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That “OOOHHHH, I Get It” Moment

Reflecting from my finite perspective, I wasn’t given enough years to think of and really appreciate my mother as anyone other than my mother. I loved her and I worked hard at understanding her but she died when she was sixty – six years young so there weren’t many years to appreciate her as a woman, wife,daughter, sister, friend, teacher  – all the other facets of her life. I know in my head that God ordains the number of days each of us has on this earth but there are moments when that twelve inch gap between my head and my heart seems immense.

I’m not sure I would label how I feel as “jealousy” but I do periodically wander into “what if” territory when I am around women my age who are still connecting with their mothers. I don’t talk about this much but I have struggled in those particular kind of moments for the past fifteen years.  Some comment or event will trigger a memory and for that second, I long for my mother  –  not only for her presence as my mother but for the opportunity to know her as a woman and a friend.

This afternoon, my eyes are misty and my memories are colorful.

There is so much that I didn’t know about my mother. She died like an unsolved mystery and I mourn that I didn’t acknowledge or understand more of the clues.

Every mother is a mystery until her child begins to see her as more than a mother. The clues are everywhere but it takes maturity, patience and intention to decipher and solve.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to blog- I love to look for God in the ordinariness of every day life – but there’s more. Recently,  I had an epiphany of sorts. All three of children read my blog regularly and they are learning more about who I am. They’re learning that I am more than their mother.

I am a Christian, wife, woman, questioner, peacemaker, friend, forgiver, ASL signer, observer, rebel, writer, neighbour, daughter, driver, crocheter, crazy lady, tutor, teacher, baker, believer, sister-in-law, attempter, leader, sinner, grandmother, story teller, forgetter, older woman, counsellor, complainer, struggler, encourager, mentorer, learner, comforter…and yes, I have been abundantly blessed to be their mother too.

I didn’t start blogging so that my children could see me from a different perspective and to be honest, none of them have said anything to affirm this “opportunity for enlightenment”  but from where I’m sitting, I lament the lack of opportunity to have known my mother in a deeper way. I would have loved reading my mother’s blog. (I suppose back then, it would have been my mother’s memoires, diary or thoughts on life.) I believe that new windows in my mind would have opened and fresh air would have billowed in. Clues would have been picked up on and mysteries would have been solved.

That “OOOHHHH….I get it” moment of discovery would have been forever savoured.

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  1. dawne

    Although I haven’t mentioned it to you before, I have thought of this! It’s nice to read your blogs and hear what you are thinking or doing-stuff I probably wouldn’t know otherwise…it is also a nice record of special memories that happen in our family. Sometimes you post thing that happen with phoenix that are so cool that I had no idea about. We are lucky to have you around during our adult years – I really can’t imagine any other way but I am very thankful for that 🙂

    • Thank you, Dawne….you made my day! Love mom

  2. Anne

    Oh, Diane, I’m nearly in tears myself as I read your blog. My mom died at age 47 when I was 22 – I know exactly what you mean when you say you only knew your mother as “mother” and not as a woman who had hopes and dreams of her own. Oh, how I miss not having had the opportunity to get to know my mother – but look forward to knowing her better in eternity. So, for anyone under 25 – develop that relationship with your parents before it’s too late. They really are people!

    • Anne, I was with the OVERFLOW! group today and I shared some of my thoughts from this post. I encouraged the young girls to make time with their moms and challenged them to ask questions and care about their moms as “people” – not just as their mothers. Thanks for your wise words. Diane

  3. Thanks Diane. As I read this, I became so aware of your Mom’s age-66. Mine.
    A friend from Bayview Glen also just died at the same age this week. Makes one think.
    My Mom, as we have spoken of countless times, was so special. I think that yo’re being that kind of mom to your kids and grandkids, Diane.
    How special that Dawne wrote about you and your blog… Precious.

  4. Loraine Chan

    Thank you for your wise words. Yes I’m learning to see my mom more than just a mother. I’m grateful my mom at age 77 is still very healthy. It’s time for me to start.

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