” It’s weird to feel like you miss someone you’re not even sure you know.”
― David Foster Wallace
It’s the holiday season. For me, the last few have been rough, to say the least. And to be honest, I am surprising….ok. Not full of holiday cheer, or the spirit of Christmas but compared to last year, I am…..ok.
I am finding some joy in the thought of decorating Christmas cookies, have my shopping pretty much done, and looking forward to celebrating the season with those who love me. I am feeling relatively peaceful. My anxiety has been kept at bay, depression… while there, is managed and under control. The peace is unexpected, and I am not sure how I feel about it.
It has been going on two years of estrangement from my mother. Two years in just a few months. For those of you following, I did reach out to her. A simple note left on her door because she was not home. It simply said” “I just wanted to know how you are, no anger, just talk”. And she replied, albeit with a mixed message. The text read: “Joan, I don’t know what there is to talk about, but I am home until 1:30”. The first part to me, said leave me alone, the second part, I am here. So, I got back in my car and went to her.
It was awkward. Uncomfortable. We chatted about nothing really. Grocery prices, family members… and all the time I watched for a glimmer, a glimpse of emotion. But she showed nothing. I stayed for about 40 minutes… sitting there on her deck making small talk and avoiding each other’s gaze. I thought to myself… “it’s a step”, and that a good thing. But I saw no emotion at all. Not one ounce of the loss I felt, the longing I was feeling. She is strong. I know this. She is stubborn. I know this too. But surely, I would see something? No. She gave nothing away.
When it was time for me to leave, I summoned the courage to ask her if I could hug her. Still holding on to hope that this would be the moment I would feel something from her. She had hurt her shoulder and was awaiting surgery. She blankly told me “that’s fine, but be careful of my arm”. I reached in and hugged her. Hoping. Praying, that she would gift me at least a moment. A moment that showed me no matter what, above everything, love was still there. She never raised either arm. I hugged her, and she let me.
I left feeling defeated. Like the months of letters, texts, and today, face to face… meant nothing. I, meant nothing. I didn’t believe it was possible, as I cannot imagine it for myself. But here we were. And it was cold as the artic tundra. I left. I cried. I debated trying again. But it took me so long to get there in the first place. It will likely take me another year or more before my heart has the courage to try again.
But, I am doing okay. I have learned one thing through all of this with my mother. And that is, she taught me to heal myself. She taught me to forgive. Myself…. And her. She taught me it is ok to love, even from a distance. And somewhere, I hold on to hope that love, will win.
In the meantime, I am truly blessed. With children and a husband that love and support me. And they alone make my holidays seem brighter. It’s not the same. It never will be. But I. Am. Ok. I am a Mother, friend, sister, warrior, lover. She taught me how to be all of those. So even if she is far from me, she is still very much a part of me. And it is the comfort of carrying her with me in the fibers of who I am, that makes everything….ok.
Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday season. From my heart to yours.
Joan Poirier is an Empath, a goddess, a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend. She is you, and she is me. Just a real woman, embracing her age and her wisdom, and not afraid of opening the dam and making some waves during her short time on the wild ride of life. She is on an ever-growing quest to live better, do better, be better and taking all the lumps that go with it.