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.
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