94 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to ghdphotos, whose lovely picture may be found here.  ]

 

“The capacity to accept suffering for the sake of

goodness,

truth

and justice i

s an essential criterion of humanity,

 

because if my own

well-being and safety are ultimately more important

than truth and justice,

 

then the power of the stronger prevails,

 

then violence and untruth reigns supreme.”

 

Pope Benedict XVI Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi  ]

92 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to verdigris jane, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

 

“(And the girl said:)

>How should we be able to forget

those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples,

 

the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses;

 

perhaps

all the dragons of our lives are princesses,

who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.

 

Perhaps

everything terrible is

in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

 

So you must not be frightened,

dear Mr. Kappus,

if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen;

 

if a restiveness,

like light and cloud-shadows,

passes over your hands and over all you do.

 

You must think that something is happening with you,

that life has not forgotten you,

that it holds you in its hand;

 

it will not let you fall. . . .<”

 

[ Rainer Marie Rilke ]

90 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Niqos | Photograff, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

 

“Be like water making its way through cracks.

 

Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.

If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.

If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.

You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

 

Now, water can flow or it can crash.

 

Be water, my friend.”

 

[ Bruce Lee née Lee Jun-fan ]

83 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Maria@through my eyes/busy – off and on, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

 

“In the world of the dreamer there was solitude:

all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living.

They took place in solitude.

 

But with action came anxiety,

and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream,

 

and with it came weariness,

discouragement,

and the flight into solitude again.

 

And then in solitude,

in the opium den of remembrance,

the possibility of pleasure again.”

[ Anaïs Nin ]

73 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Jake May, whose lovely picture may be found here. ]

“It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap.

The drill drills on.”

[ C. S. LewisA Grief Observed ]

Sorry To Dissapoint You, But I Am Not My Mother!

“There is just one life for each of us:

Our own.”

[Euripides]

One of my stored away feelings in one of the many boxes hit home again last night: the feeling of freedom.

One of the things I have always considered both a grace of god and a curse is the striking similarity in looks between my mother and me.

We both have heart-shaped faces with soft brown eyes, brigitte-bardot-lips and thick, jet-black, silky, wavy hair (although I have recently started colouring mine a darker honey-shade blonde – which actually goes quite well with my fair skin).

Beyond the apparent similarity in features we also have (or so I have been told) similar mannerisms. I have a tendency of tilting my head slightly to the left in pictures (so does she), I have done ludicrous things to help others (her life was about being reckless for the sake of others), we have the same insecure half-smile when we are nervous and we treasure harmony more than anything else in the world.

Weirdly enough we also made some very identical choices in our lives and had some not-so-great things happen to us, that would probably happen to almost everybody making the choices we made, but still don’t happen to the average person.

I always treasured that. It felt like all those little tiny pieces came together as a singular stream of connection between me and the woman who gave birth to me and nourished me and raised me and who I still for the life of me can not remember.

Over the years, her friends have gotten in touch with me over Facebook, e-mails, via my father and my grandparents in the US. This too, I treasured. They were my rearview mirror that could show me images of the past I am not able to see with my own eyes. They could paint pictures of my mother that went beyond her life with my father and me, back to her childhood and youth and somehow that was comforting, making her more real to me.

I loved when people said how much I favoured her. It made me feel like my purpose was to keep her alive through me – not just as a memory or a genetic trait, but to actually relive and continue her life for her.

The last couple of days or maybe weeks, before my 30th birthday all this grace slowly started to turn sour. It started to feel less like a gift and more like a curse.

Her life ended after thirty years, how could mine continue? Where was I to go from here, without my steady compass of “This-is-the-road-she-travelled-before-me”? It felt like her steady ghost would abandon me at last and I would finally be left all alone.

This scared me. I wasn’t ready to face the world completely motherless. You see in my mind she was still always there, by my side watching me retread her steps.

I wasn’t sure, if I was capable of living my own life without her almost symbiotic presence. Which way should I turn when the path before me faltered and stopped?

The weird thing is the first thing I felt when I opened my eyes on october the 10th was not fear or loneliness or worries. It was the feeling of freedom. I felt like, for the first time since I could remember, I was breathing fresh air and filling my lunges with endless possibilities of my very own life. I wasn’t aware that I had waited for this moment for so long and that now, finally, it had arrived.

Nothing I would do and will do from this moment forward will have any connection to the life she lived, because her life simply didn’t go on beyond this point.

In all honesty, I will have to admit that this feeling of freedom did not remain pure and untinged for all too long. It was soon mixed with guilt about me feeling this way and a sense of disloyality towards the woman who had cared for me and loved me until the end.

I would like to say it helped that her friends got in touch with me that day and I suppose in a way it did, but not in the immediate way one would expect.

The general sentiment that was conveyed to me that day was that I should celebrate my birthday like no other and never falter because my mother could live on through me.

I understand that this was said to comfort me.

All it did, however, was make me furious!

I had given her thirty years of my life. Thirty years of living in her shadow. Thirty years of copying her. Thirty years of searching for as much of her as I could find, so that I could strive to become her.

Enough is enough.

I understand that losing my mother to her friends was a tragedy. She was charming, caring, witty, beautiful, creative and lovely. I understand that life without her will always lack the luster of her wild spirit and pearling laugh.

I also understand that she didn’t leave on october 10th 2011 when I decided to finally live my own life.

All of what she was ended on April 20th 1984. Her 30th birthday, not mine.

So, I’m sorry if this hurts you, but I just have to let you know:

“I am not my mother! I came from her and through her, but she doesn’t live on inside of me. All of what is inside of me is 100% me – don’t be fooled by appearances!”

Phantom Pains

“Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you are ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”

[ Jim Morrison ]

I’ve said in my “About” that the reason I have taken up blogging about being a motherless daughter is to find “kindred spirits”.

Last night I was laying in bed talking things over with my boyfriend who is so empathetic it’s scary (although my choice in men is a whole nother post on its own) and he phrased it quite well. What he said is:

” Losing your mother to you is like losing an arm or a leg. Of course you can function without it and you will find methods of cooping and maybe even improving other skills that you usually wouldn’t have, but you are still missing that arm or leg. And yes, people won’t be able to relate because they have two arms or legs. All they see are the advantages that come with it like someone open- ing a door for you because you can’t, but they can’t see that you would give all of this up in exchange for just having two arms or legs.”

See, I told you: He is eerily empathetic! This is exactly how I feel. He nailed it.

Since I lost my mother at such a young age, I was able to develop certain skills that I wouldn’t have had to otherwise. I have become incredibly independent (although I am incredibly needy at times too), I’m very empathetic to everybody else’s feelings and emotions and usually tap on to them quite easily without them being voiced, I was/am always really mature (although I do regress in certain situations), I have become an analyzer and a thinker with a highly acute emotional side.

Would I have been able to obtain these skills without the loss of my mother? Yes! Of course I would have (at least I think I would), but I don’t think it would have happened so fast or in such an intensity. It is almost like the blind person that has incredible hearing. Maybe he had a great hearing to start with, but not being able to see forced him to develop this natural ability even further. To perfect it.

Did I have any other advantages in life? Is someone always opening the proverbial door for me because I can’t? Yes and no.

In elementary school I was doted upon by my female teachers (and somehow I only had fe- male teachers). They paid a lot more attention to me than to the other little boys and girls in my class. I didn’t get a free ride, but I did get more attention and more incentive to do good. Obviously this helped me to progress as a student and essentially served as a foundation to my further schooling. So yes, that was an advantage.

Also, especially grandmotherly figures, would try to make up for my loss with sweets, treats and attention (although not so much my own grandmothers, neither paternal nor maternal – but that again is another post). So yes, I guess that was an advantage too.

I also believe, that if my father were writing this post he would point to many other advantages: financial (I received a sort of “half-orphan pension”), emotional (attention from the entire family – always being the special child) and a lot of leniency in discipline and parenting from his side. I can’t bluntly disagree with those, but I don’t fully agree with them either, but again this is another post (gosh, I’m saying that a lot today).

However – yes there were advantages (internal and external) for me through the death of my mother.

Would I trade all of those for the chance at having a “normal” life with a mother, MY mother? In a heartbeat!

No advantage of any sort would ever make me reconsider this.

I miss her painfully. I long for her constantly. Sometimes I break down and have this intense need for her, that it catches my breath.

Now, obviously you can object to this easily citing the age I was when the loss occurred. You could argue, that me being so young means, that I don’t know what I am missing, I don’t know what I am longing for. I hardly got to say hello, before I had to say goodbye.

Agreed, I can’t mourn the person my mother was because I didn’t get to know her, but I can mourn exactly that. I can grieve being robbed of getting to know my mother. I can long for the ability to look into her eyes or smell her scent or touch her hand. I can have the need for a motherly touch.

Also I believe that having lost her so early on in my life, I might not know what exactly I am missing out on, but I DO know that I am missing out on something. Maybe I hadn’t gotten used to having two arms and two legs yet and so I don’t know what it feels to have them, but I do feel something vital is missing and it hurts.

This hurtful feeling that stems from her absence is almost like phantom pain. It’s gone and so it shouldn’t hurt, but my heart and soul remembers her from when she carried me in her womb and this nervous memory triggers pain. Denying me this pain is denying my reality.

So now I come full circle once again. Although I am blessed with this amazing man in my life, I feel the need for other “motherless daughters”. Women who will not only empathize with my phantom pains, but know them as their own. Know the feeling of longing, hurting and feeling lost and maybe even those moments of feeling alienated to friends and family because they don’t feel this way.

I believe that pain is a message your body, mind or spirit sends you to let you know something is wrong. To search inside yourself and to mend and grow stronger from it.

It would be so much easier to mend whilst learning from others who have travelled down that path before me.

And even if it were just to compare battle scars.