Wednesday, March 26

I have been...

I have been the child of a fierce, independent woman, who raised me on her own, with help from her mother. I have been loved by my mother, in distant & sad ways, with little physical affection, in my early years.

I have watched as she poured all the love in hugs & kisses on my children, & her other grandchildren. It seemed to me, as a child, she gave my brother that same physical affection.

I have, as a consequence perhaps, smothered my own children with too many hugs, too many kisses. Though, they tell me not, they are used to my 'smother' love.

I have hurt for my mother, when I learnt things about her, that were never known when I was young. I have hurt for her wounded pride, her soft & gentle nature, she tried so hard to hide. Her shyness, & sensitivity. I have wondered how she had the strength to carry on with her life.

I have been bitterly ashamed on remembering what a problem child I was as a teenager. Ashamed of hurtful words, flung in spite, in the manner of teenage girls, who feel wounded & aggrieved. In self centred ways. Not always unfounded, but then, they have yet to learn that they are not the only ones who hurt.

I have been loved by my mother, through thick & thin, though it wasn't always evident to me. I am sure there were times when she must have disliked me intensely, with good reason.

I have been modestly successful academically at school. My mother was so proud of that fact, since she had not had the chance of an education I had. I wasted the gifts, in a way. I gave up the career I had planned. I became a traveller, I tested & tried life in many different places & styles.

I have been proud to be able to 'become' my mother's mother, at the end of her life. I have been so happy to have the chance to make her final time a little easier. I have been in awe at her wealth of knowledge, her wisdom, her huge interest in the world around us.

I married a man who was deemed HUH 'Highly Unsuitable Husband'. Divorced when I met him, a man from a very different background to mine. A man who had a child from his first marriage. A man who teased me. A man completely the opposite, almost.

A man whose grammar was not quite perfect. A sin! Whose parents had 'bad grammar'. A MIL who was said to be the 'Salt of the Earth'. That salt rankled & stung sharply in the wounds she dealt me, over the years.

I have been loved by that man, for 44 years. We have weathered our storms, shared our lives, & much of our careers. We have shared moments of great abiding joy. We have shared moments of loss & sadness so deep, we clung together to keep afloat. I don't always understand him, & he doesn't always understand me. We really are chalk & cheese. We quite often dislike the same things- a plus.

My mother grew to be fond of HUH. She respected his integrity. He greatly respected her level approach to life, her respect, & integrity also.

I have had children, who have been my pride & joy. I have been blessed with 2 Grandchildren. Also pride & joy.

I have had wonderful friends. Friends that mean more than mere words can express.

I have been heartbroken, felt pain unimaginable. I once saw an interview with Sir Bob Geldof,yes, I know that is not his correct title, but everyone knows him by that name speaking about the pain he felt when Paula Yates left him. He said he could feel his heart physically breaking. I have felt that pain. I know exactly how he felt.

I have been loved in ways I could never have imagined. I have loved people deeply, who were destined not to be part of my life for very long. I have had friends die, leaving unbearable holes in my heart, & my life.

I have been bereft when my parents died. My father, largely unknown. That terrible knowledge I could never get to know him, when he was gone. My mother, clung valiantly on to life at the end, dying surrounded by all who loved her. I was so priveledged to be there.

I have been fortunate to have friends who have lasted a very long time, & they are still my friends.

I have been on high mountains of joy, bliss, & happiness.
I have been in deep chasms, with no light, so black was the despair.

When people say, "If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger." I dispute that. It is a lie. It will leave you with scars. Some of them heal over strongly. Some never heal, & quietly bleed forever. That is my experience.


I have finished the label for the gift quilt. It has flannelette backing, for cuddle. I used a printed label, as I am sure there will be many washes ahead.

Off to the post today!

Cat Stevens, On The Road To Find Out.


Thimbleanna said...

So beautiful Meggie! I completely agree with you on the What doesn't kill you statement. I've always thought it should read, what doesn't kill you will make you wiser. Scared and wise. Cute little tag on your quilt!

Mike said...

Beautiful as usual Meggie. I agree with you on that what doesn't kill you thing. It's more like what doesn't kill you just hurts like freaking hell.

Josie said...

You have been...

...very lucky and blessed.

I think you have had a very good life and you appreciate that.

What a fabulous post!

ancient one said...

You have had a better life than many. You were a wonderful child and a blessing to your mother! And you are still gathering friends from your blog writings. There's a reason we come back to see you so often. Love the quilt. Noah will love it to!!

quiltmom said...

What a beautiful post- one that celebrates the gifts that your life has given you while accepting that we all are human and deal with our human frailities.
Thanks for sharing your reflections.

Kitty said...

Meggie, that was one of the loveliest things I've read in a long while. Thank you so much. x

Anonymous said...

Meggie you made me cry ... how beautifully you write, how lucky you are to have such a beautiful skill. How lucky we are to be able to share in this!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

That was so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing with such openness and transparency.

Ragged Roses said...

A beautiful post Meggie, your words are so true.

Tanya said...

You are so poetic. I don't think I could ever express myself as you do with words that flow and embrace. Thank you.

jellyhead said...

I love reading about your life Meggie. You are endlessly fascinating. More, more please!

Rosie said...

That was powerful stuff Meggie, well written!

Anonymous said...

wonderful post.

I would not change anything that has happened to me because who knows where or who I might have been if they hadn't have happened. But I do not think that the bad things have made me stronger or wiser.

teodo said...

Meggie ........this post is true and fascinating like you (I don't know you in person but I think that about you)
you have given us as a gift, many years -happy or bad - of your life in such a simply way that for me it's been like reading a novel.
Some situations were like mine.

And...... when you write "I have been proud to be able to 'become' my mother's mother, at the end of her life" is so sweet and lovely...
like that part where you have written: "I have been loved by that man, for 44 years."

and then .............I love each word of this post.

ciao ciao a big kiss

velcro said...

Meggie that was a beautiful post, and i echo the part about being a teenager!

bluemountainsmary said...

I think

that I just want to send you a massive hug for this post Meggie.

the mother of this lot said...

That was absolutely beautiful. I just wish I'd read it BEFORE I applied the non-waterproof mascara!

the mother of this lot said...

Oops! I forgot - came to say thanks for visiting and your lovely comments!

BBC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
leslie said...

Meggie, just ignore (and delete) that last post - he's an idiot and has been perusing a lot of blogs lately making disparaging remarks.

I love this post! It makes us realise that we are all in this life together. We all suffer deeply and we all have those wonderful blissful moments. If I "ever" get my book finished, you'll be surprised at what I've been through in my life. However, somehow I seem to have an optimistic nature that astounds those who know me. Why? *shrug* I guess only God knows why he gave me the life he did.

I think it's wonderful that you would share such intimacies with those of us who only know you through your blog. You're a very brave and wise woman! Love and hugs from me in Canada.

mjd said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I have not been very active lately so I have missed some of my old haunts. I love this poignant tribute to your mother. I too was a bit of a problem child and caused my mother some pain. I wish healing for those quiet wounds. Take care.

Lucy said...

Wonderful, thanks Meggie. Emotionally homest and very brave.

Nietsche (who said 'what doesn't kill you...') was an emotionally ignorant proto-Nazi; I always thought it was self-evidently rubbish, seeing the number of permanently damaged people there are around. But for good people it can perhaps make you compassionate, which, among other things, you clearly are.

I think many of us regret the hertful things we said to parents, especially in teenage years. You were blessed to be able to make amends later.

Finn said...

Hello Meggie, I hear your heart speaking here. Tempered with age and tested by fire's flame. They say that's what make the steel strong...the forging.
You and I are of a kinship age, and the view from here is different. The young ones will learn, at least I hope and pray that with mellowing comes wisdom.
Your post is so very astonishingly open, it's like looking into a beating heart.
I've gotten fairly glib in similar circumstances, choosing to use a line from a Sinatra song...."regrets?, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention". And of course, "I did it my way"...not meant in a boastful way either. I took the path, I made the choice...I own the consquences, it's made me who I am today. I'm so happy you are my special friend. Big hugs, Finn

Ian Lidster said...

Like all of us of a certain age, you have had your griefs, but you have also had joys in bounty and you cherish them. That makes you the person you are. And I am glad you are that parson.

h&b said...

I love this post Meggie - so poetic, and quite a journey !

As usual, i've got a lot of reading to catch up with on your blog :)

Molly said...

I know there must be layers and layers to this post! Seems to me you've met life's challenges head-on. If they haven't made you stronger [ they haven't?] they've made you loving, caring, compassionate and wise.

alice said...

You made me cry. I am not ble to write many words at the moment, ut I am able to read them. And I am so glad I did. Thank you.

Gina E. said...

Ditto to everything (well, mostly!) above. I too was impatient and unkind to my disabled Mum in my teenage years, but after she died (just before I turned 21) Dad told me not to even think about those few moments of temper. He saw the bigger picture of me looking after Mum, tending her nails and hair, taking over the cooking and cleaning when she could no longer do it.
I think it is human nature to remember the 'bad' things in our past more sharply than the good things. Guilty conscience perhaps?
Thanks for visiting Patra's Place - glad you enjoyed it!

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

A beautiful reflection - honest and poignant. I have seen myself in some of your thoughts and it gives me comfort. Thank you for sharing these poetic insights.

Tanya Brown said...

Beautifully written. It's always a pleasure to get to know you a bit better.

You've had some good times, but also some that were quite rough. It's this combination which gives you complexity, like a beautiful piece of burlwood, and has given you the perspective to be empathetic.

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
I understood my parents much better the older I became. They were who they were and I became who I was.
I enjoyed reading this post. Getting to know you is a blessing for me.
Thank you for your honesty.
I do a post honoring my Mother on her birthday and her die day every year. I never understood her until after she died.

BumbleVee said...

What a load of crap about it making you stronger eh? yes, I agree...we carry around some of the scars, guilt or anguish forever... my personal feeling is that some of us are also using them as tools of experience. I didn't become stronger...just a bit more clever, cynical, and wary perhaps........I learned how to avoid some of the same pitfalls.... sidestep some of the same dangers I faced as a mere child.

I, too, felt guilt(still do, but only on rare occasions now) over things said in the heat of the moment..or things done that I often wished I could had changed. My own Mom had a saying later in her life ..and she continued to mention it to me until the day she died..."We can only do the best we know how at the time" ..... I tell it to myself often......and I still hear it being said in her voice.... I like that. Maybe it glosses things over just a bit; and maybe it is meant to do so..but that's fine too.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.