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.