Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been dealing with a major funk the past few weeks.  Not a normal depression type funk where I don’t feel like doing anything at all – but more of a muse on vacation type of funk.  No beading, no knittting, no coloring, no Zentangles, and only cooking what is necessary to feed us.  I couldn’t figure out why I was just feeling so void of any inspiration.  I mean, I’d just done a bead show and that usually fires up the muse into overdrive.  I’d taught two full classes, which is also a major muse fuel stream.  What could possibly be wrong with me?

I took my complaint to a group of my fellow beady teachers and the wise, and still very young, but amazingly astute Melissa Shippee solved my issue by saying, “
sometimes when it's the time of year something big and bad has happened to you in the past, it's like a grief anniversary”.  She could not have been any more correct!
17 years ago today my Mom passed away.  It was also the day before Thanksgiving that year.  I was only 35 with 4 small kids and Shawn had already lost both of his parents and my Daddy had been gone for over 6 years.  I felt so lost.

But there really wasn’t a lot of time to grieve.  With 4 young kids I needed to get my act together.  My Mom told me a few days before she passed to not let this event ruin the holidays for my kids.  She made me promise to always make it a special time for them so they had the same joyous holiday season as she always tried to give to me.  I’ve worked really hard at that, but I’m wondering – now that they’re all grown am I finally beginning to grieve the holiday instead of celebrate it?  I sure hope not!  Maybe I just need to learn to recognize when that funk is coming on, face it head on and accept it. 

Shawn reminded me to just slow down and enjoy the process of getting ready for Thanksgiving by sharing what I see, smell, taste, and experience with my Mom. Let her enjoy it again through my eyes.  So I’ve been trying to do that these past few days and I’m thinking it has worked a bit to help me enjoy everything I need to do to prepare a great meal and make a nice home for my family to spend together tomorrow.  Which is exactly what my Mom used to do.  It made her feel good to do all these things and I want it to make me feel good again, too.

I’ll close by sharing a special story about my Mom’s passing.  I am the youngest of 5 and was always introduced as “the baby”.  Even after having 4 kids of my own!  LOL
My Mom was diagnosed with cancer (breast) the first time when I was 12.  She said she would just pray to live long enough to see me raised. She also told everyone “I don’t want the baby to see me die”.  Amazing how a Mother’s first concern is how her child will be affected. 
The following year they found the cancer in her other breast and removed that one as well.
 5-6 years later she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  She prayed again to live long enough to see me get on my own feet. 
5-6 years later she was diagnosed with another type of cancer, a tumor in her jaw area that had two types of cancer.  One that could go to her brain and one that could affect her internal organs.  She prayed to live long enough to see me settled down with a family. 
After 23 years of surviving all these hits from the insidious cancer she was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Sadly, she had no more prayers for survival.  She was just ready to go. 
Hospice came and helped us get her comfortable at home.  She quickly went into a coma.  All of her kids would take turns sitting with her and caring for her.  On the night of her death I had spent a couple of hours telling her some stories about my kids, than it was Sharon’s turn to sit with her.  I sat down across from her on the couch and listened to Sharon praying with her.  I watched the curtains gently blowing in the window.  Moments later one of my other sisters was waking me up letting me know that Mom had passed.  How could that be?  I was just looking at her seconds ago?
She had gotten her wish!  Don’t let the baby see me die.  And so I had not. 

Even in her passing she looked out for me.  And even now, 17 years later I can feel her sitting here with me reminding me how much I have left to do before tomorrow.  So I better get in the kitchen and get busy….I’ve got a huge family coming to enjoy Thanksgiving Day!

Thanks Mom!


Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

You are such a beautiful soul; your mother lives on inside of you, in the food that you prepare, and in the words that you have written. Blessings.

Cath Thomas said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Beki.

Robin said...

I'm so glad you posted a link to this on FB, Beki. I feel blessed and honored to have been here this evening. You had, and still have, a beautiful connection with your mom, and it's good to be with it for a while, not distracted by the artistic muse, which can be so all-consuming. Maybe at this time, your kids also need you to connect them with their grandmother, and her joy of the holiday season. The muse will be back, but in this break, may you find your way through grief to serenity.

Sally Anderson said...

I've read this three times now since you posted it. I get shivers and tears each time. We never know the power of a mom's love when our mom is here. After her death we understand how amazing it was, how beautiful and how it's forever. I still miss my mom who died in 1981. I love seeing your tribute to you mom and I think it applies universally. Thank you, Beki.