The cornucopia of life; all its glories, disappointments, joys and upheavals. Bring it.
How blessed we were to have her for seventy-seven years. Each birthday, celebration matters, whether she be here or not, for those we love, those who touched our lives, lives on infinitely.
Life holds such wonder, such pain. Mom’s birthday sparks both equally. The wonder of life, how we learn to meander and glide, while traipsing the precious and tender landscape.
I am getting married next month – a decision not made impulsively, kids, that I assure you. Divorced five years this December, thoughts of remarriage used to be right up there with root canals and scuba diving on what I’d-never-like-to-do-again-while-living-on-this-planet list.
Today I am happy. I am content and at peace with the person I am. Self-reflection, as brutal as it is, I highly recommend the pain. The outcome will surprise.
Yet, within my happiness and wonder, my upcoming nuptials are somewhat marred by a little issue called estrangement.
Estrangement is exhausting. To purposely keep silent, I choose not to anymore. It’s real and a part of my life. I do not dwell or languish in misery. I wish to educate and disseminate the shame. I’ve learned to cope with our estrangement on a daily basis. Certainly, triggers still rise and when they do, some catch my breath more than others. For a long time, my fear derided my yearning to move forward – that perhaps if I remarried, I would certainly lose my girls forever. Perhaps I already have. Silence is racked with the unknown.
Thus, after many a prayer, in addition to a bevy of thoughts and questions, I came to the conclusion to marry without directly telling my children.
Here’s lies the dilemma: if I don’t tell them, I’m an uncaring and selfish mother. If I say something, I’m an uncaring and selfish mother. Each time I’ve reached out, my attempts are met with anger and fear, anxiety and disdain, not to mention how their reactions affect my own psyche. So, why put them and myself through more needless trauma, for after five years of estrangement, how to reconnect when we’ve remained strangers all these years?
They do not know my current life, how I got here, nor do I know theirs. No longer part of either one’s journey, we are entrenched in a specific moment of time; only what we know of our pasts as mother and daughters or the occasional hearsay from a third-party. No direct contact makes for little understanding of the other. Other people’s responses are their’s alone, including my children. I re-learn to let go of what they think of me, how I am judged or perceived – the most exhausting component.
All of which brings me to this: strangers or not, I am their mother, they are my daughters. While doors remain open, grieving ones who are still alive, love is that more poignant. The love is alive and well. Forever. I wish them happiness in abundance. Hope lives on as does life.
Happy Birthday, my wondrous mama. Thank you for giving me life, for breathing life into me. I love the way you loved me.