The stresses of the season combined with the stresses of helping my unraveling mom to prepare for her move to Assisted Living the first week of January have combined to make writing difficult this week. We drove two hours last night to spend 4 nights with our middle daughter and her family. They've welcomed us, even in the midst of last-week-of-school-before-the-Christmas-Break craziness. Today - and tomorrow and Saturday - I drove (and will drive) the last 30 minutes to my mom's and dig into her cupboards, sorting into throwaway/give away/this-makes-the-move piles, finding just the right sized bins to put things in for her new walk-in closet. This new space is considerably smaller than her independent living apartment and things will have to be downsized. And as I ask what to keep, her shoulders sag, her voice drops as she says, "Whatever. Do whatever." And I find myself fighting tears of sadness and tears of frustration. Why must it be so hard to get old? I ask myself, I ask the universe, I ask God - the Keeper of the keys, the Mystery I both cling to and kick against every day.
So...I will write for 5 minutes, as I try to do most weeks. Because I love Lisa-Jo Baker and I love her blog and I love her heart. And I love her weekly invitation to let it fly - no holds barred, no editing allowed...for just 5 minutes.
This weeks prompt: CONNECTION
What are these threads that connect mother and daughter in life? They are surely different than the ones that connect mother and son. They are sinuous and strong, sometimes lovely and sometimes choking, sometimes life-giving, sometimes frighteningly powerful and strongly negative.
This is a season to think about mothers and babies. Maybe the only time in the Christian year when we do focus on what it means to mother a child. But...we're looking at a mother/son combo this week and next - not too many answers to my queries about mothers and daughters to be found. (In the years when I taught Confirmation to 7th and 8th graders, I had a really bright young woman who asked point blank: how can Jesus know what I'm dealing with - he wasn't a girl. Ah, yes. Good question. Maybe another post!)
But these mom/girl threads - they are so silky strong sometimes. I remember Lisa-Jo agonizing about becoming mom to a daughter, wondering if she could figure it out after losing her own mother at the tender age of 18. Rightly, she is finding that in mothering her own little girl, she is re-discovering some of the wonder of her own mother, long lost. And for those mother-wonders, I give thanks daily.
But the ties bind uncomfortably sometimes. There is a level of commitment that comes from this connection, a feeling never asked for, but nonetheless present and so very real. And sometimes it feels absolutely overwhelming.
Not totally thrilled to read what came out of these fingertips tonight. This is one to be prayed over and through and around and about - now and forever, amen. Sigh. Five minutes isn't anywhere near long enough for all these layers and levels of both joy and pain.