Monday, February 9, 2015

A Cup of Tea with Mom

Over the last 4 years, I have been blessed with bonus quality time with both of my parents. I have found it truly amazing that it only takes a cup of tea and some alone time and all of a sudden I am transported back in time with them...Feeling and learning more about who they really are. 

Traditionally, a Father will walk his daughter down the isle at her wedding.  I decided to ask both my mom and dad to walk me down the isle a couple years ago.  My mom so innocently asks me "Can you do that?  Is that allowed?"  I happily fill her in...yes, mom, I can do whatever I want.  She was thrilled...

Then, the fall.  A call from my dad.  "Your mother fell.  She broke her hip and her shoulder, they are transporting her up to Dartmouth"  We were in the car within minutes.  Surgery they told us...worry, fear...sadness.  Yet, for my mom, I began to realize her amazing strength and will.  She was determined to walk me down the isle at the wedding.(even though I told her we could decorate a wheel chair, and she would look awesome!) .  Day after day, workout after workout, at 86 my mom showed tremendous dedication and vision.  Yes, a few months later she walked me down the isle at my wedding.  Tears of joy in all our eyes.

My moms story, and strength continues to amaze me.  I have learned more about where this determination and strength has come from, through small snipets of time carved out by circumstance...or is it fate...and a cup of tea.

As she sits in front of me, she shares the story of walking into her bedroom after elementary school time and time again, to see her mother in her bedroom, staring at a baby picture on the wall and crying.  The picture was of her brother Russell, born before my mom.   He died at 9 months...As a young girl...what else would you think other than this: She didn't want me, she wanted him.  Why did they even have me?  hurt, broken, sad....disconnected from her mom...and dad... 

Flash forward in time, 19 years old, my mom is a freshman at college.  On her own for the first time.  Worried about leaving her mom, but was reassured by her that she should go.  Her brother calls her: "You have to come home, mom is dead...committed suicide".  My moms first thoughts?  I should have never left home to come here"  She takes another sip of her tea...I went home to take care of my father she tells me...and what happens next?  He takes his own life too...I was lost, My older brother off at war, I was alone.

My thoughts go to all the things that we do today when life falls apart on us...drink, drugs, gamble, eat, shop, sex, exercise...Not my mom...

A good friend and a plane ticket, 1/2 way around the world they go to Hawaii.  Their plans are to work at different places around the world.  In Hawaii they work at the YWCA...too bad her friend falls in love and their journey is cut short.  Now what?  I, this is a sign to travel down a bad path again...NO...not for mom...Off to Tufts she goes...and meets my dad. :)  Insert happy face here!

It is now that her past begins to haunt her.  In a time where psycho therapy is taboo, she realizes her need....there has to be more to life she thinks.  She sees people being happy and decides to find her way there.  She seeks help to fight her inner demons and works her way slowly back to herself.

As she shares this story, I am amazed at her resilience and strength.  The knowledge, insight, and persistence to know that there had to be more to life, and the guts to ask for help when she needed it...shows you how strong she really is...all 4'10" of her.  Petite Package...astounding strength.

This one is for you mom...I love you, and am so grateful you chose to take me home to be your daughter.

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