Friday, March 8, 2013

sadness of mother

The other night I was gleefully chatting with my husband over dinner one minute and putting my head down on the table in tears the next. I have been feeling so great lately, almost invinceable. But, with me, there is always a familiar sadness looming nearby…the sadness of being motherless. I have become quite adept, over the years, at distracting myself from its presence. But, once in a great while, I am overpowered—my body feels violently shaken, my lungs constricted, my mind kidnapped. In those moments, I wonder if I will ever be free of those feelings…those thoughts….those memories.

After a minute with my head on the table, and Alex telling me to "talk it out," I got up and walked into the next room to breathe. I turned back, tears in my eyes, to see Emerson looking up at me, so tiny and concerned. It occurred to me in that moment that someday she will be standing tall like me, in her own home, looking down on her own baby. I felt better knowing that when that day comes she won't have this heavy, unmovable stone in her chest, because she will have a different childhood than I did.

But, as Alex pointed out, I don't know that Emerson won't have some sort of sadness keeping her company throughout her life. I don't know what her burden will be, what will scar her, what will challenge her. That's the reality of human life—something I cannot protect my child(ren) from. All I can do is provide an example of strength and model the ability to cope and survive and feel joy regardless of the collection of bumps and bruises I've picked up along the way. And quite honestly, I'd rather my child have that kind of role model. I'd rather her see that we humans aren't perfect—that we are broken, and that's okay, because we can still thrive.

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