Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Heart songs

As my mother lay dying, I knelt by her bed and said, "I love you Mom." I heard a whisper back, "I love you." I was shocked at the power of my imagination. My mother was full of morphine, there was no way she heard me, much less responded.

A little while later my sister was in with Mom and I realized they were talking. It wasn't just want or will or imagination. My mother had responded to me. What a blessing.

Now, fourteen years later, I think about that moment and how easy it was to think Mom hadn't really said anything. And I realize how I do that in life.

How easy it is for me to accept the negative words that are hurled at me, while dismissing the positive words are impossible.

That day my heart was listening better than my mind, perhaps it's time to not take the negative words to heart, but to listen to the words that make my heart sing.

I love you Mom. Thanks for the message, I hear you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

On Writing and Feelings

I wasn't prepared for the impact that losing my Dad would have on me. I knew I would be incredibly sad and that I would miss our Sunday evening chats. Never did I expect that I would not have an inkling to write. I write about everything, all the time. Why would that change?

It's been as if the heart has gone out of me and took the words along. Sudden inspiration and characters waking me in the night all stopped. The very thing that connected me to my paternal family, writing, became void of voice, form and will.

At first I missed it, like an injured athlete being told they can't play anymore, I was heart broken. I accepted it as lost and waited to see what would take it's place, preparing to move on to something different. Then, a few days ago, a line strolled across my thoughts and refused to stop. It felt a little strange, like meeting an old lover on a crowded subway. There we were, face to face. Being jostled about, holding our ground until,by the crowd and the force of movement, we are pushed together. Awkward and uncomfortably we started a conversation, occasionally stopping to stare, then turning away. Slowly, between interruptions of load speakers and stops, we are reconnecting.

I'm a little excited and a little nervous. This old friend and I are working through some things, like who I write for and why my voice matters. You know, little things. I'm letting go of the feelings of anger and resentment for what wasn't finished. As I work on myself, all my relationships get better. And today I work on the line...

"She was surprised by the tears that filled her eyes. Never had she felt so amazingly wanted and cared for as she did in that bed, that night. After a lifetime of being told to never need anyone, to be independent, she felt completed by another. Love turned out to be real, and it was in her arms."