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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Sanctuary in the Loving Darkness


Most anyone who knows me knows that my relationship with my mom was one of many, many facets. Facets that shimmer in the warming light of noon at midsummer, and those that are perpetually turned toward the darkness of shadow, never sparkling, yet holding the promise.

Of all of the relationships in my life, this one with my mom has been my biggest challenge. And mightiest teacher. And lets be clear, I have a spouse of 35-years, so we're not talkin' anything lightweight.

I was two years old when my folks adopted me. I was a willful toddler that my mom was set on indoctrinating. She might say mothering, but I don't. And I convey that with a loving smile. She would likely call it a smirk.

Rita frequently shared the story of my early days with her and my daddy. They hadn't had me long when one day she put me down for a nap. She walked down the street to visit a friend for afternoon tea, which was a routine of hers. When her friend asked, "Where's Rosemary?"she was like, oh my god, I forgot all about her. She would laugh at the retelling, and so would I. There was darkness in the humor, and if you know me at all, you know that dark humor tends to be a favored flavor.

In more recent years she moved to New York state, from Delaware, where I (for the most part) grew up. I had searched for condos (as I had in the past) in Connecticut, where I live, but she settled on New York. When folks would ask her why she moved to New York she would consistently reply, "Because I have family there." Now bear in mind that I'm an only child. The first time or two I heard this response it sliced into me. Yet over the years I learned to not take it personal, to accept Little Rita for who and what she was, and not try to fit her into any mold of my own making. All the same, less than a year ago we were visiting one of her docs, who knew I was her only child, who consistently engaged her in conversation about living alone at her age, about assisted living, about moving closer to me. He asked her why she had moved to New York state. When she responded with her patent reply he shot me a look of such wonder, compassion and empathy, that I felt the old scar stir. It took such strength of will in that moment not to collapse into a puddle of tears.

Don't get me wrong. She loved me. And I know she loved me.

I've often called her my nemesis. Mostly to myself, but also to a few special folks who not only have a feel for our relationship, but also for the truest meaning of this all-too-often misunderstood word. As my nemesis, she was a formidable challenger, a masterful teacher, one who matured to wise elder with infinite Wisdom to share, whether she knew it or not.

We live in times that prefer to demonize the darkness, to shun the shadows. We're taught to run away from them, fear them, hide from them, lash out at them … but I say go into them, for there you will discover Love in its truest form.

Peace.

7 comments:

Annie Kelleher said...

blessings, rose, and love. xo

Terry Derwitsch said...

perfect. just perfect.

Alicia Louise McKitis Tremper said...

Love to you as you continue to bid her goodbye xo xo XO
Alicia

Brizel Handcrafts said...

wow. Shivers down my whole body. I hear the truth of it but I stay away from mine and its just right for me.

Wasnt able to leave a comment on your last post so... let me extend to you my sympathies with your process. Life IS.

Thanks for sharing your darkness.
xo
Nicole

Kim said...

I find those people in our lives that force us to that dark place within are the ones that make us grow the most. Blessings and love on this journey.

charlie b. said...

Rose, my sincerest sympathies... I KNOW it is hard losing a parent. As I read these recent posts I felt sad for you, for your loss, but also had to smile at your recollections and the many similarities to my life... being adopted, a challenging relationship with a strong-willed mother, coming of age in the 70s, living with spouse for years before marriage, leaving the corporate world, frustration with my Mom over different viewpoints. We got closer as we got older, and more so since my Dad passed, but it still can be challenging sometimes. I'm glad you are embracing all you feel, that is good. When I think of loved ones passed, I always feel they are in the beautiful place now, out of their clunky human bodies, and take comfort in that. Peace to you. : )

Rosemari Roast said...

Thank you all for your kind expressions. I truly appreciate it.

Big ♡ to each of you.