My mothers hands

I’ve had quite the week. It’s called life and happenstance, but I haven’t had anything that has knocked me down quite so much in months and I feel like I’m at a crossroads. It’s just as it should be, and it’s a means to an end, the end I’ve been working towards. Yet at the same time, the reality of it and having so many things disappear this week that I was emotionally attached to, almost unknowingly, I have felt helpless.

It was bound to happen.

In one week, I’ve traveled across 3 states twice, spent my Mothers day in San Francisco connected with my mom and made strides towards my first big move forward in my business. I had my wallet stolen for the 1st time in my life and had to rely on someone that I knew would help but I’m sure I was the last person they would want to help. The house I’ve left and been trying to prepare for sale is needless to say, decimated. I can’t nail down any moment exactly that I wasn’t talking my self off a ledge and trying to stay grounded and trying to find acceptance. I was accepting, but it took me a minute or two to get there each time. It was multiple times a day I rode this roller coaster. It’s one of those weeks that feels like forever but was over in a flash.

I watch and feel grateful that my son is who he is. He is truckin’ along doing what little guys do, play hard, work hard and enjoying being at the end of the school year, beautiful weather, friends and joy. The other man, just stood in the window and watched as the things I had put so many hours into and the things I had enjoyed trying to move forward and get to where I dreamed they would be…be scraped into a dump truck. His response was that he didn’t know what I wanted. That was the thing that rings true in my mind at this moment. The fact that after all the work, the sweat, the tears, the connections, the pride, this man still doesn’t know what I wanted. I wanted someone who loved and recognized me. All the crazy, delicate sides of me. And nothing. Nothing.

I had wanted the finished house, the finished garden, the peace of not having work to do to complete a task… alone…. like I always had. Alone. Where was I to never notice that not only did my dream of finishing this house, this yard mean nothing to him, but the passion I had for it also meant nothing.

As I sit this morning, trying to wrap my head around this past week, I wonder how to not avoid the feelings like I have in the past, just pushing through and getting where I want to be. I feel the tenderness and vulnerability and I know that I will sit here and recognize it. I will feel it. I will be cognizant of the heartache, not only the heartache I feel for me, but the heartache I have caused. The heartache my kids feel. I recognize that nothing right now is as important as feeling. If this week could bring anything to me to take forward, it is that sometimes, I need to feel. Feel for myself and allow the truth of my misgiving and misunderstanding time to settle and allow it to be something to build from. I am not perfect nor do I expect myself to be. I have always accepted that perfect means learning, loving, revamping ideas, making things better by being humble in these difficult times and doing the best we can to do less harm. I’ve done harm, I’ve been harmed. I see people as perfect. I love all the things that make up a person and love when the people around me know that I love them because, regardless of the ugly, they are perfect in life. But Perfect. Perfect isn’t a place to be. Perfection is not just accepting all the imperfections but embracing them. Perfect is always striving towards something. Anything that you feel worth the effort, that’s perfect. So when I take time this morning to write to help me come to acceptance of happenstance, I realize how perfect this week was.

What does my mothers hands have to do with this story? They are where my mind went last night as I grabbed my daughters suitcase and I looked at my hands. We picked her up from the airport. So fitting to have excitement and joy at the end of this week. Her bright smile and excitement to once again eat her favorite foods, drive a car….I knew when she got to the home she grew up in that there would be some disappointment and sadness and I worried she would react poorly. But she didn’t. I’m learning more and more that the honesty in disappointment are important to recognition and acceptance. It’s as if she felt my worry and now as she gets older, she is growing into a human, she made the choice to put her big girl britches on and accept where we are. I wanted to have things set up so at least it felt like home for her. But I didn’t. I really couldn’t. I felt resigned. I was hoping it would be a sign that things are moving forward, and boy howdy aren’t they. There I was at the airport, picking up a bag to help her carry to the car, I saw my hands. They aren’t my mothers hands genetically. I got my strong, bulky hands from my father, but they are her hands. Hands that have never really taken a break from working. Hands that have held my children from birth to adulthood. Hands that have provided my livelihood. Hands that touched my child’s hair as they lie on my lap in need of comfort. Hands that have been cut, broken and bled from hard work. Hands that held my husbands bruised and broken body willing him to stay, as if it would ever be the same. Tenderly touching and coaxing him to stay with me. Hands that have touched the earth and brought beautiful things to life for my heart. These hands held my mothers hand as she took her last breath. These hands that I place on my heart during practice and feel true gratitude for what they have provided for me all these years. These hands that today, instead of forcing myself to return to the habits that have been working for me this past year, they are going to make bread. With my daughter and my son, these hands are going to make bread. The warm water and yeast in the bowl, waiting for the flour to act upon. The flour, lovingly spread across the counter. The rising dough, warm with expansion, being pressed and kneaded, just the right amount of time, which seems to always a little bit more than our impatient lives crave. Patience. Watching the dough bind and then stretch and relax, expand and contract. Just like life. Kneading just a little bit more as puffs of flour float in the air and settle on the back of my hands, my mothers hands. There, working the dough with me, through me, through my daughters hands, through my sons hands. Time suspended. Probably tears, definitely stories. Definitely memories of the conversations and laughter that making bread provides. Time suspended, just for this moment.

Then as the butter melts into the freshly baked bread, we can reminisce more, bring us right into the moment and break bread. Break bread with mom and know that everything is exactly as it should be. Not missing this moment to be comforted and feel her love and once again, remember who is guiding me on this journey. And most importantly, bring my children back into my journey and share. Recognize their need for contraction and relaxation. Recognize our abilities to share and feel. Letting go of the pressure of what I feel should be finished right now, this very second, for things to move forward and come to the next leg of the journey. It is coming. Letting go of that, and feeling. Feel this moment and know that she is with me and everything is truly good. See the good. For it is all around me. She is here to remind me that although these things feel heavy and out of control (because they are) they aren’t what life is. Just happenstance. My reminder of what is actually important. She always showed me that. She is still here showing me. Reminding me. So after this week, here I am feeling her. I’ve come a long way. Right back to where I need to be, making bread with mom. Today, we make a memory to cherish.

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