Monday, November 24, 2008
Today marks 5 years since my wonderful mother, Bernice Elizabeth, went to be with Our Father! She was 69 years old, a mother of 3, grandmother of 4, sister, daughter and friend to a chosen few.
She was a strong woman, who relied on no one but herself to take care of her children, no matter how hard, how challenging, how stressful. She was always proud and handled her business with ease.
Well, that is what it looked like to me when I was a teenager and a young adult. And then, I had my children and with each one growing up, I began to realize that the things I was going through, she went through. The emotions, the uncertainty, and "dying inside while outside looking fearless" (thanks Tupac).
I hurt my mother on many levels that I am only beginning to understand now that my oldest is 16 and relaying those same painful feelings into my heart. I am not an emotionally open person. I struggle with it fiercely and it is a constant battle to break down the walls, but I am trying. Little by little, I allow myself to show a little bit of vulnerability but it definitely frightens me. I am also passing this emotional flaw down to my children. Why do I feel this way? Well, because I have never taken my children to visit my mother's grave since the funeral. Not because it's too far, and not because I don't want the kids to remember her. I do speak about her and reminisce about her. I ask them do they remember her and what was their favorite thing about her. I tell my youngest what she used to do at my mom's house because she doesnt remember very much. She was only 4 when Mommy passed.
The reason is purely my own. It's because the pain is too much for me and so I shun the visit for myself. Every year I have said I would go visit and every year, I do not.
I am selfish. I realize that now. I don't mean to be, but I am. I don't want to share that part of me that is very vulnerable with anyone, not even my children and I now totally see how my decision is helping to stunt the emotional growth of my own children.
So, I make this promise to myself....
Before this year is out, I WILL take my children to visit their grandmother, with beautiful real flowers in hand and I will tell her all about them and apologize to her for not coming to visit and I know she will forgive me (because that is what mothers do) and I will cry in front of my children and embrace them when they cry, in order encourage them to express their emotions and live in the moment, and enjoy this life to the fullest!!!
(Thank you Christina, and I will post pictures too!)
Holla (through my tears),