My grandson, Isaiah.
It’s been a long time since we’ve talked. Almost 35 years. I still remember that warm, August night in 1979. I remember Keith walking in (though he should have been at work…a bad sign) and saying, “Mom’s gone.” Although I understood the meanings of those two words individually, when my brother linked them together, their meaning escaped me. “Gone?”, I asked. How was a girl not yet 13 supposed to accept that her mom has just died. I knew you were in the hospital because you were sick. But seriously, you were never coming back? You were my mom. Moms come back. But you didn’t. I felt so guilty not having talked to you on the phone that day to tell you I love you. I was busying playing. I figured I could call you the next day. But there was no next day. If only there was a way for us to know when we have reached our last “next day”.
I didn’t understand everything you were going through in the hospital. I thought it was just the illness. Emphysema was serious, I knew. But I had no idea of the other struggles you had. The struggle to not be afraid all of the time. The struggle with depression. The struggle to just exist and blend with society. All of this was too much for you. You were mentally and physically exhausted. I will never have the facts to determine exactly what went through your mind. I was only told you gave up. You needed to just let go so you stopped fighting to live. I get that now. But then, then I only saw you stopping the fight to be my mom. When you let go you let go of me, too. And I fell. I landed in a house (although with my other family) that was not a home. Not for me. It was cold and lonely. It was clear that it would be better if I were just a visitor rather than a permanent resident. But that is another story. Back to our story.
For a long time, even though I missed you terribly, I was angry. Angry that you left me. Angry that you abandoned me. Once I was in my 20s I started asking questins. I learned through conversations with your sister and my cousins where you really were back then; Not physically but mentally and emotionally. I felt guilty all over again. This time I felt guilty for being angry.
I learned that much of our family, by this time, was suffering with varying degrees of depression and taking meds. Sure, now you can’t turn on the TV and not see a commercial for a prescription med that treats depression. But in 1979 it wasn’t so acceptable and well-known. It makes me sad to think that maybe you felt lonely because you were different. Maybe you felt like you were crazy? Maybe you felt like you couldn’t be my mom because you were different?
I started researching mental illness and depression. I talked with professionals. I took several Psychology classes. I read a lot. It made me so sad to think that you were so lost in your own mind and couldn’t break free. I want you to know that I understand now. I’m sorry it took me so long to get it but I do. I do get it. Your battle was bigger than any of us knew. I still miss you terribly. But I am not angry. I don’t feel abandoned and I am not lonely. You will be happy to know that I do not suffer from depression. I’m not ‘cheerleader’ perky every day but I do okay. I rely on God. Prayer combats the bad days.
Mom, you taught me how to love. You were an example of how to show the people in my life that they are important to me. You made me a better mom. I miss you so much, every day.
Write back soon.
Initially I wanted a place to ramble about random things that annoy me. You know, just to get things off my chest? That is why my first post was driven by how annoyed I get when people move around in traffic, especially rush hour traffic, without signaling. It’s rude and dangerous. It still makes me nuts. Anyway, now I want my blog to be more than complaining. Admittedly, I am in the process of drafting a post about another of my irritants. I’ll post that in a day or so. I’m still gathering ammunition a.k.a. stats.
Back to my current blog plan…I want it to be a place where I can also post about things not so negative. For example, I sometimes have crazy dreams. I am fascinated with all things related to the mind! Maybe we can talk about current events? Maybe someone commenting on my blog will have a great topic idea for discussion? I have many interests such as superheros (Iron Man rocks!), reading, lighthouses, I’m passionate about the fact that we never stop learning…just to name a few. So i guess my blog posts could end up being all over the board! Who knows, I might even try my hand at some photo posts.
Regardless of the post topics, I want the writing practice. You see, my career goal, no, my destiny, is to be a writer. My career goal is to be a B2B copywriter. That means I have to hone my craft. And all writing practice builds skill and confidence. So here I am. Blogging. For real. Not just saying…someday (which I heard in a movie once means “never”).
My name is Judy Doell. My secular vocation is processing accounts payable. I know, right? A writer processing A/P sounds nuts. And believe me, I feel like out-of-place every single day. I think about writing all of the time. I think about saying to anyone that asks, “yes, I am a writer.” But I still allow things take my attention away from writing and that eats at me. So that is why I am here. I want to become disciplined in my writing. I want to write every day, work on my craft, gain confidence, gain followers, connect with those that think like me (for support), and those that do not (for that new perspective). I want to start behaving like the writer I know I destined to be.
2014 is the year of RE…RE-establishing relationships, RE-organization, and the RE-invention of me.
I don’t like to use the word resolution. I speculate that it’s because of my many failed attempts at resolutions in the past. I think these failed attempts have forever changed the definition of the word resolution for me. Someone says “resolution”, I hear “failure”. However, when I add “re” to a word, it’s an automatic new beginning…a do-over!
The first of many “re” efforts occurs this weekend. I am having lunch with a friend I met in 1980, lost touch with in 1994, connected with last year and then lost touch with again. This year will be different.
Speaking of different…I am interested to know, what does 2014 represent for you?
I haven’t posted in a while because I have been super focused on completing my college degree. Well, that’s done. Mission accomplished. Now, back to the blog.
This weekend I said goodbye to a good friend of mine that lost her battle with cancer. Karen was an amazing woman, Christian, mom/wife and church leader. She will be missed. Death is so much harder on those left behind. Our comfort is found in knowing that, in heaven, Karen has a new body. She is free!!