In the Silence, In the Solitude

My mind is flooded with memories of noise, chaos — happy chaos — of laughter; the family we were.  And I “see” the family who we are now, and who we are yet to be.

Re-arranging the dining room/den (which has forever been called the “back-room”), there is now a corner for bird-watching and contemplation.  An antique black typewriter sits on a wicker stand, with a potted palm tree beside it — my little taste of Key West on an early Northeast spring morning.

In this room, our new family will be forged.   The same way the old one was, through times spent together, laughter, and a bit of chaos thrown in….

There is a growing to occur here.  And a pruning as well.  There is sorrow for the losses and the changes pruning brings, but excitement of what is yet to come; pruning is the way to new growth, new buds, new life.

But for now, there is a waiting on God in the silence, in the solitude, in the in-between ….. the waiting between the quiet times and the happy chaos.

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The First Day

IMG_0112The first day, without my mother in the world, was last Friday.  I think my mother’s passing may make me a kinder, more loving person.  She was that way.  She didn’t just like a person, she tried to understand them.  And in that, she found the gray areas between  behavior, heart, and the soul:  they don’t always add up, and good people can do things that baffle the mind.  To cut to the heart, my mom would ask the question “why?”.  She would question aloud with an “I wonder….”.  She tried to look deeper than the surface, into the creation underneath.  And with those words every concept, supposition, and black-and-white answer, would get thrown out the window — knowing people were more complex than a singular action, and the answer may never be known.

She was our best friend, our confidant, our supporter, our cheering section, and our kick-in-the-butt when needed.  And it’s almost like, now that her spirit is free, she is filling us with her essence.  I can hear her saying “c’mon, c’mon now — let’s go, let’s go”.  She was hooked up to oxygen and an  IV and still insisting she had things to do, places to go — something productive, something worthy, something joyful.

And she found joy in many things — cooking, and perfecting her sauce; a “dunk” in the lake or pool on a hot day, or just taking notice of nature around her; and being with family.  She was a shy person, a woman of many talents, but held back by the times she was borne into — she wanted to be a nurse, but was discouraged at a young age; she loved to paint but set it aside to raise children.   Nevertheless, she shone.  And she was always willing to make a home for the stray animals my sister found, or feed a lost soul, or give advice to whomever needed and asked for it.

She was kind in her honesty, something I never mastered.  She didn’t care about anyone’s color, or choice of life companion — she taught us from a young age that it was their soul and spirit that mattered.  And she could see deep into a person’s heart.

Our mom was smart, a force to be reckoned with when something mattered, and loving.   I feel her essence filling me with memories of who she was… who she still is.  My mom is the best part of who I am, might be, and still hope to become and I’m blessed to see her, everyday, in my daughters.