I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Purpose, Realism, and the Rarest of Photographs

I don't remember the year. My best guess is 2004. If so, I had recovered from surgery earlier in the year, was working as a paralegal and saving up to petition the court to locate my ex so I could get a divorce. It's definitely Christmas, and we were having dinner with my wonderful grandmother who was suffering from Alzheimer's. I'm sure Mom's sister asked us to pose for the picture. She was always taking pictures and sending copies to everyone. It's the only photo taken with Mom in my adult life. I am happy to have something to hold onto that shows us together seemingly normal, at least, although there wasn't anything normal about life with her.

Mother's Day is never an easy day. I think of her with an equal measure of love and pain. I'll always care that she tried to be a parent for awhile, and I'll hopefully always remember any good time we had. I'll always hurt that she turned on me, and I'll always grieve because she gave up. There's nothing to be done now but attempt to process the experience, and move forward. I'm trying.

As for my own lack of motherhood, I have good days and bad days. I think anyone who follows me on social media or reads this blog on a regular basis is aware of that. Some days, I'm relieved I didn't have kids because of my inadequacies, which are many. Other days, I feel robbed and wish I could start life over again or rewind time and simply choose not to be born at all. But I would like to think I have a purpose in this world. I grew up talking about purpose as the anchor in my life; the one thing that kept me going. I can't help but question at times if my faith in believing I had a purpose was all in vain. I've discovered that trading faulty idealism for sobering realism comes at a price. I know it's the right thing to do, but that doesn't make it easy. In fact, it has been downright excruciating on many occasions. Sometimes, this all seems pretty senseless.

Thankfully, I'm aware that grief comes in waves, emotions are allowed, and depression is a liar. The best thing I can do for myself is acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with how I'm feeling about any of this. It's all a part of life's process. It's what I would tell anyone I encounter who is going through the same thing...IT IS OK. Take a deep breath, let it come, and let it go. Just don't drown.

I didn't plan this, but I'm reminded of a song by Of Monsters and Men:

Swallowed by a vicious vengeful sea
Darker days are raining over me
In the deepest depths I lost myself
I see myself through someone else

Grace is a gift that I love to give, but, as usual, I struggle to offer it to myself. Perhaps I can learn to. And concerning a purpose, maybe someone else can enlighten me. I'm open to suggestions.

I hope you're resting in peace, Mom. In spite of everything, I know your suffering was undeserved.