I woke up early this morning, and was able to think. There is a distinct difference between thinking, and having thoughts. Thank you Chemo for teaching me that difference.
A lot of thoughts came rushing in, once I had my coffee. Most of them were pictures of my past, and mainly my Mother.
Pieces of the path that helped make me who I am today. She was such a strong woman. I don’t recall seeing her sit much, and if she was napping, it meant she had worn herself out. The same with crying. She would hide somewhere and weep, and if my siblings, or myself, heard her weeping, something was big time wrong. My daughter sees me cry quite often, and I’m glad.
My Mother grew up as an only child. Her Mother was of small stature; maybe 5 feet tall. Her Father was a big man, and stood soundly at over 6 feet tall. My Mother was built like her Father, so this ain’t good. She was told, her birth was so traumatic on her Mother’s body, her Mother couldn’t have anymore kids. She grew up believing it was her fault she was an only child.
What a burden to carry. I think because of this, she thought she had to be everything to everybody. I’ve seen a lot of similarities between my Mother, and me over the years. The first time I went through the ‘Letting Go’ process, I looked at what I learned growing up, and if that served me today. I loved my Mother, but I saw areas in me that needed to change.
My Father was an alcoholic, and so am I. My Grandmother, Mother, and Sister all had Breast Cancer, and so do I. Some traits we inherit, or call it genetics. We might not can change that, but we can change what continues. God is a master at breaking chains, and strongholds, so through Him, we can choose what is good to pass on to our generation.
I didn’t quit. I stopped it dead in it’s tracks.
My Mother waited until all four of us kids were grown, and then she left my Dad. He bought her a beautiful house, with everything we didn’t have growing up. Air conditioning was one of those things, and this new house had that. Her walking away pissed me off in more ways than one. This new house had everything she could ever want, but it didn’t have that one thing she craved.
It still lacked love, and acceptance of who she wanted to be. She was tired.
I was the same age as her when I walked out of mine. That was my first clue that something needed to change, and it was probably me. Mother stayed strong, and stubborn till her death, but I wanted a different ending to my story. I wanted a story filled with love, and goodness. I refused to allow my daughter to grow up, and not see her Mama truly loved.
Strong will get you through, but soft will get you more.
I walked into the bathroom this morning, and noticed a package of toilet paper sitting on the counter. It was being advertised as ‘Soft and Strong.’ I thought, “Well heck! If a roll of toilet paper can be that, then surely I can too!” I am hoping God sees me as more than something we use to wipe with.
I will fast forward to the end. My Mother’s funeral. I believe she gave of herself her whole life. She was always busy, and helped anyone at the drop of a hat. She gave, but she sucked at receiving. From the simplest compliment, all the way to, “I can do this myself’ mentality. The people that came to her funeral, were the people that felt indebted to her.
We need to receive as much as we give. This is what fuels our flame, and gives us even more to give. Maya Angelou said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I hope a lot of people are at my funeral, and not because of what I did, or who I was, but how I made them feel.