So much of this year has been difficult for me to comprehend. I haven’t been able to make much sense of it. All I know is that I’m tired of crying and I’m suffering from this new level of sleeplessness.
Perhaps one day I will share what has transpired. Maybe not wholly, maybe not completely, as I don’t understand how one thing naturally bleeds into the outcome existing at present. Suffice it to say that I’ve lost one of my (young) adult children – not to death nor to disease, but to estrangement and, what I believe, manipulation by those who should have had better intentions towards both her and the rest of myself.
I remember when I was pregnant with her that I was worried about my ability to be a good and loving mother. I remember my heart exploding when they placed her, for the first time, in my arms. I remember her chubby cheek, big-eyed toddler self with a balding man’s hairline. I remember plastic butterfly barrettes and flowered dresses and lacy socks that had to be folded down. I remember teaching her how to apply makeup, about bras, about periods. I remember being fearful of teaching her to drive, and how proud I was when she and her sister could take off for the day in the car. I remember when we all became a family, all excited about living a dream, of being really united.
Nothing is wasted, they say. Nothing in God’s economy is ever wasted. I need to believe that I didn’t throw away nineteen years of my life with my child.
I hate that every time I am move forward, something pulls me right back to a place of sorrow and confusion. I’m so tired of crying.
So, I’m making a declaration that in the new year I’m going to choose happiness.
I’m going to remember her returning to me after the first day of Kindergarten. Her red curly hair and the freckle on her lip. I’m going to remember shopping for Thanksgiving table decorations and talks about relationships and God, and how she was verbally supportive at times.
I’m going to remember the trip to the cabin, just her and me and watching her sell lemonade at the end of our driveway, and worrying as she learned to roller-skate and bike, and teaching her to make baklavah and watching her make it several times over to please her friends at church. I’m going to remember taking her to the vets with her own little kitten…and hugging her, and being clung to, when just a few days later the kitten passed away.
I’m going to remember the lunches out, the movie trips, the car rides – the apologies I had to give trying to get a grasp on my shortness and moods and being told that she understood. I’m going to remember the laughter – though they were only for a season, those times remain true.
Taking her to various activity clubs, band practice, bass practice.
Birthdays and holidays.
So much life is lived with a child, that when they are gone, so much laughter and fond memories are left – and I’m sorry when they were happening I always felt a tinge of being less. I’m sorry for that still, especially now that her leaving seems to support the very worst of the fears I had about how I was perceived, of how I did.
So, for the new year – for 2011 – I’m going to have to make a conscious effort, one I’m not sure I can shoulder but need to nonetheless try, to choose whatever is lovely, to not loose another year to sadness, though the longing for her will remain.
My time on this blog was not meant to be so short – but what is a girl to do when she needs a clean slate, a fresh perspective and feels overwhelmed by the expectation and cloudy format of her current space on the web? Well, in my case, she blogs a new blog. WereIJane was meant to give me a boost into putting myself in someone else’s shoes so that I could be motivated by the excellence of another. I have been unsuccessful, intimidated in that aspect…but more truthfully, I’ve spent so many years of my life being fitted into someone else’s mold of what and who I should be (sometimes I’ve done that to myself, other times other individuals have put me in the same predicament). It’s time, at last and as difficult as it may be, to choose to use my own identity with pride and freedom. I can truly say that the only individual who has seen me, and has urged me to be me more fully and present has been my husband. He has given me that freedom with him where others have not. That isn’t a reflection on my children, except to say that children often have a concept that being an adult, much less a parent, is a much more pat thing than it is. Their own experiences, or lack thereof, color their expectations. My husband is a bit more clear about the encompassing challenges of being an evolving person.
To that end, I’m picking a focus – something that is usually lost in my blogs – For 2011, I’ll be blogging at “My Year Of…” here on WordPress. Each year, instead of resolutions, I’m going to seek to be refined. A theme will be picked, studied and followed. My posts will be my daily walk and reflections. It will not be a place to open my wounds, or to vent…I’m returning to finding the positive – in fact, for my inaugeral year of 2011 I’ll seek to put into action Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.