“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

sudden weather change


One day it's 90's and sunny, the next day it is 60's and stormy. Of course it usually works that way in the Midwest - heat followed by storms and cool weather. What I keep wondering about is: why do we no longer have just simple rainy days anymore? No gentle rains? No soft rains that last all night or all day? No, we have, over and over again, intense down pours. Rain so thick you can't see across the street. Rain so intense it runs off the ground and causes flooding instead of soaking in.

We were out walking our dogs today. A nice sunny day when we set out. But shortly into the walk, the clouds blew in, dark and threatening. We cut the walk short. And good thing. The sky opened and the rain came down in buckets. Luckily we were home. Actually I was just getting in the car at the grocery store when the storm unleashed its furry. Forget about seeing anything within one or two feet. So. Just wait it out.

And now. The sun is shining on wet grounds, everything is sparkling. Weird to think that just hours ago I presided at a funeral, the weather was sunny and beautiful. So difficult to think about days she (the dearly departed) will never see again. So odd to remember that...our lives go on, but for our departed loved ones, they no longer share in this life as we do. And we no longer get to share life with them. No more sunny days. No more rainy days.

My mom died nearly three years ago. Suddenly, of a massive heart attack. We had the best relationship possible given the circumstances.

My mother was horribly abused as a child by alcoholic parents. I remember my grandparents with fondness, but I can imagine that they were not good parents. So. My mother was compromised. She did the best she could. She taught me to strive for what I want in life, to not settle for anything, that as a girl/woman I was still capable and able. She taught me to go to college and take care of myself.

On the other hand. When you are raised by a parent who has been abused, life is warped. The view of reality is distorted. I have gone to lots of therapy to understand this. I do not harbor ill feelings toward my mother. Like I said, she did the best she could. But still. I was raised by a woman who didn't really know how to love. My brothers and I are scarred from this.

Over time, I have found peace and healing in the "details" of my life. I'm ok with my mom being who she was. Yes,I wish she were able to be different. She was smart and funny and witty. She could have been awesome, if she weren't so scarred. At times I yearn for that mom, the one who was mostly healthy and just leaves her kids with the normal challenges. Mine, well I had major work to do. But I did it. I am mostly whole and well.

Now my mother is dead. And. I do not have any sense that she is with me. I have no feelings of her abiding presence, no sense of her love embracing me. Even though I preach about that, and think that some folks actually feel it. I do not.

Nonetheless, I think she has found wholeness and true joy in life as she knows it after death. At least I hope she has. Joy and peace at last.

I hope that same thing for everyone who has died. That life is whole and real and good in whatever life one knows after death. All the brokenness and sorrow and pain is over. Life is whole. And I suspect, the gift they would give us, if they could (our beloved departed) would be: trust it. Life is good. And it only gets better. Regardless of the weather.