May 11, 2014

I'm thinking about it now | Mother's Day 2014

 “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” - Anne Lamott

I miss my Mom, and there is very little I can do about it. To be honest, I try not to think about the gaping hole she left in our lives when she passed away. My brain can't compute the incredible permanency of death, I just can't believe that there is nothing that I can do about it. In part, I think this is what our culture tells us - you don't like something, change it. If you want something you don't have, there are about a million things you can do to get it. We can change our bodies, our wallets, our homes, our cars, nearly every worldly possession. We are told, if you don't like it, change it. I also tend to be a control freak headstrong, and like to be grounded and in control in situations that are problematic. I have relaxed quite a bit over the last 5 years, but I'm still most comfortable when I can assess a situation, problem solve, plan, and execute solutions. I like to feel prepared.


So when I think about my Mom, the creative beautiful human being that she was, and I think about the fact that she's literally not here anymore....my brain just can't fully wrap around it. I can't problem solve it and put it to bed. I'm left with a constant state of unrest, and I don't think I'll ever feel grounded in the reality of it. 

As I've gotten older, and thought more about who my mother was, I've started seeing her in a different light. We're all a million things, complex creatures with layers that we choose to show or hide or pretend aren't there. She was incredible, and I wish we could have had more time to understand each other as adults. Reflecting on my time with her, new things start to emerge. The uncomfortable thing is that most of my questions will go unanswered, and there will always be a mystery about her story. 

Like I said, I don't like to think about it much. Because when I do I'm filled with such a soul-crushing sadness that I don't know what to do. I feel utterly helpless, and I hate that feeling. 


I recently came across a beautiful word - Saudade. It is a Portuguese word that has no direct English translation, but is described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone. It describes an emptiness, like someone or something that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and their absence is felt with a mixture of happiness and sadness. Happiness at the thought of them, sadness at the realization that they are no longer there. This sums me up perfectly when I think about my Mom. 

Dear Mom, 
I love the way you always signed your cards and letters "All My Love" - because I really felt like you meant it. I am so grateful for the sacrifices you made and the energy you put into being a good mother. I look back and see a woman who loved her children with a ferocity and intention. You raised us girls to recognize and honor acts of love, and instilled a deep gratitude and resiliency that is in me today. I am truly heartbroken at your absence, and the distance between us feels great. I like to think that your creativity lives in me, and every time I pick up my camera, or tell a story, or sing a song, or create delicious meals, that you are peeking out and giving me a little wave of encouragement. I will always remember you in these moments. And especially on days like today. I love you so much. 
Love, Jessica



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