Through my mother’s eyes. Ahh, its that time again, the upcoming anniversary of my mother leaving this plane. And although my spiritual self is always in contact with her, there is still this sense of missing her presence. Lately though I am drawn to wondering how it all looked through my mother’s eyes.
And how also coincidental that her death happened at a season’s change, autumn, the season of entering deep introspection and change?
THE TIME OF COMING UP DEFINES US, DOESN’T IT?
My mother was born in the era of the Great Depression. Her sense of material security was much different than mine. Her need of comfort and security was knowing there was loads of food in the kitchen. And bills were paid on time.
She thought appearances and what the neighbors thought were utmost. Torn clothes were an absolute no-no. And the house always had to look perfect in case someone stopped by.
She came up during the age where women had the options of becoming secretaries or housewives. She was not even given a choice to go to college. Not a great choice, yes?
I know she lived that resentment. She did not even try to figure out how to live beyond those borders. And yet she and her sister were so bright they could have easily been amazing CEO’s and entrepreneurs.
THROUGH MY MOTHER’S EYES
So I think that through my mother’s eyes she truly wondered as to how I became her daughter.
Or flipped around, do many daughters say, how did she become my mother?
Although I never knew my mother’s mother. the stories I have heard make me think that somehow our eggs got switched. Grin. That I was more like her, than my mother.
My midwife daughter says that each female carries the eggs of her grandchild. That gives quite a breath to genealogy doesn’t it?
So… her death, enter stage right
Back to the story of her death. At the time I was not able to travel. My mother made the decision to come to me.
And welp, after barely two days of visiting, she ended up leaving the physical plane.
Oh yes, quite an experience.
At the time and in retrospect, my mother’s death was actually quite beautiful.
I could not have wished an easier one for her.
Let me tell you about the short time we did all share together before she passed.
All my children and and all but one grandgift gathered, along with my younger brother. My older brother was not able to join us.
But still, we were a house full of love.
And the night before she passed we had a huge celebratory dinner and made a circlet wreath for her to wear. We paid tribute to her and her love.
It was a lovely celebration. We sang, ate well and just savored being together.
She sat through it looking extremely pale, but happy, but kept insisting she was fine. My mother’s word. I am fine.
(As an aside, my adored son-in-love, said he made a pact with my daughter that if either one of them uses that word, FINE, they have to sit down and talk. Because its just too passive aggressive. Don’t you just love that? )
Ok back to the story.
The next morning my mother said she wasn’t feeling as well. Which was unusual for her to say. (The fine thing, yes? )
I poured tea and watched as she called several of her friends and said the same to each one.
I have fulfilled my bucket list. I am happy. I love you.
I am often awed in looking back by how she did this so methodically.
Did she sense something?
Even though she said she was not feeling great, she insisted on going for a walk. My mother was always the epitome of pushing past. (Wonder where I learned THAT from?)
She loved her tradition of taking a walk with my youngest. It was their special time.
They had been gone possibly ten minutes when I got this call from my daughter saying, “hurry I think Mom-Mom just died.”
Isn’t it interesting those words? I “think” she died? I have heard others say that also when death happens this fast. It’s as if we cannot quite process it, or believe that it is happening.
So I rushed to them. We could only bear witness as 911 responders tried to revive her on the sidewalk, and a crowd gathered.
My daughter and I were taking turns holding my mother’s hand while juggling the cell phone. Making sure we got to all our family members. And awaiting my son and my other daughter to join us.
I remember saying please let her go . But because we did not have her DNR (do not resuscitate) they were compelled to act.
They kept her alive for a couple more hours and transported her to the hospital. Though the damage was so severe from her massive heart attack there was no longer brain waves.
I sang to her as she took her last breath.
And when my family left the hospital, I was thinking we cannot leave her alone yet.
She hasn’t quite adjusted to the transitional change. I could feel her confusion. I sang her praises . Thanking her for the way she created beauty through her flowers and her food.
And I asked the universe to ease her passage.
So I stayed until the morgue came.
I really had wanted to stay with her through the night. I felt so pulled that she not be alone.
But I did not.
I needed to attend to my grieving family.
AND SO THE PROCESS BEGINS
So began our season of shiva, of mourning.
I did not feel sad. I felt blessed.
Blessed that we were with her in her last breath. Blessed that she had been surrounded by loved ones.
Blessed that she never knew the pain of a prolonged death. And blessed that she got to say good bye to her friends and loved ones.
And she even got to meet the then newest member of our family her great grandson gift, who was only 3 months old.
So to me it was not a time of sorrow.
Life Before Death, even in my mother’s eyes
We had to take her body back to Philadelphia where she was to be buried. And we all quickly figured out the details of a long drive. And where we would all stay. And how all the babies would be accommodated.
It was huge juggling act that somehow came together.
And I found myself wondering through my mother’s eyes. what would she think of how we sat in love of her?
And after the funeral, the days of being together were spent in talking and sharing memories.
And during that time it was my daughter’s birthday.
To me, as was to my mother, life always comes before death. So when just a few days later it was my middle child’s birthday, I felt this huge push to make sure we celebrated and sanctified her day.
It was not as easy for my daughter to feel the celebration. But I knew that needed to happen. Life is cyclical and this season was just a season.
Life is the adage of being for the living.
We give great thanks for what presence of gifts we have each moment, yes?
LOVE THROUGH MY MOTHERS’ EYES
But back to being seen through my mother’s eyes. In her death I learned so much. As to what happens when we lose our remaining parent, we seem to be raised to another level.
We are grown orphans, feeling the loss and also the release. Freed from the boundaries of our parents’ expectations.
Although my mother and I spoke several times a day, I was not the daughter that she expected.
I was not the well heeled dutiful daughter with makeup and pearls. I was the hippie earth mother who became an ardent progressive feminist. Which was truly interesting as her mother, my grandmother, was one of the original suffragists.
See what I mean about misplaced eggs? Or karmic irony?
I know at times she just cringed at my clothes, and my outspoken language.
But wow, I would be so wealthy now, grin, if I had a nickel for each time she would say couldn’t you please just put a little bit of blush and lipstick on? Or tame that hair of yours?
(Ahh do we ever stop hearing our mothers’ voices?)
I giggle at it now.
But in her world, her sense of perception, this was hard for her. Because her mantra was you put on your face of makeup before you leave the house and that is the best face you put forth throughout the day. NO matter what!
It was understood that just naked skin was too telling.
Ahh a clue emerges, yes?
And when I look back at this as a grandmother, I see the wisdom. We do always want to present the best of us, but not at the expense of the truth.
THROUGH MY MOTHER’S EYES, I MUSE FOR MY KIDS
So what must that have been like for her? Through my mother’s eyes?
For years I truly wondered if perhaps I had been misplaced at birth, grin, because the differences in us were so stark.
But the circle comes around. Oh karma!
I am mother to three grown children. And two are daughters. I wonder do they also think at times that through their mother’s eyes, they were misplaced?
Hmmm, I certainly hope not.
I hope they know that although I say with deep love and affection that they are each from another planet. I see them as extraordinary, bright, loving and revolutionary in their own ways.
I stand in awe of who they are. My heart just bursts whenever we spend time together. You know that feeling, yes?
What do they see through their mother’s eyes?
And what dear reader, did/do you see through your mother’s eyes? Was it criticism and love? Was it conditionality? Was it full acceptance?
I loved my mother. As with many mothers and daughters, it is so complicated. But I can only hope my mother knows, as she traverses her soul’s journey, that in this manifestation she was truly loved by her daughter.
Even without makeup!
Light the path in peace and gratitude,
we walk in love, we talk in love,we hear in love, we see in love.
Founder, CEO Success-full-living.com
Living one heart-centric moment at a time
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