This is a hard one to write.
Thinking about packing up and leaving you, I find myself wondering if I might have thoughts ands feelings similiar to how you felt when you left me with new babies after getting me through those first days. You know in your heart and mind that the pieces are in places to ensure that loving care is known by all, but nonetheless, circumstances are tricky. Mothers and daughters — a lifelong process of holding close and letting go. From my perspective you have lived that “dance” almost perfectly, even when it was hard (when I moved to Gainsborough.) Here, we only hugged a bit, once, after you vomited, but maybe our table graces allowed a spiritual hug that looked like this pic of Gina and I.
As long as I live I will treasure your wisdom that held me close when I needed it and let me go to find my way too.
I feel like I want to explain the bit about only hugging once. My Mom’s life convictions about being a good citizen led her to many great decisions and actions. When Covid came to be a reality she followed guidelines with utmost care, and she did as she was told, she hugged no-one. I almost don’t want to say this because it will fuel those who say that fear ruled people’s lives. Maybe it did for my Mom but it was fear fuelled by love for all. She wanted to be part of the solution. She also couldn’t risk becoming sick, she needed to have access to the cancer clinic and she was keeping herself ready for that. It was all very tricky. If you look at this with a critical eye you will say, “you sat beside her on her bed and gave her pills, you sat closely at her table, if you were going to give it to her, if you were carrying it, she would have got it.” That would likely be true. So the way this was handled wasn’t exactly consistent and didn’t truly make sense. This is, for me, where grace comes in, doing the best I could with what I had and extending grace, trusting that even if people are inconsistent they are doing the best they can. Did it hurt that my Mom wouldn’t hug me? Yes. Do I regret that? Yes. Did she spiritually hug me almost constantly……with her concern, interest, gratitude, and affirmation of me? Yes. I will hold on to that and celebrate the beautiful example of citizenship that my Mom was.
This postcard is the 12th in a series of 22 that were shared with my Mom in the fall of 2020 when she was battling cancer. I am sharing them as blog posts for two reasons, to keep my blog active when I am too busy to create fresh material, and to offer material that might draw us together around our common humanity, in a time when life is pretty hard for alot of people and conflict is so painful.
This photo was taken by Liz Griffin Photography as part of Gina’s grad formals session.