So, today was the 4th time I spent Mother’s Day without my dear, fabulous daughter being physically with me, I miss her exuberance and joy and deep love we shared, but I found myself touched by lovely messages from unexpected people who let me know how much they miss her too. And I also received some mother’s day greetings from those people and my sister, they understand that I’m still a mom and can be wished a Happy Mother’s day. The other’s in my family, whom I desperately want to acknowledge my motherhood and loss, are not able to do that, and I can’t be angry with them, they are grieving in their own ways too. However, they just keep disappointing me because they cannot support me or treat me like I’d like to be treated, even though I’ve asked.
In spite of that bit, I felt loved and cared for today. I feel grateful to have people who still think of Betsy, remember that I need to hear their memories of her and know that I contributed to her life. But, I really would have loved a hug from her today. She was a great hugger. The lack of human contact in my life is hard, especially from her, so I have to be content with doggie cuddles and kisses, and those from my kitty cat too. For now, they help, but nothing is like a Betsy hug. Love you forever Betsy <3<3<3
This will be the 4th Mother’s Day without my Betsy, so hard to believe. I worked today with a group of Kindergarten kids, helping them to make a small gift for their mom’s. It did help me a bit, but then my boss called and wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, even though she knew it would be hard for me. I’ve been trying to not think about the day, mostly because I’ve been so busy working, two jobs, but it really hit me , hard. My life has been turned upside down and I’m struggling to make my life work again, with the help of the Creator. I feel as I’m just on a treadmill going nowhere. I work hard to keep it inside, but I do miss her so much. I feel so lonely without her. I can’t even express how lost I feel nor how without direction I feel, I just wish I new how to get myself started with a new job that made me feel valued and purposeful again. I lost almost everything after she died, my career too, I’m just hanging on by a thread. I need help from above, big help. Hopefully, he will help me find my purpose in life so I can make meaning of it and not be here in vain.
But the big question I have, am I still am mom? What do I tell people when they ask if I have kids? I want to say yes, but I have to explain because then there are always more questions about the “kids”, another toughie that I just realized makes this hard. Because not only is it uncomfortable for me, but it gets uncomfortable for the others too. One of the reasons I stay isolated is because it’s hard for me to not be able to talk about Betsy. I feel, sometimes, like I’m losing my memories of her because I don’t feel free to talk about her. It’s a sad thing I’ve found about the death of a child, at least for me. Perhaps, I need to go back to the support group so I can learn how to deal with it or find others that I can talk with about Betsy. I need to do something because I’m not moving forward, just staying stagnant.
I find poetry can help calm my nerves and sometimes make me get my feelings out, but I don’t often write in any more because of working on my dissertation, perhaps I’ll get back to that someday soon. I’ve thought of Betsy so often in the past few weeks but still haven’t mentioned her to that many people because I don’t interact with too many who want to talk about her or those who will let me. But I do enjoy telling the kids stories about her and they always listen to me. Kids are great that way, they never tell you to stop talking about her because it makes me sad, they let me.
I also had a bit of conversation with a few co-workers about family things and they questioned why I still allow the family to push me into doing so much for them when it appears that I get little support from them. I realized that this is the biggest problem I have right now and probably a big problem with my weight too. I think I eat to fill myself up with something because over the years, I didn’t feel the love and support I needed but was able to get it from food. Both of these co-workers said that I need to value myself more because I have too much to offer, am too pretty, too talented and too kind to put myself through being like this.
This all connects to Betsy because of all the times of my life that I need support, it would be now as I rebuild my life, but I have to keep being the strong one in the family like always. As if after the initial time period, my grief is over and I can go on with my life and forget about her. But it’s not that easy, and thankfully none of them has lost a child so they don’t know what it’s like. It’s just made worse because I feel like I can’t talk about her without making them feel uncomfortable. While I’ve gotten more assertive, it’s just not enough. I do need to separate myself more and just be with people who are truly going to be supportive or just be alone and strong because they are just sucking life out of me. I deserve to be happy, talk about memories without shame, expect support from those I love, and feel accepted regardless of what I do or don’t do.
I taught my daughter to be like this, it’s time for me to learn the same thing. I love you Betsy, forever. <3 <3<3
Tomorrow will be 4 years, 8 months since Betsy died. Seems like yesterday but still so long. I’m leaving for the Outer Banks on Sunday with the dogs and wishing that she were here to go with. This will be the 2nd time I’ll have been there since she died, the first by myself. The first time we went there, it was with the entire family, the next time I was there, she had just died.
As always, I find myself missing and missing her more and more around the 23rd of each month, even though there are times I don’t realize that it’s approaching. My life seems to revolve around the memories of her and the times we had and how I keep going on. So much has changed for me, not only is she gone, but my job is different, I’m struggling to complete my dissertation, and feel as if I’ll always be stuck in this place where I am right now. I feel hopeless, which is a terrible place to be, but I just feel like each day is the same and never changing…my future looks bleak. Just solitude, more of this every day.
But then I know this is just my perception right now. I can change this perception by my actions, just one step at a time. It was easier to take those actions when Betsy was here, now without her, I feel like it doesn’t matter as much. I need to dig deep within me and do it for myself.
Well, I made it through the holidays, rather well, I think Betsy would be quite proud of me. Although I did have a twinge or so of regret and longing for her as I watched my nephews and nieces that I’m still in touch with this year. The changes in my family are mind boggling but not surprising as we’re as dis-functional as they come. But all my time alone and therapy has given me some big insights into all these events and how I perceive them. I also have to come out and say that my Kabbalah studies have been given me a different outlook on life, God, and how I fit into the world, so if you don’t get where I’m coming from, sorry, but this is my journey, formed by my perceptions which are influence by my environment. I’m on a path to improve my environment so that I can live life with joy, hope and belief again and also to help the world become a much better, more humane place for all who live here, with the help of my friends.
I’ve finally realized that looking back is not good for me, spiritually. If I keep looking back, I wallow in the past, blame myself for things that the Creator has put there for me, so that I’ll be right where I am right now. As much as I’d like to think that I control things in life, I’ve learned that I control nothing, I can chose to work on my spiritual growth or not. This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss Betsy terribly, because I do, but she had her own path too, that the Creator has for her. She and I were very blessed by Him to be together for the time that we had. My ego desires to change things, but my spiritual self knows that if it weren’t for her passing I wouldn’t be on this path now. It is so difficult to write those words, because I know they are true. her death brought me to my current path which is saving me. How egoist does that sound? It’s not that the ego is bad, but I need to change mine to bestow upon others, whatever that really means. So, to look to the past with regret and sadness has to go. I heard a very wise man say, just today, “Habit becomes second nature.” I know I’ll always miss her, but I have to turn this sadness to joy that I got to have her in my life. And I have to look forward, taking one step after another and move forward. This is my path, she’s part of me and will always will be, we move forward together.
So, in 6 days, well I guess, in 5 the holiday frenzy will begin, the rush for everyone to spend Christmas Eve somewhere, with tons of friends and family, filled with joy and laughter. I’m trying so hard to keep myself focused on other things this year. I’ve avoided the malls and shopping centers like never before. Haven’t stepped foot in a store since Black Friday. I’ve done all my shopping online. It’s helped because I haven’t had to listen to holiday music, see decorations, or see the happy people having fun together.
Betsy loved this time of year, she loved celebrating Christmas. We’d have decorations hung all over the house, it seemed so festive, happy and comforting. Just bright and filled with light. I’ve realized that I loved that decorated, lit up feeling, seeing all the homes lit up, driving around seeing the lights on houses. I remember one year we drove to a house in our community that must have millions of lights on it. All the lights are synced to music that you listen to in your car. It was such a beautiful site. Of course, we got out of the car for a bit, it was awe inspiring, the enormity of the work that was done to bring pleasure to others through this great light display touched my heart. Even though Bets was older, in high school, she was so excited, just like a little child. That brought me joy on Christmas, seeing my child become excited enough where you could just see the joy flowing out of her, that made me feel alive.
I know that every parent feels this way. Every person who loves someone feels as if they’ve been given a gift so precious when seeing such total joy in someone we love. We all have it in us too, even if life has given us a set of horrible circumstances to deal with we owe it to ourselves to dig deep within, find what’s right, what we’ve been given, find God in each situation, find our joy in the gifs we have, strength in our daily walk for we walk with courage each day, find joy in our existence and share our joy and love with everyone so we learn to focus on others instead of ourselves. Somehow we need to learn how to truly give, without getting anything in return, with joy and excitement in our hearts and minds. These thoughts sustain me for today.
After last night’s ranting, I realized that it’s not anyone’s fault if I allow them to take advantage of me. I teach them how to treat me, if I let people treat me like a doormat, as if I can always be there for them, at their beck and call, then that’s what I’m going to get. On the other hand, if I make myself and my needs important enough to me, then I can do what I chose in life, not feel guilted about doing things for my parents that I don’t want to do. It is not a measure of my love for them in the amount of time I spend with them.
Right now, at this moment, I need some down time, to decompress a bit, then to get refocused on my other work for my dissertation work. I am the one who needs to set reasonable limits with them. Otherwise I will feel anger and resentment. I never wanted Betsy to feel that way with me and I don’t think either of my parents want me to feel that way towards them either. They can’t read my mind any more than I can read theirs.
I am aware of who they are, they’ve both shown me again and again over the years. I’m figuring out how to be assertive, not a mat. I don’t want to be a mat, Betsy would never be a mat. She was strong enough to stand up and be assertive. How did I help that? How can I use her as my role model? I need to think about that for a bit. I know I’m so resilient in so many ways.
Love you forever Betsy, gotta do it for you and for me. <3 <3<3