses, and a spray of blue delphinium, were absolutely beautiful. My mother would’ve absolutely loved it. Filling the inner circle of this wreath sat a beautiful urn with mother of pearl enhancements that contained my mothers remains. My mom loved mother of pearl, abalone, it was her favorite stone. On the same table were “keepsakes” that mom had saved, postcards, letters, cards, pictures. It was so tastefully done, and I know my mother would’ve approved. I know she would have! Also included were pictures of my youngest and oldest sisters, whom I hope and pray mom is reunited with.
Last night my niece made dinner for all of us, including my dad, his girlfriend, three of my brother’s four children, daughter-in-law, My sisters husband, both of her children, son-in-law, and two of her grandchildren, my brothers friend, and her daughter.
One of the nicest things for me to hear was “young cousins” playing, laughing. It was magical for me, and reminded me of my own, our own childhood gatherings with cousins. It helped give sense to my moms passing – New generations making memories that will hopefully last them a long lifetime. Oh the truly innocent and silly things they were doing, like making farting noises down a heat vent from the second floor of the farmhouse into the first floor kitchen where the adults were gathered. It was their laughter that I hope to never forget, I hope THEY never forget!
I could not be happier with how nice today turned out, the last couple of days actually. I’m writing this blog so that in the days to come when we are all back to our busy lives, and feeling the loss of my mother, I can come back to this to recall, relive, reunite with the love that flowed, commonality, my family.
My mother was the strongest woman I’ve ever met. I will always love her and be grateful for giving me life, and teaching me all she did. I will miss her love, her encouragement, her help, her care when I was ill, her sense of humor. I will miss her!
Now, personally, the events of this past week, up to and including my mothers passing, has made me realize that I have some work to do on myself. I will likely share about this in future blogs, because writing is a valuable, helpful tool for me. But it’s going to be okay, I will be okay, because I know I’m still teachable!
My daily goal, first and foremost, is peace. In order to achieve this, I need to learn some new skills on how to handle my own emotions, particularly “anger”. This is probably something most learned in childhood, but I was such an “emotional child” (annoyingly sensitive I’ve been told!) it was easier for my family to not deal with my emotions, to perhaps “pacify” me. I am NOT blaming anyone, I believe my parents, my family, myself, we all did our best. But what worked then (well, it really didn’t even work then either), no longer works and is not appropriate.
I have spent the last couple months stuck in anger. This wasn’t the first time this has happened, the last time it was this severe was a few months after my sister died. I ended up hospitalized with such. I have made many changes in my life, I have consistently improved upon myself, and the quality of my life, my choices, the people in it. I’ve created a safe, loving, peaceful (for the most part) life for myself. But what good are these changes, learning how to set boundaries, recognizing when I’m being taken for granted, standing up for myself, and all the changes I’ve made if I don’t go “all the way” and change my OWN inappropriate behavior?!? I am the only one who can do this for myself! Anger scares me – my own and others. Certainly I can learn new skills! My life, my relationships will improve. Particularly when circumstances and opportunities to which the only control I have is how I handle myself! Yup! It’s time.
Tell those you love how much they mean to you. Forgive others who trespass against you. Forgive yourself. If you can’t say it, write it, or say it with flowers, or sweets. To quote Nike….. Just do it!