Today would be my mother's 95th birthday! June 21 each year brings her to the forefront of my thoughts even though she is always in there just under the surface. She would absolutely love the fact that we are living an adventure in California during this part of our lives. She took great delight in new experiences, seeing different parts of the country/world and especially the flora and fauna of each place they visited.
She had that ability to "be in the moment" and experience things as they happened, even though she was a notorious worrier. I am constantly working on the "worrier" in me and that ability to suspend fear and apprehension and "be in the moment".
My son was a colicky baby, who drove me to high dramatics and crying jags at times. I could NOT wait for that phase to be over! I remember my mother visiting about six weeks after his birth to give me some help. I told her I couldn't wait until he was older and could tell me what was wrong. I couldn't wait until he could walk and work out some of his frustration through physical activity. I couldn't wait, I couldn't wait.
My mother and her newborn grandson, 1984
Her reply? "Don't wish your life away, Ann". She knew that even though those colicky months were trying, they would also hold many wonderful memories, yes, even happy, funny ones. Of course she was right. With the space of time I was actually able to look back and laugh at some the desparate measures I took to get that baby to stop crying and sleep. And if my son hadn't been that "challenging" baby, I might not have appreciated the great toddler, child, teenager, young adult, he was to become.
And, when I got my nerve up to have another baby, I wouldn't have known that babies do sleep a lot, cry when they are hungry or need changing and could be put to sleep on their own with no problem. Our daughter was a dream baby in comparison and I was able to enjoy those newborn days anew.
There have been numerous times in my life when my mother's words ran through my head. Usually during times of great stress or unpleasantness. "I wish", "I can't wait until", "When will this be over?" Instead I've tried to "not wish my life away". Even the bad stuff.
My parents, circa 1993
If I had wished the time away when my parents were in decline and life was hard for them and stressful for us, I would have missed the gift of being with my parents in their final years. Yes, there were many unpleasant, sad times, but there were so many good times too. I had the gift of seeing my parents on a daily basis for the last years of their lives.
During the last few months I've often thought, "I wish the surgery date for The Maven would come and we could get this over with" and now, "when will this recovery be over". And in particular this last week I have found myself wishing time away as The Maven has struggled with a reaction to the steroids she was prescribed to subdue the swelling in her head. Anyone who has taken steroids and reacted badly to them can sympathize. Insomnia, anxiety, emotional, irrational, hot, sweaty. If I had wished this week away I would have missed the fact that in spite of her bad reaction to the **** steroids, she has walked two miles each day this week!
Two miles! Before the surgery she couldn't even walk around the block without terrible dizziness and fatigue. This is enormous progress!
The steroids have been stopped as per docs and now we wait (but not wish the time away - altho it's tempting) for them to exit her system so she can enjoy her progress.
Besides I would have missed this if I had wished this time away:
I wouldn't have seen Dexter's attempts to help out and clean the bathtub that he loves so much!
So, it's my mother's birthday and she has given me a gift to remember her by.
TBL and her mother, circa 1963
Happy Birthday Maude Hughes, my beautiful mother, missed by all of us.
June 21, 2013