Violet Tears

Today was a sad day as well as a celebration. We lost one of our beloved choir members a little while ago very unexpectedly. She was an amazing person. So loved by so many. She went in for what was to be an easy procedure and had a stroke in the recovery period after the surgery. She was a member of our church choir with me. A soprano. She had a beautiful spirit and she really loved my daughter. At times I can still hear her voice. She had a certain way of looking over her glasses and asking me, “where’s my girl?” She called my daughter HER girl. I was more than happy to share my child with her.
Even now it is so hard to believe she is gone. She is though. I will always miss her dearly.
A few words that came to me this morning as I was getting ready for her memorial service today.

Violets fell from her eyes in a stream of flowing sadness. Her soul cried out in purple and lilac and blue. She had crossed the gossamer veil into invisibility. Only memories that cut to the quick remain. Memories, vivid now and tangible, that will eventually fade to sepia, with curled edges and forgotten dates. Death and Angels come shrouded in beautiful purple drapes but they follow us with aged, sepia eyes knowing this is the final goodbye.


Reflections on Labor Day

This Labor Day was very laid back.  I had all sorts of good  intentions and mental  lists made but they were all  for naught.  The weekend ended up being quite a disorganized one.  Laundry did not get done.  Vacuuming did not get done,  Pulling out the recipe book and cooking every meal/over the 3 day weekend did nit get done either,

I rested over the weekend. I actually took naps to help catch up on some of my sleep deprivation.  I can tell a difference today.  Not so sleepy during the day.  I cooked some and ate out some.  That pile of laundry never got done  Instead I went gnome hunting with my daughter in Hampton Park.

Last week one of my coworkers was running in Hampton Park.  He saw a couple holding a gnome and reading a piece of paper, looking very puzzled.  He ran on. Then he saw a gnome tucked into a flower bed.  He ran on.  He passed the couple again walking with their gnome.  He passed the gnome in the flower bed again.  He passed that gnome three times and then he stopped and picked up the gnome.

Attached to the gnome was a note and entire backstory.  His name was Jolly and he needed a new home.  His nickname was Lee  and his favorite foods were popcorn and root beer.  After I told my daughter this tale we had to go gnome hunting.  And so we did. For two hours we looked. We did not find a gnome but it was the adventure of trying to find one that my daughter liked.

The only other wild and crazy thing I did was watch the Starbucks live feed for the birthing of pumpkin   spice latte.  It was a great marketing ploy, Fun too!  That was my weekend.  Fluid and unordered.

A Day in Contrast

What is Mother’s Day when you have a narcissistic, toxic parent?  It is not a pleasant day.  Growing up it was never pleasant.  Presents could be rejected as soon as you present them.  Cards and gifts remain unopened as they were deemed unworthy or not good enough.  It was not a pleasant day.  *Just an FYI, this did not just apply to Mother’s Day but all holidays involving presents.  Years ago I gave up on cards after being told for many years they were unwanted.  Still I bought them as it was the right thing to do.  My final straw was in 2007.  My card was rejected again.  They usually were left unopened on the coffee table with the other cards she opened from her favorite child or grandkids.

At that time I was not working and had little income so I had gone to Barnes and Nobel and picked out the best card I could find.  It cost me $8.00.  My thoughts were, if I cannot buy a big gift, then get the best card money could buy.  I did have money enough for a $25.00 gift certificate at a local salon where she got her brows done.  That gift card to this day has never been used.  $25.00 wasted.  That was the last time I threw money away.

When I became a parent that was never acknowledged. In fact, I was told repeatedly that she was the mother, the head of the family.  So Mother’s Days were her days.  That did not sit well with me at all.  I figured something like that would be happening but the very first mothers day I was expecting something.  After all, my child almost did not make it into this world, coming early at 7 months.  I had to move in with my parents for a little while because my child was so small and needed me to be there all the time. So,  I was not working for a while after she was born.

Nothing.  Not even a verbal recognition.  I realized what was happening so I went to the outside garden and clipped a few flowers and put then in a glass jar in my room.  It was a little gift to me.  My toxic parent did not like that…that I had clipped the flowers for my Mother’s Day.  I was with my parents because my husband and I were separated.  He decided he did not want a family anymore so nothing came from him either.  Regardless I was hoping he would do something.  I did confront him about that…no card. no acknowledgment my very first Mother’s Day. Nothing from anyone. It was a hard day and I tried to keep those feelings inside.  I” vowed that in the future they were be about me even if I had to treat myself to something.  That has worked well.  I have no expectations to be remembered on special days by anyone except my child.

Joy comes in the morning.  Joy in Mother’s Day came when my daughter became old enough to recognize me as her mother.  My joy comes from her.  I have cherished every hand made card, store bought card, gift and adventures we have gone on for Mother’s Day.  We have a wonderful time every year.  Today was no different.  I have been under the weather for the past 4 days..I lost my voice…cough…cold.  So today my plans to go out and do something did not happen.

My daughter made a wonderful, thoughtful video for me today.  It is about 7 minutes long and I had all the tears.  She told me all the things that make me a wonderful mother.  She even had examples from when she was a wee lass.  She makes me so proud and lets me know that I am special in her life and I have made a difference.  She recognizes the sacrifices I have made as her mother.  And those sacrifices have been so worth it!  Happy Mother’s Day to all.  It is very possible to keep the toxic people out of your life on special days.  They are not worthy of your time.  Do not let them steal one more minute of happiness from your soul!

Not all parents are good parents and we cannot pick which type we end up with.  If we have the toxic parent, set boundaries when you are strong enough to do so even if it means totally removing that person from your life.  Life it too short to be dealing with that drama and insanity.  Joy comes in the morning. Do not let anyone steal yours.

The Motherhood Matrix

thanksgiving whitney

It is that time of year again.  Mother’s Day will be here tomorrow and it comes to me with mixed emotions.  My happiest memories of motherhood are my own with my daughter.  So, in honor of the day and all the joy she has brought to me I post “The Motherhood Matrix” here. When I re- read these words a year later, they ring even more true to me. They were penned for the #LTYM show that I participated in last year.  What an amazing honor that was!

In the words of Morpheus….have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream?  How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

Motherhood began for me in the dream world.  I was in love with a guy who was in love with me.  We got married.  We had a map for our future and we planned to ride off into the sunset together in our golden years.  We constructed a blueprint for our lives.  I became pregnant and all was rainbows and unicorns for a while.  I decided I would be the earth mother.  I took Lamaze classes and decided on natural childbirth.  No epidurals for me.  I took a fitness class for pregnant moms.  Yoga pants became my friend.  I made baby clothes, sewed quilts and cross stitched baby bibs.

Formula was out of the question.  I contacted my local La Leche League and learned all I could about breastfeeding.   When my child was ready to eat I would be making all her baby food.  I bought a book called, “Baby Let’s Eat,” and memorized just about every recipe for homemade baby food.  All was well.  I was floating along on the happy clouds of the blue pill. 

Suddenly there was a glitch in the matrix.  I was in love with a guy who loved me…or so I thought.  In reality be was in love with the idea of being in love.  He found another and left in my fifth month of pregnancy.  I was suddenly forced to swallow the red pill and was purged from my happy matrix.  I tumbled down the rabbit hole and entered my own desert of the real. 

Alone and bewildered I knew I had to find the strength to manage.  The stress was overwhelming and consequently I went into labor early and my lovely baby was born at exactly 7 months.  She only weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces and fit in the palm of my hand.  My doctors did not expect a good outcome that early so they prepared me for the worst.  “Unable to breath,” they said.  “Lots of developmental delays,” they said.  I went into labor and standing next to me, surrounding a clear incubation unit, were six members of the neonatal team, waiting, with their masks on and gloved hands up in the air.  I did not have a rainbow left to stand on. 

On my own I had been entering the matrix and visiting the oracle…for quite some time.  I had asked God for a miracle many times over.  I had been praying and talking to God to let me have a healthy baby.  Just let her breath and let her be normal.  And give me the strength to raise her on my own.  Help me to be the one to influence her life in the right way.   Finally the doctor said the head was out.  Then we all heard a sound that filled the entire room. My lovely baby was screaming at the top of her lungs.  She was breathing on her own!  Suddenly I was a child of Zion and I was not afraid. 

My daughter was perfect in every way, just very tiny.  Once we were home I became that earth mom.  I breastfed with no issues and made all her baby food.  It was not easy being just “the one”, a single parent; but, I made it through all the fragrant diapers and sleepless night.  She grew and caught up with other toddlers of her age. 

The first day of nursery school was traumatic. I bet the nursery staff has never seen again, the amount of crying and hysteria as that first morning when I dropped her off.  My daughter was the calm one.  I was the hysterical one.  They even had to call my work to be sure I got there without having an accident.    Motherhood.  Being “the one” is hard when up have to let go.  But I did.  With the terrible twos and threes, I learned that Citadel Mall is a great place for a child having a tantrum.  My daughter’s specialty was to lay down on the floor and barrel roll about 8 to 10 feet, all the while kicking and screaming.  That was a sight to see, by all.

Time passed and elementary school entered the picture.  I was a room mother, attended PTA meetings and went on field trips.  I never missed a chorus performance or violin recital.  It was the same for middle school.  I supported my child in every way possible. She got good grades and studied hard.   I wanted my daughter to have the best advantage when it was time for her to venture out in the world.  I remained “the one.”  I felt I had to do double the work since I was the only parent.

I also wanted her to make good choices when she was out in world and with friends.  For the most part she did until that day in middle school when she decided to play motorcycle.  What’s motorcycle?  Well, that was the same question I asked the school nurse when she called me.  She explained that it was a lunch time game.  All the kids get in a circle, hold hands and spin around as fast as they can.  Then, one of them will let go and the one that spins out is the motorcycle.  That day was my child’s day.  She spun out, fell and broke her arm.  Choices!  She never played that again. 

When she was in high school I helped with projects, if needed, chaperoned school dances and let her go out in the world with friends.  There was distance in the matrix to allow her to grow.  It was scary to let go because the teen world can be a very cruel place filled with drama, bullying and all the ills of society.  It would be easy for a girl to walk the wrong path.   We did have some challenges but overall my daughters’ youth was smooth.  I thank God for that. She is not a perfect child but I feel like I did some things right. 

Today my lovely lady is in college.   She has grown into a beautiful young woman who is smart, funny and eclectic.  Motherhood alone was overwhelming.  I called on God, parents and church family often.    Did I want things to work out in a different way with a father involved?  Of course I did but that was not to be.  I was blessed with motherhood as a single parent.

Finally in the words of Morpheus:  “what happened, happened and could not have happened any other way.”


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