63

63

Today, in celebration of what would have been my mom’s 63rd Birthday,
I’ve written something a little different than I normally write in this space.
It’s raw and vulnerable and honest and I hope you’ll give it a read
despite it having absolutely nothing to do with homesteading.
xoxo,
M

:::::

Had you not left us almost 10 years ago, you would have welcomed in your 63rd year today…

And you’d be going on and on about how Birthdays are really to be celebrated all month long, so this is your month…

Though I know you’d be happy to share your month with your Granddaughter and revel in your shared astrological sign and sweet sensitivities.

And then I think about how, in your absence, so much has happened that would have made you so happy…

And may have even helped to balance out the very dark waves you might still be fighting…

Had you just stuck around for a bit longer

Because 53 is too young to die…

And the older I get, the more this comes clear.

And then I think about your grief…

Your deep seated vulnerabilities and wounds and addictions…

Your inability to self soothe without self medicating…

Your pain and anger and blame games…

Your waves of instability and my inability in my twenties to wrap my head around how to help you instead of pushing you away.

And then I think about my own grief…

And how much I’ve learned about addiction and chemical imbalances since your death…

And how I still have so much to heal between you and I…

Because, at the end of the day, you were (are) my mother and your death did not change my love for you.

And you are the reason I find such hope in the garden…

And you are the reason I always do my best to see the good in people…

And you are the reason I wonder about my genetic predisposition to depression and my ability to be safe and whole and healthy in this chaotic and traumatic world.

And then I think about my daughters and their genetic predispositions and energetic vulnerabilities…

And I remind myself that there are chains in life…

Cycles of Being…

That must be broken apart and allowed to decompose in our spirits like the compost that feeds the soil and then the seeds that will feed us in another season…

Because we are not our DNA…

And we are not our choices…

And we are not the choices of those who came before us.

No, we are allowed to forge our own paths…

To make our own decisions…

And to live our own lives.

And we can learn and grow and change our minds and our paths and try new things and not.be.tied to an idea of who we should be or how we should engage with the world around us or which masks will look better to those looking in on us from the outside…

Because it’s what’s inside that we have to sit with in the quiet moments…

Be with…

Every day of our lives.

So we should be happy with what’s under the surface, shouldn’t we?

And that takes work…

But it’s work worth doing.

And then, again, I think back to all of the things you’ve missed…

The births and birthdays and graduations and marriages…

The heartbreak and healing…

The questions and answers…

The packing, the moves, and the setting up of houses and homes.

And I wish that you could have known my wife (because she’s an inspiration) and my sweet daughter (because she is such a little spitfire).

And I wish that you could have watched your namesake and your son grow up (because they are amazing young adults so full of life and doing their absolute best to navigate the world around them with grace and courage).

And I wish you could have felt the pride of the choices we’ve all made without you…

And because of you.

Then I remember that everything is energy and you’re not really gone, you’re just not here in a readily recognizable way.

And I acknowledge that the energy of you, the memory of you, is just not the same as your arms wrapped around me or the sound of your voice to comfort me or cheer me on.

And I acknowledge that I’m still so sad and I still just miss you…

Every.single.day…

Whether I say it out loud or not.

The last decade has been intense (in good ways, too…intensity isn’t always bad)!

And you’ve missed so much…

And yet I wonder…

I wonder if any of the things that have happened would have happened the way that they all have over the past (almost) 10 years had you not left us the way you did…

Because, like a butterfly’s wings, everything affects everything else…

And there’s no way of knowing what might have happened had you not checked out.

So then I come back around to knowing at my very core that everything happens for a reason…

And that you had a plan…

And your exit was what you wanted…

And what was meant to be…

Because it is what it is.

And now all there is to do is to move forward in this life without you here beside me

But, instead, within me…

Because that’s all I have left of you to hold on to when life is hard…

And when life is good…

And when life is worthy of a full on celebration…

Whether it be for a day or for a whole damn month.

Kerry-1970s

Happy Birthday, Mom.  Love you.

xoxo,
M

Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

8 Comments

  1. Ashley

    so heartfelt, wonderful, and so very true (although I didn’t know your mother)- beautiful words about LIFE. It’s tough when a parent is without us, isn’t it? I lost my step-father (a VERY important man in my life) 14 years ago yet it feels like yesterday. So much has happened that I’ve wanted to tell him. Yet I know he’s watching and is with me. As is your mother. Love you Melissa!

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      Ashley, thank you so much for your kind, heartfelt words. It’s such a process, this grieving and healing thing, isn’t it? xoxo

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