This is how I remember my childhood. Or atleast a good portion of it. My memory really stinks but sometimes I’ll catch a glimpse of my past every once in awhile. I was trying to find a picture of my mom, since I needed to blog about her. I found this instead, and it’s just as good. My mom’s guitar case, I used to play in it…or sometimes I would use it as a hard surface to build houses with playing cards…that’s something I forgot until I saw this photo.
My feelings about my mom are like a rollercoaster, one that was built by some demented guy that wanted to play a mean joke on me. Seriously, it’s really hard to have to continue on in life and not be able to have your mom there. When I am mad at her, I can’t yell at her (and she can’t defend herself). She’s not here to do something loving and motherly that makes me forget all the times she screwed up (as we all do). I find that I end up revisiting old issues that I had with her that I can no longer reconcile with her. It seems unfair at times. I had a couple of things happen though in the past week that I found very healing. I hope this feeling sticks around, but I’m pretty sure the rollercoaster engineer allows for me to continue to have to process this stuff, but for now I will enjoy the reprieve and positivity.
It all started when I read a devotion….yes, I read a devotion. My relationship with religion will have to be saved for another post….as my therapist says we get inspiration from all places, and I will agree with that. I read all kinds of stuff from all kinds of places, including the bible. So, this devotion is called Life is Short and the bible verse is from Psalm 90:12 “Teach us how short our lives really are so that we may be wise.” It goes on to quote a pastor, “Think of a straight line stretching into infinity on either end. Anywhere on the line, place a dot, smaller than a pinprick. That is your life, your ‘threescore and ten’ years Moses spoke of.” There was some other stuff thrown in as well, but I get out of it what I want to get out of it, so I will just pull one last quote from the devotion that said, “No wonder Moses’ prayer was for wisdom to live a fulfilling and purposeful life in the brief time allotted to mankind.”
In that moment I started to see my life a little different, or at least a story I had been telling myself was now rewritten. I have absolutely been trying to find more value in my life, to take ownership and appreciate all of it, the good and the bad, the mundane and the exciting. I know that I am able to focus like this now because of my past. I wondered what I would be like today if my mom hadn’t died. I was wild and carefree, I matured about 20 years in the matter of 6 months….okay 10 years in 6 months, it took me a couple years to make up the other 10 years. But I grew up fast, I wasn’t carefree anymore. At the time I figured it was a good thing that I “grew up”, looking back I think I may have gone too far on the other side of that extreme and could probably use some more fun and to loosen up a little. Anyhow, my point is, that I don’t know that I would appreciate how truly short life is if my mom hadn’t died. I know I would be a completely different person today, and I can speculate whether or not that would be better or worse, but for sake of loving who I am right now, I’m going to pretend that whoever I would have been would have been worse and therefore my mother’s death was a gift from her to me so that I could live this life with a little more wisdom and sense of purpose.
I said there was a couple of things that happened in the last week, the second thing was a dream I had. Now, I have an interesting past when it comes to dreams, especially about my mom. My dreams that came to me during the weeks following her death were like nothing I ever experienced before. I had dreams that were entirely audible, a phone ringing, but everything is black and she’s on the other end. I dreamt of her a lot, a lot of times I was confused in my dreams because I was still adjusting to her being gone. That is the feeling I am used to. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any significant dreams about her, but this week I finally did…and it was a wonderful, healing dream.
It was simple, I don’t even remember the visuals of the dream, I don’t remember what I was doing, who I was with….I just remember that I heard her singing, it took me a moment to realize it was her. She was singing Follow Me, by John Denver, one of the songs I remember most when I was a kid. For as much as she sang it though, I still couldn’t tell you all of the lyrics, which is why it took me a minute to recognize the song (mind you all the lyrics that I still can’t remember were there in my dream, and I didn’t have to wait until the chorus to recognize it or my mom’s voice). What I loved about this dream was that I realized it was my mom singing to me, and there was no confusion, no panic to try to find her or where it was coming from, just absolute healing peace, knowing that she was with me. It really is one of the best things that has happened for me on the inside since she died. I haven’t even told my sisters about it because I hate crying and that would be required if I ever had to verbally tell the story. I just want to make sure that it’s documented so I don’t ever forget, a little reminder when my rollercoaster takes a dive again. Love you mom.
***This blog post can also be found at: http://shirleypurdy.com/finding-memories/