Mother’s Day Grief

Mother’s Day is a difficult day for me. I miss my mom a great deal. Mom died in 1997; if she were alive today, she would’ve been 68 yesterday. Mother’s Day is always the double whammy of her birthday and Mother’s Day either on the same day or within a day of one another. This year was better than usual, I took my grandma to lunch and then went to a plant sale with her. At least I spent part of it doing something mom would enjoy. She always loved Olive Garden and she would want Grandma to be shown love especially on Mother’s Day.

My mom Jane

My Daughter Sydney
In addition to missing mom, I think of my daughter Sydney, who died when she was just one day old. Sydney was born prematurely at only 6 and a half months. If she’d lived she would be 25 this year. I’d be mom to a 25 year old. She would have graduated from college by now as a beautiful young woman. There are really three days of the year when I think of her most; her birthday December 23rd, Christmas eve when she died, and Mother’s Day. I try to take solace in the fact that my mom and dad are with her in heaven and they are surrounding both of us in their love.

I love you mom and dad, and I love you Sydney.

A Mother’s Love and My Mother’s Message
*Note When I finished this post a few minutes ago I took a break. When I came back into the room I felt compelled to pick up a book I’ve been reading called Chocolate for a Woman’s Blessings By Kay Allenbaugh. I opened the book to a story called Que Sera Sera. This story was about a woman who had a rough day. She was thinking about her mom and how much she missed talking to her, since her loss two years before.

She went to work the next day and spoke to a friend who told her she’d received a message from her mom the previous evening. (They determined the message came at the same time she was thinking of her mom and missing her.) Her mom had come to her friend from spirit and said, “Everything will work out, I love you.” Then the song Que Sera Sera popped into the woman’s head. She told her friend, who was missing her mom of the entire experience.

When she heard the message and especially the song she felt a warmth flood her and she began crying. The song had been one of her mother’s favorites. I know there is no coincidence in finding that very story five minutes after writing this post about missing my mom on this Mother’ Day. I know she is with me, loving me and letting me know in this moment of uncertainty in my life that everything will work out and that she loves me. Thank you Mom, I feel your love. Happy Mother’s Day.

I feel stressed

We All Have Moments of Stress
I feel stressed. We all have moments when we feel like the proverbial cat hanging by it’s claws, wondering if we can hold on. I’m there today. Anyone there with me? I seriously had the image of a cartoon cat hanging on for dear life in my mind’s eye today as I drove. I nearly laughed out loud. It helped to relieve my stress, visualizing the cartoon cat. it brought me some much needed comic relief as I drove.

Cat in a tree
Photo Credit starrynight1

My aunt Joan died this week, and today was her funeral. It was a sad day for myself and my family. She was strong, upbeat and had a great sense of humor. In fact her sense of humor was still at it’s best a few days ago in the hospital. She is greatly missed and loved.

Care Giver
On top of her loss, I am helping to take care of my grandmother until I accept a job overseas. She has been having some issues with pain lately and that adds stress on both her and myself. I want her to feel good and have good quality of life. It’s hard to see her in pain.

A New Beginning
It’s hard too as a 49 year old woman to feel like your life is not your own. I love grandma, yet it’s time for me to accept a job overseas. In fact a few days ago as I visited Joan in the hospital she asked me where I thought I’d like to retire. I laughed out loud. I shared with her that another close friend asked me a couple weeks ago where I’d like to be in five years. I think I laughed then too. Seriously, I’d like to know where I will be working and living in FIVE MONTHS. I own a home so I have that security, but really at this point, who knows where I’d like to be in five years. One thing I know for certain is that I want to be a published author in the next couple of years. That along with overseas teaching is a huge priority.

Where Do You Want to Be in Five Years?
Where I want to be in five years and where I want to retire are both serious questions. They have a time and place in each of our lives. This is just not my moment for contemplating five years down the road. I have no idea where the hell I will be in five months. I am looking at jobs around the globe, countries I love, where I feel comfortable, and that are dog friendly. That is my priority in this moment.

Romantic and Fun
I’m looking for fun to return to my life. After years of handling my dad’s estate, his home and then buying my own I’m ready to work abroad again, travel and share my life with a man I love. I’d also like to drink a few Mojito’s somewhere in the world. Sane, romantic and fun, just not the cat hanging on by it’s claws. Anyone else with me?

What Inspires You?

Anytime we are healing it’s important to have something in our life that inspires us to go on.

In times of healing it is helpful to focus our attention on what we love, on what brings joy to our heart and things that bring us comfort.

Inspiration Takes Many Forms
Inspiration is different for all of us. We find joy and comfort in individual ways. For some it is having a quiet space to think, pray, write or read. For others inspiration comes from time in nature; with walks in the park or time tinkering in the garden. For some it’s simply sitting on a porch enjoying the view and having a few minutes of time to regroup. Where do you find your inspiration?

Give Yourself Permission
As we heal we need to allow ourselves time to do what we love.

What Do You Love To Do?

Find your special activity and allow it to soothe you. Allow it to bring you pleasure.

 My Healing

As I healed my losses my heart began wishing for international travel. A year after my mom died I began the process to apply for international jobs. I’d lived overseas before my mom became ill and I knew it was where my heart would sing. I knew it was the one pleasure that would help to heal my grief, and help me accept my loss. I knew it would bring me joy again.

Having lost my mother when she was only 53 I knew how precious life was. I knew without a doubt how important it was to follow my dreams and pursue my passion. I knew my mom wanted me to be happy. I knew she wanted me to live a joyful life. It was time to step out of my comfort zone again and pursue my love of travel and international living.

Due to the nature of international teaching it is a process to acquire a position. I began that process in Nov 1998. My mom died the previous fall, on Oct 29th, 1997. I applied through two agencies and attended fairs in two different cities. At the time I went through the job fair process I lived on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. I accepted a job at the June job fair of Search Associates in Washington D.C. and left for Berlin, Germany just one month later in July, 1999.

A New Beginning

Lunch in Coastal Spain

Enjoying lunch with a friend and trying new foods in a foreign country is a passion of mine.

Healing My Mom’s Loss Took Years
It was a process. I saw a therapist weekly for six months. I’m not suggesting that doing what you love is going to take away your loss. It’s simply going to help you find your way through your loss.

The Irony of Healing

Our Experiences Can Overwhelm Us
There are times when our experiences overwhelm us. When what we face and experience feels like more than we can handle.  A couple weeks ago I had a strong feeling to write about the healing that had taken place for me this past year after the end of my relationship.  When I wrote my previous post  spirit gave me about two good hours to soak up a feeling of having really made progress in my healing and then WHAM, I got slammed with another wave of loss and pain.

I was stunned to learn this man, who I had loved, had married the previous day. He didn’t even have  enough respect for me to tell me himself. Does that surprise me? Yes and no. Yes, because I expected  more from a man who professed to love me just one year ago. I would have also expected a basic respect for the relationship we shared.

In Retrospect
In retrospect there were times in our relationship when I felt he didn’t know how to respect a woman fully.  When I felt disrespected and told him that. In that realization, I’m sad and angry. It makes me sad to realize he didn’t learn from the mistakes. Respect is not negotiable.  It was his responsibility to tell me himself that he was getting married.

What Have I Learned?
I’ve learned that there are men who simply don’t understand when they’re disrespectful to the people in their life. What I will say is that the karma of his behavior and the way he treated me will someday touch his heart. We can never make choices and hurt people without knowing that hurt and that pain ourselves at some time in the future. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve felt it happen in my own life.

Well Wishes
I wish him well, I truly do. I’ve been married. I understand the commitment of marriage. I wish the best for anyone who makes that kind of commitment in their life. For me I’m finding peace and releasing my pain. There are men who know how to completely respect women. I’ve been in relationships with men who are deeply loving and respectful. In the last two weeks since I received this news, I heard from someone I dated almost 20 years ago and his thoughtful comment about what I’d done for him, and what it meant to him was God’s way of reminding me,  there are men who actually appreciate the energy, love and kindness I bring to a relationship. That was the reminder I needed after this experience.