These daily prompts make me dive into the deep pool of my mind and stir up some muck that had long settled to the bottom of my consciousness. I pass on many of the prompts because when I reach down to feel around in the mud my vision becomes unclear, I get lost in the murky waters and I wished I hadn’t started.
When it’s too much to share I try and let it sink back down and get on with NOW so the waters can settle and clear. I’ve had enough mulling things over to no conclusion.
Today’s prompt was a great example. Dig deep into those files of memories and try to remember the ‘wrongs’ I forgave. Most of them are still works in forgiving progress. My ex husband; I say I’ve forgiven him and try hard to act on that premise but digging deep….. the waters still get muddy. The women In my neighbourhood; they seem to love drama and feuding. I try really hard not to let it bother me but …. cloudy waters.
But today I’m writing this one. It’s my mother; I forgive my mother for being so hard on me. I don’t dwell on anything negative she may have said to me; I prefer only the good memories.
In my forties, I went to counselling to find out why my marriage was so bad but she first focused on my mother. I couldn’t figure out why she kept talking about my mother when I came to complain about my husband. It was a hard realization that I was comfortable with being put down; it felt like ‘home’.
It hurt back then. I asked my mom why she never complimented us. She said “I didn’t want you to grow up to be conceited.” Ah, the fifties…
But my mom had a really good excuse for being unkind sometimes; she had multiple sclerosis.
The first thing that happened was her eyes crossed. They just gave up looking and sank down, crossed. She couldn’t walk properly and it made her nauseous. It lasted a few weeks to a month , gradually getting back to normal. Over the years she started to feel numbness in her hands and legs. All the tests kept coming back negative and we were starting to think it was all in her head. She was still working full time in an office . We lived in an apartment so there wasn’t much to do and she liked the people she worked with. When she was finally diagnosed with MS she kept on working even though she was employed by an insurance underwriters and would have a good disability pension. She was going to beat this thing. She got into health foods long before it became popular. She learned yoga and meditation when other people thought all that was crazy. She really tried but the MS just went on it’s slow continuous decline.
Then my dad died of a heart attack. Her life mate, her partner, the one who will look after her is suddenly gone. Looking back now I can’t believe how strong she was.
A year or so later she was in the hospital for an assessment and met a farmer who was in for a hip replacement. They met in physiotherapy; he wanted to look after her. My sister and I were grown now and she didn’t want to be a burden to us so she married him and moved to a farm in a very rural area. She lived in that farm house 27 years. MS doesn’t kill you, it just keeps shutting down parts of your body, the auto-immune system is in overdrive and attacks the nervous system. It took years to go from the walker, to a wheel chair then mostly in bed unless carried to a wheel chair. Even then, her torso muscles couldn’t hold her up so it was tiring. The living room was her bedroom and life revolved around the bed.
Now I’m 61, the same age my dad died. The waters that hold my mother are completely clear. I know why she was mean sometimes. Hell, if I lived her life I would’ve been much worse. I didn’t have any kids, and she wouldn’t act that way in front of her grandchildren, so I could take it. I was used to it. I had big shoulders.
And we made up in a funny kind of way; she never liked taking medications that made her feel ‘whoosy’ so she never took anything that would take off the edge. She also swore she would rather die than go in a nursing home. When Earl broke his hip we had to put her in nursing home and surprise, surprise…… she loved it! It was a wonderful, little rural nursing home with an incredible staff and a special bathtub; a whirlpool with scents, music and photos of your loved ones projected onto the walls, and she got it twice a week. They found a medication she didn’t even know she was on; she was sailing. And nice! The hurt was gone, the hurting was gone.
I totally forgive anything mean my mom said to me in moments of frustration and pain. There was so much more good, so much more love to overcome all of the hurt. Now that I am older and appreciate my health so much more ,many thanks to her for instilling healthy habits, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to just live in bed at the mercy of others. She did an amazing job at keeping her life going against great odds. She was a loving, caring mom and grandmother and lived to see her first great grandchild. She died on her 80th birthday.
I love you, Mom, and I forgive all completely.