Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why? Part 2

There's something that happened to me in the last year that has also been a driving force in the creation of this blog.  My mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in early June of '07.  Unlike many others stricken with that disease, she didn't live the textbook version of "2-5 years".  She died on February 23rd, 2008--A mere 8+ months after her diagnosis.  

I'll try to give the Cliff's Notes version of a very long story.  My mom was not soccer mom.  I grew up not having her attend childhood events.  I don't have mother-daughter memories.  It wasn't that she didn't love me, she just never seemed very interested in me.  Honestly, I was okay with it.  If you don't know anything different, you accept things the way they are.  I thought maybe once there were grandchildren that she'd come around to liking kids.  She moved away from our hometown to "be near you and the the grandkids".  Oddly, even though she was only 15 miles away, she took little interest in my children or enhancing our relationship now that I was grown.  She developed her own life and carried on as though we were still 400 miles apart, despite my reaching out to her. 

Once she was diagnosed I was under the mistaken idea that she and her husband (my father died 17 years ago) would welcome any help or outreach I or my siblings had to give.  She and her very caring husband circled the wagons and the children were on the outside.  They didn't quit seeing us, but we were all supposed to pretend it wasn't happening.  They didn't need our help. We weren't given the chance to mourn along with them at the devastation that was taking place daily.  Lou Gehrig's disease takes no prisoners!   It was only by the grace of God that my sister and I were allowed in during the last four days of her life. My step-father got very ill and was hospitalized.  That left me and my sister to care for my bedridden mother.  She was unable to speak or eat either, no thanks to the disease.  Her husband returned home just one day before she died.  We were there with her when she died.  She was able to write, "I love you" on her whiteboard to my sister and I.  It meant alot.

Fast forward to now.  At the memorial service we found out so many things about her that we didn't know.  In going through her things we discovered she collected clocks and watches.  We also found out a couple well hidden secrets about her that would have been better off kept secret.  My siblings and I are coming to grips with the fact that we didn't know our mother very well and that's just the way she wanted it.  Why?  We don't know.  Aside from the secrets, none of the other stuff was worth keeping to herself.  In fact, it was worth sharing.

And so, I am blogging so my children will know things about me.  I have no secrets, but I do have joys in my life that they may not know about me.  I love the smell of digging in the dirt.  I love how my chickens "talk" to me when I'm working in the yard.  I love that Lee lets me put my very cold feet against his in the winter when we get in bed.  I love how they giggle with delight when someone passes gas at the dinner table.  I love their daddy with all my heart, even when I'm mad at him.  I hate prejudice.  I hate when the wind blows hard for more than 2 days in a row.  I hate lying, but not the people who tell the lie.  I hate war.  I hate that they are growing up, but fiercely proud of the people they are becoming.  I hate when their daddy is out of town because I miss his company.

This is a heavy-hearted post.  Mostly, they will not be like this.  Mostly they will just be about who I am, who I love and what I love in life.  It gets better, honest.


  1. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed and was touched to my soul reading your post. It was so heartfelt and true. And I so appreciate that.

    I realize that you are not writing your blog with the entire intent of having strangers read it, but I just wanted you to know that I do read it and am glad that you do keep a blog/journal and update it with such meaningful and beautiful journaling.

    ps, I also hate when the wind blows so hard. It unsettles me and makes me feel unbalanced.

    My mother died a terribe death when I was 8 yrs old and I never really knew her either. And my stepmother and Dad live like your mom and stepdad did. They don't evne bother with living closer to us and their grandkids.
    They don't seem to care that they are missing out on so much.
    Oh well. Their loss.

  2. Thanks, I figured some folks would find their way here. As far as I know, my kids and my husband don't read it yet. It's off their radar right now.