Monday, November 14, 2011


The infrequency of my posts since Mom's passing is a good lesson in discipline.  I am so glad that I made the intention to write every day during her illness; we now have an invaluable, accurate record.  But without her to talk to, and without a defined purpose of these updates anymore, I find that I slack.

In the past week, I have received a wedding gift, several baby gifts and a few notices of donations made in Mom's name.  Surely this is bizarre.  To have such major life changing events all together like this, to be using the same thank you stationary to thank people for onsies as memorials.

Or maybe not.  There's no dependable timeline, nothing that we can count on to say that this is the natural order of life and you don't lose your mom as you prepare to become a mom.

A dear friend wrote to me sharing the fears of new motherhood and showed me how she coped with those last weeks of her own pregnancy and uncertainty.  She made lists.  She took control over what she could.  A year ago, I would have done exactly the same thing; I was always trying to control every situation. I had a Plan B, C and D for every scenario.   Now I don't.  I can't be comforted by the lists anymore, by playing out what I imagine to be the possible scenarios.  I know that no matter what I think could happen, life can have other plans and surprise you.  And not only in the unfair, senseless randomness of Mom's illness. In amazing, beautiful ways, too.  And despite that old truism "those who fail to plan plan to fail," I don't plan things anymore.  At least not the way I did.  In childbirth class, we talk about birth plans-people write out how they want their births to go and what their intentions are.  I can't even fathom this without laughing.

We spent countless hours setting intentions for Mom's healing, praying, massaging love and tenderness into her ankles and shoulders.  We cycled through disbelief, anger, sadness, and hope so many times it was dizzying. We celebrated small victories and mourned small defeats and learned again and again that we are not in control.  We learned to let go of the disbelief.  We let go of the hope.  I'm trying to let go of the anger. Of the sadness.  But I suspect it is too ingrained in me now to ever lose.  So instead I'm trying to work with it, to let it teach me why it has taken up permanent residence in my heart.  I think so that in moments of uncertainty, I can let go of control.  I can see things as they are, not as how they should be or how I can fix them.  I can look at situations from a place of wonder and simply be present on the journey.  

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