by Yvonne DiVita, from Nurturing Big Ideas - ready to write your book this year?
Just reviewed and updated an old blog post. It was a meme from 2008, so a long, long time ago. This blog goes back so far, to the beginning of blogging, if you want the truth, I couldn't possibly update all of the posts that have broken links, etc. But, occasionally, someone sends me a note about a broken link and I get a chance to go in and not only fix the link, but update the post.
The post in discussion is 7 Things I Would Never Tell My Mother. I was tagged by Toby Bloomberg who was Diva Marketing, and now is Diva Foodies. Though, like myself, she has not shed her Diva Marketing cloak. We both keep our 'old' selves primed for attention. Those are our roots and we are grateful to them for all the creative endeavors they've helped us build, over the years. Lipsticking and Diva Marketing. Oh yes.
The post got me thinking because... my Mom isn't here any longer. Nor is my Dad. Neither Dad. Yes, I had two dads. It happens. My step-Dad passed so many years ago, I don't even remember the date. I only remember how he suffered and how angry I was that he wasn't going to be around for many more years.
My Dad passed five years ago, I think. Again, I don't hold on to dates. What's the use of that? My Dad suffered also. From Alzheimer's. It wrapped its ugly fingers around all of us, but mostly my Mom and my sisters, Jan and Sue, who lived here and helped care for him. I have to think his passing, at 91 was a blessing.
My Mom died two years after my Dad.
When I was reading the 7 Things I Would Never Tell My Mother, my heart ached. Because, in the comments, Lee Drake, a good friend, wrote:
"Tell her now. Don't wait. You might be sorry you did."
And so, here I am. Sorry that I didn't tell her all the things I should have. Like these:
- Mom, I forgive you. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It lifts anger and despair away with a gentle breeze. You might ask what I am forgiving my mother for, but that is not for this post. She was a narcissist. That is all I will say for now. I forgive her. It's enough.
- Mom, you taught me how to be myself. Sometimes it was a hard task, allowing me to grow up and become a strong woman who supports other strong women. But, you were the first, for me. You were the example. How lucky am I that I had you to teach me that?
- Mom, I resent that you did not give me your gift for numbers. Numbers and I do not get along. I can add small sums, but you could take a grocery list with prices, 25 items long, and add it up correctly. It only made me cross-eyed. I seem to have passed your gift on to my children, so that's good. But, really, I wish you'd given it to me, first.
- Mom, I'm glad you sewed a lot of my clothes. While I never took over that talent, I did some sewing of my own, in my day. I did it because you did it. I did it because home-made is often better. I wish I'd appreciated that at the time.
- Mom, I wish we'd had more time together to talk about your life. You told such great stories of growing up in the 1930s and 1940s. There was hardship but also laughter and dreams. We didn't talk about your dreams as much as I wish we had. I wish I'd asked you more about them. I think your dreams got waylaid by marriage and children, and divorce, and more children, and then life said, too late for that dream - do this now. And you did. But, I knew you weren't always happy.
- Mom, I wish you'd been able to attend one of our BlogPaws conferences. That still haunts me. That I didn't try harder to get you to a conference where you could have seen what Chloe, and Tom, and I had made - with Caroline Golon and so many other talented pet people. But, somehow, I let that slip by, as I let so many other things slip by. One day I planned to do it, and the next day... it was too late.
- Mom, I wish I had taken time to think of you as a woman first, and my Mom, second. I wish I'd learned more about you. I wish I had let my guard down and reached out to just talk about life. Not about family. Not about politics. Not about the state of the world. But about our lives, the way they were intertwined, and how the thorns always got in the way of appreciating the roses.
Unfortunately, I never said any of these things to my Mom. I can say them now, whisper them in the night, send the words off into the Universe, praying that some measure of them reaches the soul of Mom and even Dad(s), because in the end, all that I am is because of them. And all that I do, is because of them.
I lost my chance. If you still have yours, grab it. Call your Mom and Dad. Talk about life and dreams. Reach out to them as people with a story to tell. A legacy is an important thing to leave your kids and grandkids. It starts with the memories they can share - which, in the end, will give you the only real truth of who you are. Leave me a comment. Tell me a story about your Mom or Dad...while you still can.