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,
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.