""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"The one you keep looking for"

In an article for Slate Magazine this week, Meghan O'Rourke remembers her mother, who died less than two years ago.  I understand and relate to the feelings and experiences she shares - my mother died when she was just 44 and I was 18.  My mother would have understood and related, too - she lost her mother when she was just 13 years old.

As much as the talking, the model-providing, the advice, it's that we miss: the blanketing warmth. One of the women Edelman interviewed for her book said, movingly, about being motherless: "You have to learn how to be a mother for yourself. You have to become that person who says, 'Don't worry, you're doing fine. You're doing the best you can.' Sure, you'll call friends who say that to you. … But hearing it from that person who taped up all your scraped knees … that's the one you keep looking for."  Meghan O'Rourke

I've had a hole in my heart and a hole in my life since losing my mother - a condition movingly described in a 1994 column by Anna Quindlen entitled "The least explored passage:  loss that lasts forever."     
Sometimes I imagine in colorful detail what it might have been like if my mother had known and played with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren,  if she had been with us for the weddings and the birthdays and the family vacations.  But mostly I just remember her - that she loved a party.  That she loved having a houseful of people and was at ease cooking and entertaining them.  That she loved the water and the sand - the lake and the beach.  That the conversation around the dinner table was always lively and often thought-provoking.  That she encouraged me and occasionally bribed me to try things and overcome my shyness.  That everyone loved her.  That she loved us.

I try to fill that hole in my heart up with good memories.  I am thankful to have been blessed with many.


Bernie said...

Marvellous post, Ginny. I think the line that resonates most with me is "loss that lasts forever."

Thanks for visiting my blog and mentioning this post of yours. I, sadly don't have many memories of my Mum at all as she died when I was only 9 and she had been sick in various hospitals for years before that. Perhaps if my Dad had spoken about her a lot more often, or there had been relatives in our lives who remembered her, the loss would not have been quite as keen and heartfelt for so long.

We do get on with our lives the best we can ... and I'm so glad to have been there for my own children and now I am there for my grandchildren ... such precious days! Days to make the most of!

Anonymous said...

A truly beautiful blog Thank you.