My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

There is so much beautiful sentiment floating around Facebook today that one can't help but feel somewhat... well, sentimental. I adore all the photos of moms in their youth... the "mommy and me" pics... the happy families. Say what you will about social media but it does my heart good to feel the love that's out there.

There is also a palpable ache from those who never had the chance to hold their own little one in their arms... those whose mothers are no longer with them... those who haven't known the love of a happy family and I share in that grief, too. Not because it has been my experience but because nobody cries alone in my presence! Just like Valentines Day leaves us single folks out... Mother's Day can be exclusive and I'm sorry for that. I know what it's like to not be Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

For me... I got up this morning and put my rarely used cellphone on the charger in anticipation of phone calls from my long distance children. Ryan called first and Cody checked in just a few minutes later. They're so similar in so many ways - even when to call Mommy on Mother's Day. I had a nice chat with Ryan about what books he's reading - he's a big bookworm like his mom. Cody was planning a trip to Oakland Cemetery with his wife's family so I got to share from my historical knowledge of this old Atlanta cemetery. Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind is buried there. And then when Austin got up - noonish - he wished me a Happy Mother's Day and fulfilled my one request - for a pitcher of sweet tea.

I was really shocked when I heard the dogs going nuts upstairs and realized that we had a delivery ON A SUNDAY! It was a dozen Shari's Berries - these amazing huge strawberries dipped in different chocolate toppings - from Cody and Marquee. I snagged a picture from their website - they are gorgeous and taste SO good! I had one for breakfast and one for lunch and just as soon as the two pieces of Papa's Pizza that I had for dinner settle down a little, I'm probably going to have another one and wash it down with my sweet tea! The berries came in a box that the kitties are really enjoying so it's a gift that keeps on giving!

Other than those indiscretions... I had pancakes with strawberries (not dipped in chocolate) for breakfast and cantaloupe for lunch. The evil gut pain is worse when I have a full belly so I try to eat smaller meals - a nibble here and a nibble there - but that's not possible with pizza. I just. can't. stop!

I'm always so grateful for feedback from you guys and I try to respond as best I can. I *try* to be honest and transparent here and I try to keep things positive because nobody likes a Gloomy Gus. It's helpful for me to look for highlights of my life to share with you because it helps me look for the bright side of things. And when things aren't bright and shiny it helps me to articulate my thoughts and feelings. I started blogging to share the trials and victories of weight loss and I continued blogging to share the trials and victories of life as a single mom. Along the way some of you got interested in my life and some of you who knew me but didn't always know what was going on in my life have been able to know more about what's going on. That's all hugely valuable to me - I mean, life altering, life sustaining stuff for me. I can't emphasize enough how much YOU matter to me. Every thought you share is important to me and I want to validate your questions and concerns as best I can.

I say all that to explore a little more deeply some of the thoughts I brought up in the post from the other day about "Getting Through Saturday". The idea being that the followers of Jesus spent the time in between the crucifixion and resurrection not really knowing what was going to happen. Not to elevate my problems with His sacrifice in any way - but to identify with the fears and doubts and frustration of being in the midst of the unknown. I was asked the following:

1. what happens to you when you think the thought 'i'm impotent'? how do you treat yourself? how do you interact with others? what is your life like with that thought?

-who would you be without the thought 'i'm impotent'? just for a moment pretend you can't have that thought in your life. what would it be like? at home, with family, with friends, in the world. how would you act different?

When you feel impotent it's hard to justify any expenditure on your behalf. I really struggled with the expense of going out to dinner for my birthday because my parents have been so generous to me already and I didn't want to cost them any more money. In the past I've seen celebration meals as a reward for hard work. I'm not working hard. It's a huge adjustment to go from single mom working two jobs and juggling all that entails to being someone who has very few responsibilities. I had my first baby at 18 - being a mom was what I did, my identity. It just happened that my kids came to adulthood at the same time that I became unable to work. Everything that I had used to identify myself went away at the same time. It's hard to know how to define myself in this stage of life. It's hard to know what role I fill. 

All that being said... I DO know that I'm an awesome aunt. I know that my girls value their time with me and enjoy being around me. I had aunts who made me feel special and that's how I treat the girls - like they're special. Jamie told her mama that she loved me because I'm "caring". I do care about them and love spoiling them and watching tv with them and hearing about their lives. I know that when they're grown they'll remember our time together because I remember my time with my aunts and how they went the extra mile for me. 

At some point, whether or not my disability claim is approved there will be a next chapter. I think a lot about how I can sustain myself and not be a  burden on my family even though there are very few things I can consistently do. Sometimes the question isn't so much if I am disabled, to the definition of Social Security as whether or not I'm employable. Because there are so many things that potentially sideline me - headaches and respiratory issues and all the back stuff - it's hard for me to do anything consistently. I have to find ways to contribute to my world that don't require me to make any kind of commitment to a deadline or time clock. 

Here's the second part: a burden to your family you say you are. have you asked them if they feel you are? for someone so burdensome they appear very happy around you, wanting to celebrate you. have you considered that you give them much greater things than lifting heavy boxes?

My family will tell you that I'm not a burden but yet there are real expenses that someone has to pay if I don't pay them. My food stamps don't last a full month. My prescriptions cost around $75-$100 a month. It costs money to keep my car insured and for me to visit the pain doctor and I don't always have money to cover those things. Somebody keeps the lights on here and makes sure we have toilet paper and so forth. Nobody here is bitter or resentful. My parents are generous people and they take good care of me and always have. It's hard for me to ask for help and I will never get past the mentality that I'm an adult and should be paying my way. Do I give them greater things than physically being able to help out? In some ways, yes, but also I've got to say that a lot of times I struggle to be cheerful and don't feel sociable. When you're in pain it's hard to be Little Miss Sunshine. I'm not good company most of the time. 

Lastly, and relationships, many many single parents there are out there like us. this is not bc there is something wrong with you. are all single ladies defective?

Are all single ladies defective? Aren't we all, in some way, carrying some sort of baggage? After my first marriage I was less aware of issues that myself and other folks had. I didn't hide my head in the sand but I was willing to overlook a lot. My second marriage was the first time in my life I had really been exposed to someone who was mean just for sport. My first husband was passive and uninvolved but he was rarely mean and never really TRIED to hurt me. Being raised in a loving family as the only girl sheltered me to a degree. I thought that people who loved each other just accepted each other's faults. What I went through in my second marriage made me less willing to enter into a relationship if I couldn't be above reproach. I got picked apart for everything I did and everything I was. I've been broken emotionally before but this is the first time I've had to deal with being broken physically. I don't trust anyone to be able to carry those burdens. In this time of uncertainty I can't risk any more variables in my life such as wondering about the state of a relationship. I've seen a lot of folks make it work in their second or third marriage and I'm happy for those happily ever afters. I'm just not open to that in my life right now. 

So that's it. It takes a lot for me to dig deep and articulate the things that hit closest to my heart. It's healthy and good to think about these things and I always find that I'm not alone in my thoughts and experiences so it's worth it to share. 

Hope you've had a lovely Mother's Day and a great weekend! Love and hugs, y'all! 


Anonymous said...

This is a most beautiful post. i love so your honesty and reflection. you have a wonderful family who loves and supports you as you do them. i understand the pain and limitations. so difficult I find it. you are taking steps that are healthy for you and your body which will reduce pain. Weigh loss, planning your day, learning to ask for help will alleviate your pain. you are a wonderfully joyous person. i so enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

You know what can help you tighten that corset even tighter? A nice, hot, soapy enema. Hold it in as long as possible, then release. There doesn't that feel better? Do this once or twice a week and that corset will get tighter and tighter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a heartfelt post! God bless!