These past few weeks have been filled with glorious weather and wonderful moments spent out of doors with each other getting our hands dirty and just feeling the warmth of the early spring embracing our bodies. The littles have been spending so much time outside that they are now just coming and going as they please. I find myself needing to remind them to let me know first before they head out so I can either a.) keep my eye on them from inside or b.) join them!
Posts here on It's a Simple Life have been few, mostly due to the beautiful weather that has been bestowed upon the Northeast of the United States but also because I've bringing the littles over to my parents house to spend some good time with my Mother who has been recently diagnosed with cancer. She is no stranger to cancer, this will be her 3rd time fighting this uphill battle. 5 weeks ago my Mother had a significant surgery to remove the masses from her ailing body, she is 74 and surgeries are becoming more and more difficult for her to recover from. Being the youngest in our family of 5 (I have two older sisters) I'm usually the last one to be asked to help out but I am now the only stay at home Mother out of us who can be available during the day when my Dad needs to be away. I'm so grateful for this time with her. It's not an easy time, if I could be honest. For the first time I'm really coming to grips with the reality that life is so fragile. My Mother's failing health has brought me to look at what my life would look like if my Mother weren't here. I know this isn't the most uplifting blog post, but, this is what's on my heart and mind today.........life and how each precious moment is a gift and how even though times and moments might be a struggle, they each need to be honored for what it is we learn from them, who they bring us closer to, and how we can flip it to be something better in the end.
My Mother and I haven't always had a great relationship. There are 42 years between us so our view points and the times in which we each grew up were and are so dramatically different from each other, understanding and tolerance were not easily doled out! It's been a long 12 years since I first became a Mother myself, asking my Mother for help even when I didn't want to, allowing her to Mother me and offer advice even if I didn't ask or if I didn't agree. I've learned to extend myself to her, even though she hasn't always been willing to accept what I have to offer. The best I could do was just love her and hope that one day we'd be equals, or at least find a common ground. That common ground, I believe, was this past week. My Mother had no choice but to allow me to come into her home and 'mother' her back. I was able to cook for her, get her medicine, talk with her, laugh with her, suffer with her, dote on her, and just allow the love I have for her to guide my abilities to care for her.......even though it's excruciatingly hard to see that her vitality is gone. Her face is pale, her smile is forced, her pain is great. These are very sad times. It is my goal to get her out and in the warmth of the sun........next week should be much warmer than this week so I will try again.....and again, and again! If only to let her see the world waking up from it's winter slumber and maybe seeing the new life will allow for a resurgence of life within her. Hope!
Thank you, friends, for reading this. I know it's not easy to hear of sadness and difficulty. I find it's extremely important to allow the forces that are real to have a place to flourish and shift and change as they may. If you're wondering about the title of this post, let me explain. When I was younger one of my favorite ways to spend some time was to go through the attics at my parents and look at old pictures, try on my Mother's old clothes and shoes (dating from the 50's - the 70's!), and find things like: my Dad's old saxophone, our old dance recital costumes, baby clothes from each decade beginning in the 70's! It was so much fun and one time I found a caricature of my Mother from when she was an airplane stewardess. She would travel all over the world and this picture was drawn on a boardwalk while she was laid over in California, I believe. She had a big beautiful smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye, much like the photo above. Sparkle Plenty........the artist drawing it came up with the name and I can only imagine it was the twinkle and vivid exuberance she had for life that inspired the name. I love it........
There is hope that she will overcome, that she will be given the strength to push on and continue to be here with us. Right now it's a little muddled, but as long as we continue to love and fight with her, no moment is wasted, no matter how difficult or painful. If we can find the strength within ourselves to just keep showing up and walking through the fire with her........well, that's what you do, right?
Anyway, hope is a wonderful virtue. I'm thankful I have some in my heart to share.......
"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live."