May 6, 2011

My Mother's Heart

I am laying by my pool catching some sun, fully sun screened to, fingers crossed, prevent reliving my mother's history of skin cancer.  Damien Rice is playing on my iPod and I am wondering if my headphones are about to short out from the tears that are cascading from my eyes, running past my temples and pooling in my ears.  I have been crying since 7:42 this morning.  It is now noon thirty.  I have time as I tan to think about my heart and the place in it that is invulnerable to devastation by anyone but my child. 

This last year, my heart was smashed, shattered, broken, bruised and beaten.  I thought that every cell of my heart had been through the wringer and had survived.  Until this morning.  One wrong deed, one well intentioned communication and I have been disowned, disarmed and dissed.  Unfriended and now, it seems, unloved because I am imperfect and because he is seventeen.  My heart is now broken in a wholly different way.

I broke my Mother's heart, I imagine, more than I will ever know.  As the youngest daughter of three, I was the only one left to live with Mom, just the two of us, during my teen years. I'll never know what I did, but one summer I did something bratty or selfish or ungrateful and she went for two weeks without speaking a word to me. I had broken her heart, it seems, one too many times.  She and I became friends as I grew into motherhood with my own children and she forgave me long before she died.  As my own heart breaks today, I feel her nearby, understanding the hurt in my mother's heart and I am grateful to her for how she lived her life despite years of devastating pain from my Dad and then from me.  My mother fought to remain cheerful, loving, funny and full of life.  If she had bitterness in her heart, I never saw it.   


Now very sad and crying in the sun, I think about my heart and the place in it that may never heal because he will always be my child.  No matter what he does or doesn't do, says or doesn't say, I can't and won't stop loving him. The place in my heart that came to be at the birth of my first child will stay vulnerable to the pain this child can inflict.   But like my mother, I will not let my heart be protected by bitterness even if it is years before this child and I reconcile or it's on my deathbed that we come to peace.

Happy Mother's Day, Beverly Jean.  I miss you.

7 comments:

Trisha said...

What a beautiful wordsmith you are.I'm moved to tears and feel your pain as well. The "kill Mommy" adventure goes on and on in my own home. Worst advice I've ever received? "Don't let them hurt your feelings." As if.

Shannon Seeley said...

Thank you, Trisha! Getting unwanted advice is a risk I take when posting something this painful so I really appreciate your comment and your comfort. Happy Mother's Day, whatever that looks like.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog and it touched my heart. I don't know what it's like to be a Mother and have your heart broken. I am a Father and have had my heart broken, but must be honest with both myself and you to admit it isn't a comparison. Your words didn't touch me because it reminded me of the times my girls have broken my heart, but it did remind me of the times I broke my Mother's heart. All the hurtful things I did and said were brought on by her .. because she didn't understand me .. because all the angst I had inside was too complicated for her .. because I was too cool to hug her. I looked pretty cool in my South High letter jacket. Although when I look at my old pictures now I looked like a punk. It took me a long time to realize that I was a fool. My Mother wasn't perfect, but her love was. She's old now, and age hasn't been kind to her mind. But I love to hug her now .. and your post will make me hug her longer.

The Black Swan said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for stumbling upon my blog. I am deeply honored that my words have touched you and because of them your sweet Mom will get a longer hug from the son I know she deeply loves despite her memories having faded. I still have my South High letter jacket, and although I doubt I ever looked cool in it, having been for Forensic Speech, it does help me feel close to the home I once shared with my sweet Mom.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can find comfort as you wait for your Son to realize what a wonderful gift a Mother's Love is.

Anonymous said...

Trisha I can not tell or express how much your words hit home for me on so many different levels. (My story is a long roller coaster of events & would take forever to explain how your words on all the different levels hit home so just take my word for it ;)I was Inet hopping for support groups, discussions and for whatever reason clicked on your link. (Probably the desert dweller name, I was living in the desert with hubby when he passed)Thank you so much for sharing what you have and for being so very brave in doing it!!! For the first time ever in 2 3/4 years I actually considered the idea that it's not ok what's happened with my daughter & I, and I don't deserve the constant torture & pain because of my mistakes following my hubby's death. His death literally ripped our family apart and until today I firmly believed & thought because I wasn't strong enough to hold the 3 of us together, (I have one bio daughter & one daughter/gift from my hubby's previous marriage I raised like my own for 9 years, it's my bio daughter I am referring to)I deserved all these things happening and that I should just accept it. Your words made me think different today for the first time. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As I am finally allowing myself to grieve his death (almost 3 years later)as well as my step daughter having to live with her bio~mom after 9 years of being ours & then watching my bio daughter move out for the 2nd time in January since his death, I am getting to a place where I may be able to feel as well say, this is not right and I love you yes, more than life itself, but I don't deserve such pain and torment, from anyone. I am stronger & healthier now than I have been in almost 3 years and as I am experiencing one eye opener after another each day, your words were like a slice of sunshine in a pouring rain today, thank you.

The Black Swan said...

Dear June 9 Anonymous.

I am so grateful that you stumbled upon my blog! I can hear the pain and the hope in your words and my writer's heart is more than honored that my words touched you. I don't write often but please come back, share this with friends, read my older posts and I look forward to hearing how your journey opens up for you as I continue my own.

Shannon - The Desert Dweller