Friday, November 12, 2010

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Every day I get an email with a tarot card reading from Astrology.com. Some days I read it, some days I don't. Something told me to click today, so I did. And this one is perfect.

It sums, in a nutshell, the place at which I find myself.
 "The Ten of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in completion. I celebrate and am grateful for captured moments of simple perfection. Satisfying my hearts desire connects me by example to love, beauty, pleasure, and happiness in those around me and gives me confidence to take it to the next level. ""We made it."" Unconditional love makes a family and home is where the heart is, so at last, I am never alone. I am empowered by gratitude and my gift is emotional fulfillment."

I am at another crossroads, one in which family plays a huge part.

I've fallen and I can't get up. Yesterday I realized that each time in the past when my world fell down around my ears, my mother was always, always there for me.

She wasn't a lovey-dovey mother, though she loved me more than words could say. She was more the tough love type. You know the kind. Just watch "Ray" if you don't.

I stood looking out my living room window, staring at the dead and dying leaves as they fluttered in the breeze. I'd just hung up the phone with a friend who'd told me her mother had flown home a day early and was driving up from Atlanta to be with her at a funeral. Her mother barely knew the deceased, but because Elaine needed her, she was coming.

I stood with both hands clutching my sweats as if about to wade through deep water. Only my knuckles were white in a death grip. Grief welled up and the tears leaked out. Instead of wiping them away, I let them flow.

And flashed back to scenes of me sitting beside Mama in the clinic, her hand resting on my shoulder as she fondled my hair. Mama beside my hospital bed. Mama letting me sleep in her bed when I was frightened or sick. Mama picking me up at the police station. Mama taking me to ER with a broken arm or to the doctor with an allergic reaction to a drug. Mama taking me in when I had nowhere else to go.

Her quiet courage, her unflinching resolve, her unwavering support. No matter what. No matter how badly I'd messed up. No matter how many times my heart was broken. No matter how bad my pain was or whether it was convenient for her or not. She was always, always there.

I let the memories wash over me as I stood clutching my pants, rocking side to side, tears flowing freely, unwilling to wipe them away or blow my nose, not wanting to staunch the memories.

Then came the deep inner knowing that I've fallen and I can't get up. Because my mama's not here to make it better. There is no steady compassion, no mother's love to help me heal.

Finally, I sat down. And cried some more. And in the middle of all that, memories of my aunt crept in. My aunt in Villa Rica, another who has always been there for me. And as sure as the sun will rise in the morning, I knew that I need her now.

So I made the call. I will see her this weekend. And spend Thanksgiving with her.

I need my family. I need my mama. I need my aunt.

So what that I'm in my 50's. I need my mama. Because I've fallen and I can't get up.



~Olivia J. Herrell

10 comments:

Postman said...

Sometimes there's just no substitute for a mother's love. Go to her, and godspeed.

Gail said...

Have a blessed holiday.

I miss my mother, too, and it has been years.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Postman, oh if I only could. But that will have to wait till I reach the other side, she's been gone four years now. Today I have a deeper appreciation for her than ever before. If only she were here so I could tell her.

Gail, it seems to get worse, not better. The numbness is gone maybe and I'm processing her absence slowly. And right now I really need her.

You have a blessed holiday as well.

~Olivia

Donna Hole said...

I wasn't raised to cherish my parents. To be grateful they took us in (I'm a foster child who managed to stay in the same home for most of my childhood, with my siblings), and love out of obligation, yes. But I always knew their love was conditional.

I hope my children feel the same about me as you do with your own mother. When my daughter calls me with that "Oh Mommy" quivver in her voice; I feel loved for more than what I can provide financially. I am blessed that she will call and tell me anything, even if I can do nothing about it.

Just to hear about her life and worries is enough to put me on cloud nine - even if she feels she is in the pitts of hell.

My boys - except one - still live with me. Maybe I shouldn't complain they have not the slightest inclination to start their Adult lives.

How wonderful you have family to rely on in times of need. My youngest sister and I have that - we are all thats left of the four - and I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have her to rely on.

I know she feels the same about me. It is a comfort. And finding comfort in family is a blessing Olivia. No matter how "mature" you grow.

..........dhole

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Each memory of your mother's love is an echo of healing.

It is a fact of science that every sound emitted within in a room has been absorbed on a molecular level within its walls. If the machinery were invented, it could draw each voice, each song, each sob that had been made in that room.

In like manner, each gesture of love your mother showed you is still there within the layers of your soul.

Your memory can bring it up. Your mother's DNA is within the very cells of your body. Her love is still there within your mind, within your very cell structure.

If you listen in the stillness of your room, you will hear her voice murmuring, "I love you. You can do this." It is real as your mother's love which has never left you.

Hang in there, Olivia.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A mothers love is unconditional, spend a lovely time with your mother and aunt and have a wonderful time.

Yvonne.

The Words Crafter said...

Oh, Olivia, you're breaking my heart. I wish I could give you a hug myself. As it is, the best I can do is remind you of how fortunate you are that you had a mother who was always there for you. That in itself is a priceless gift not given to everyone.

I would also like to remind you that your mother didn't HAVE to love you the way she did. She CHOSE to. From deep inside of her came the desire and determination to love you so completely. I don't know if I'm conveying my thoughts well. There are people that have to love us and people who chose to love us. I prefer the ones who chose.

Because she chose to love you, she saw someone WORTH loving, not just someone who needed to be loved.

I'm glad you're going to your aunt's. I hope you are able to find peace there. Love and care. (this is how I end texts to my loved ones-I love you and be careful)

Nick Thomas said...

My mother never got over losing her parents, especially her father. For 20 years after he died, hardly a day went by that she didn't talk about him or something reminded her of him. She was always crushed whenever his birthday would come around. Although it was an emotional strain for her for the rest of her life, it was just her way of handling it and keeping his memory alive. There's nothing wrong with that.

Terry Stonecrop said...

I always feel people I've loved dearly are still with me in spirit. I'm sure your mother is too. Maybe she planted the thought in you rmind to go see your aunt who also loves you and can be there for you in the flesh, which sometimes we need.

Hoping you feel better and wishing you a healing time over the holiday:)

kobico said...

Ah, Olivia, there are certain times that I miss my mother, as well. All I can do is leave you a virtual hug.

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