Thank you for being part of our journey these 3 years! We've so appreciated all your kind words and visits. Onward and upward with our journey!
Sunday, August 4, 2013
My Mother's Last Words
Dear My Toy Garden friends,
Uncle Allen was gone. One of those fluke things. A spot was noticed on his lung. A routine biopsy and, in a blink, he was gone. The sad phones calls began to share the news with family and friends. Who would tell Aunt Verina though?
"Not I," said the son.
"Not I," said the daughter. Who? No one wanted to call and tell my mom that her brother had passed away.
My mother, the youngest in her family of five, lived a very challenging life growing up. Years of abuse on many levels had left her with emotional scars that are so hard to heal. Her explosive outbursts toward family in fast food restaurants, grocery stores and special gatherings had led to a very cautious approach of her. After many years of seeking to understand her, to support her and to love her in spite of the anger, I choose to distance myself. Sadly the distance grew not only from her but from the rest of my family as well.
Years passed...I became a mom....Uncle Allen was gone. A chance to come home to visit...perhaps reconnect. Dare I? Could things be different? Could a daughter feel her mother's love at long last? Mom learned of his passing and, to the amazement of all, behaved admirably....calling on his wife with her regrets....visiting the funeral home to say her goodbyes...all without a moment of drama. A major, major milestone for her. I was so proud...so very proud as I knew how very difficult it must have been for her. So proud I wanted her to know. Not in a letter. Not on the phone but with my eyes. With my heartfelt words. Perhaps this could begin to melt the ice between us.
With my infant daughter asleep in the backseat, I took a deep breath and slowed at her home. The rocks scattering beneath my tires, the car came to a stop. My heart like a butterfly trapped in a shoebox. A pause of my hand on the car door handle and a deep breath, I took the first step toward the house. As my hand raised to knock, the door opened and there she was. Wow. Had that many years really passed? Mom. With a quiver in my voice, the words rushed out, "Mom. I'm so proud of you." The sentences tumbled out as I attempted to tell her what I so wished for her to hear. Hope perching on my shoulder. I finished. The silence stretched around my heart. And then....bam. There it was just as I'd seen so many times before. Her anger. Swelling and gushing and swelling again...a storm of words intended to hurt. I stumbled off the steps and to my car her final words like arrows behind me. "Get the h... out of my house. Get the h...out of my life and don't ever f.... come back." My Mom's last words I heard.
I share this story this week for those like me and I've learned over the years that there are many of you out there. Those like me who are truly happy for people who get to enjoy the sweet experience of close family but whose hearts ache when they see family picnics, Mother's day gushes on Facebook, are invited to weddings of friends with rich family traditions. For those like me who long for their children to enjoy a large close family but know it can't ever be. Such a tangled web of emotions there are. To you, like me, I want to say, you are not alone. While friends can never fully take the place of your family, you are loved and you are important to many people out there. You are wonderful just the way you are no matter what your family is like. Bless and release but know that you are human and it's okay for the tears to fall from time to time.
I share this story this week for those of you who do enjoy amazing families so that you can be aware of those around you and perhaps notice the pain on another's heart so that you can offer a hug, a smile, a loving word of comfort. You can make a difference.
Most importantly, I share this story with you this week to help you understand that My Toy Garden is about so much more than selling toys. I so desire for children today to grow up connected to their families and to feel unconditional love. Love that comes from spending quality time with one another like playing a game, playing catch, doing a puzzle, caring for one another. In this rush, rush, rush world we choose to immerse ourselves in, what truly matters to you? What example are you setting for the children in your life? Let's make the most of today so the tomorrows will be full of love for all.