My dear mother is in the hospital right now and because of Covid-19, I am not allowed to visit her. She has had 3 surgeries in 4 months and is tired. She is 86 years old and does not have the ability to recover from surgery like someone even half her age. She is extremely weak right now. Because I love her so much and am worried about her, I wrote her 2 cards yesterday (they were both small cards so I filled every space I could with my words.)
When I think about my Mom and the life she has lived, and her dear sweet character and the thought of losing her and the impact it would have on my life, I think of what I can write that might lift her up at this time. My Mom was the most positive, encouraging person before these 3 surgeries. She had fire and strength and was filled with vitality for her age. She always told me to look for the silver lining, to reach for the light. She would send me bible verses when I was feeling discouraged by life. She had a life force that was vital and palpable. She celebrated life. These surgeries have had a tremendous impact and have weakened her life force. That is a fact.
So reflecting on her life, and the amount of energy she had brought to every moment, what I thought of is she is my superhero! She needs to draw on superhuman strength at this time to bring her remaining life force back into her body. I wanted to draw her attention to my memories of her superhero strength so she might draw on those superhero qualities right now when she needs them to recover! So the first quality is her strength of character and I will bear witness to that strength a little in the following paragraph.
My Mom had six children and birthed five children. She adopted a native child when he was 3. She raised us all (I am the youngest!) without a nanny. She took care of our physical needs with as much love and personal attention as if we all had her monocular view. My Mom would make cinnamon rolls from scratch when I came home from elementary school. My Mom cooked for all us kids and her husband, meal after meal for many, many years without a complaint. She made all our lunches every day (to the envy of all my friends). I did not cart a peanut butter and jam sandwich- rather a European Hot Dog. This was an unfortunate advantage when I had anorexia because it was easy to give away my lunch. (All tasteless jokes aside.) Who does that? A Superhero! Superhero strength number one: She has a Strong constitution to draw on! (My Dad was a specialist and worked night and day. I will blog about him in a future blog!) My Mom worked equally hard raising six kids (my native brother was a handful -understatement of the year!)
My Mom fed us with homegrown food. She made homemade sauerkraut before it was in vogue. She had an amazing garden with a plethora of vegetables, including beautiful corn on the cob, that we would get to eat in our backyard in beautiful Okanagan summers. I have memories of my Mom working in that garden in the heat of the summer. That strength of character fueled many amazing dinners that I have fond memories of (despite my ignorance brought on with being in my twenties). So many beautiful moments at that backyard wooden picnic table immersed in the love that only a family can bring. I am so grateful to be raised in this family and my Mother played such an important role for me in anchoring that love.
Super hero strength number 2: a great attitude and sense of humor. I have a memory of being a teenager and cooking myself a hamburger in my kitchen. Well wouldn’t you know, my hamburger caught fire in the oven. We lived in a house with a lot of wood. I freeze in situations that are dangerous. This is why I did not go into conventional medicine. I would not have made a good doctor in a crisis. I have largely a counseling based practice-read ‘no risk’! Anyways, my Dad had to use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out while I hid sheepishly in the corner. My Mom was the perfect mate to my Dad. He was so serious and she was the sanguine temperament to balance his intensity. My Dad was stressed about my hamburger mishap. Later they went out for dinner and my Mom’s first comment to my Dad was “You look extinguished tonight!” My Mom was the first person to laugh at the irony of life. She has kept us laughing when we might think our lives were seriously ‘de-railing’ and has always encouraged us to believe in ourselves despite our perceived failures or our character flaws. What a gift to a child with low self esteem!
Superhero strength number 3:Commitment to being a wonderful Mother! She told me when I was fairly young that all she cared about was being a mother. This was so obvious to me because of the joy she had while being a mother. She believed in us all so strongly. I am so grateful to grow up in a family where my Mom accepted and loved me. I did not have the courage to be a mother in this life but I so respect anyone who takes on the task with complete love and commitment. My Mom wears vulnerability on her sleeve because she is so authentically heart centered. That has resulted in a family that is heart centered. At this time in our daily world, love and heart centered living are so important to combat the fear that is often a central thread in the media right now. I am so grateful for being brought up in such a tight knit, heart centered family.
Superhero strength number 4 that Mom carries is unconditional love. I have always felt completely loved and accepted by my Mom. I had my challenges with an eating disorder when I was growing up that I have healed from. I had issues with low self esteem growing up. My Mom loved and accepted all of me when I struggled with anything. She never gave up on me. I hope that I can make her feel as loved now in her frailty; that she knows that she can always count on me. That we as a family will lift her up when life is challenging and her strength falters… Thank you Mom! You are such an inspiration for me! I love you SO much and send you my healing vibes to get you through this time!! God bless!!