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this mother-daughter bond

by Judy
December 30, 2016

A week ago marked a year and a half since my mom died. I wonder when one stops noticing these markings. I almost always remember when I am on these “special” dates like when my brother and father died, which was now more than twenty-five years ago. Every now and then I forget, but I only know I forget because at some point during that day or the next, it comes into my consciousness.

So how is it now for me? Do I still get teary sometimes? Yes. Do I still find it unbearable at times that my mom is no longer here? Yes. But overall, it is different. It’s easier. It’s easier to talk about her; think of her and even not think about her.

My mother was always very creative. She also always encouraged and delighted when her children were creative. When she turned sixty, she started to sculpt and soon afterwards went into painting up until  her early nineties. She was so happy when I started to paint about eight years ago and always wanted to see what I was doing. My mom had a sense of adventure when she created, be it painting, sculpting or collaging. She experimented and did not get bogged down in the whole process. And this sense of adventure and freedom mysteriously got instilled in me. I am not afraid to venture into new territory and it’s always fun.

One wish that comes up for me when I paint - I wish I could share what I am doing with my mom and get her responses and feedback. Also when I get compliments, I would love to share them with her because I know it would have made her so happy. What to do? I am grateful that I did have her for so long unlike many daughters who lose their moms at a relatively young age.

My mother had a delightful sense of humor and especially - at least that’s the way it seemed to me - in her last years on this earthly plane, she abandoned herself to laughter in a way that was infectious. I could not help laughing with that same abandonment when she laughed. In somewhat of a mysterious way, I feel that laughter seeped into me since she died. Often I will find myself laughing at something and feel like we are laughing together. Some aspect of her sense of humor and laughter got transferred to me.

And then the question arises: who are we really? How solid are we? How much do we really change? I think more than we realize when we let ourselves be affected by others; when we let them into our heart and soul. We change or maybe more accurately we are changed.

I have been changed by my mom; by her big heart and down – to – earth wisdom that is seeping more into my bones. And perhaps it’s also just by getting older. My mother also changed in time and with age. After all she was 99 years old when she died and in many ways she mellowed. She relaxed. The rough edges softened.

As the New Year approaches, and I look out the window at the winter snow, it is definitely a time of reflection and a time of stopping. The animals understand this kind of hibernation, a time of pulling inward before the spring renewal.

And it’s also a time of connecting or re-connecting with old friends and family…sitting in front of the fireplace (metaphorically or for real), drinking mulled wine, hot chocolate…and communing.

It’s all about our connections, our bonds.  And this mother-daughter bond is our earliest bond; so deep, so unique and so mysterious.



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