O.M.A. – Other Mother Always

My ex-husband’s mother, Margie, passed away last month and her birthday was yesterday. I am still coming to terms with what that means to me personally and to those who knew her and loved her. She told me once that when someone new comes into your life, you don’t kick anyone out, you just make more room in your heart for them. That was the essence of who she was; loving, all-inclusive, funny, fiercely protective of her loved ones and generous to a fault. She was my rock when I felt I like the riptide of mental instability was pulling me under; she reminded me I was more than a diagnosis and she never gave up on me. She is one of the first people to give me a mirror that wasn’t shattered, distorted or warped; I could see the beauty, the promise, the goodness and the strength that she saw. For this and for too many other reasons to mention, I will carry her with me in my heart, speak her words of love and compassion, make room in my heart for those who need a safe harbor and I will continue to talk to her, sing to her and if I ever do get married again, I know she will be wearing her dancing shoes and dancing up a storm, as promised. Until we meet again.

Fate’s Saving Grace

There are those who go through Life blindly trudging their way through each day, with no direction or purpose in their stride, just trying to make it through until they can escape into the refuge of the night and the fantasy of sleep, only to rise again in the morning and repeat the monotony of another day. They seem to believe that this is their destiny, to accept what is offered to them, no matter how incomplete they may feel, for this is all that they deserve. They like themselves, but do not truly love the person they are; they do what is expected of them and never question what they are told. They exist, but do not enjoy or love the life that is theirs.

If Fate looks kindly upon these people and if they can keep their eyes and hearts open, someone will enter their life who will help them to realize that they are indeed a very special person; that they can realize their hopes and make their dreams a reality. This someone will not tell them what to do, but offer them a way to accomplish what they desire; or maybe by speaking to them, listening to their words, can help them help themselves. By being a different kind of mirror for them to see themselves through, without all the insecurities and faults they see; with a clearer reflection of who they really are.

To encounter a person such as this is a very rare find indeed and should be treasured for their talents and dedication. In a world that is mostly negative and cold, it is exceptionally refreshing to find someone who is positive and warm, genuine and caring and truly desires to help those who do not know how to help themselves.

Such a person may sound like a dream or a character from a child’s book of fairy tales but I have found a person who is all of this and more; she has helped me to realize that I was one of those people stumbling blindly through my days and has given me the praise, encouragement and wisdom that has enabled me to love myself enough to demand more from Life than what is offered, to realize that dreams can become realities and to know that nothing is impossible so long as you believe. I do believe.

 

25 Years Ago Today

I was dressed in blue, wearing a dress borrowed from my big sister. My engagement ring was my mother’s and my band something we picked up at a pawn shop. Our son was there, 6 months old, a testament to the fact that there was great love between us. We were so young, I realize now; not just young in our ages, but young in the naive belief that this would last forever, that we would live “Happily ever after” and grow old together, holding hands across the distance of our rocking chairs. We would bounce grandchildren upon our knees, having raised our children with great love and instilled in them a sense of how important family is, how important our history is and what our gifts to mankind will be. I believed that with the bond of our love, nothing would separate us, nothing could break us apart; it would carry us through all that Life would send our way. I believe those are thoughts any bride should have on her wedding day, but I also believe that what was missing from those thoughts was how to live such a life; sacrifice, compromise, constant communication and a whole lot more things that I still (to this day) can’t put a name to. I just know that when I have talked to couples who have managed to stay married, there are a lot of things specific to that couple that they practiced that made the difference between staying together and breaking apart. I had never really figured out what would have made the difference with us; maybe if I had refused to follow the expected norm and get married, we would have been able to focus on being parents without the stress of having to make a marriage work as well. Maybe if I had confided more in him, instead of trying to always appear as if I had the answers, I was in control and I was never scared or uncertain. I could maybe from here to eternity and it would not serve to change anything from the past. What I can do is believe that there is someone out there for everyone (not just one person, someone for every part of your life, some for the entirety of your life, but mostly someone to love and to be loved by) and if I am able to drop the walls I’ve built up to guard my heart, if I can be brave enough to trust that heart to someone, to risk being hurt, being rejected or worse of all, found unworthy of such love. If I can trust my instincts well enough to recognize someone who is good and honest, worthy of trust and capable of great love, I will find my happiness with another. But it is a great journey from thinking the thought and taking the action, making the change. I can speak of dropping walls, but I have no idea how to do that. Perhaps this is where the intuition comes in; I have rarely been disappointed when I make a choice based on my “gut feeling” but I have found myself in dire straits when I refuse to heed that warning/feeling.

I guess the main point of all of this is to celebrate my first and only attempt at marriage, recognize that it is nothing to fear, nor to be ashamed of, but as with everything in life, it is something to learn and to grow from. I did not plan for things to end the way they did, but I have a gorgeous, funny, smart, talented, loving son and the experience of being a wife and a mother for a few years. I have had many more years as a single woman, no serious relationships, no ties that bind (love that expression) and if God or the Universe or Fate or whatever decide that I am worthy of a second chance at love, I will not waste that opportunity. I will work to tear down the walls, open my heart and invite love in.