Dear friends, this is a very special post; thanks in advance for your patience because it’s kind of long.
My Mother owned and operated a licensed home daycare (as in, a daycare in our house) for 27 years—until she was diagnosed with terminal Breast/Lung Cancer in 2006. She was like the Sun and we (our immediate and extended family, friends, and the families she cared for) had always depended on her for sustenance–she was the matriarch. We all withered with grief when we realized her cancer was terminal and her days on this earth were numbered. The docs may as well have said Armageddon was upon us, because that’s how it felt. She was so graceful though—she actually comforted all of us, while carrying on her life and making sure she appreciated and enjoyed her remaining time on Earth (despite the rest of us falling apart, wallowing, and fighting amongst ourselves).
She made sure everybody knew how much she loved them—even our (mine and my younger sister’s) unborn children. For her remaining 3 years, my Mother lovingly prepared ‘hope chests’ for our weddings and for our future babies. The baby boxes are full of clothes, toys, Christmas ornaments, quilts…lots of little things she wanted them to have. I haven’t had the heart to open my baby box, but my sister filled me in on the contents. Our beloved Mother passed away on June 2, 2009, in the house that SHE had made a home. Are you crying yet? Me too.
A few months before my mother died, my sister demanded that her now-husband marry her so that our Mother could be present at her wedding (not that Mom was pushing us to get married; she never expressed any opinion about us getting married—but impressed upon us to be independent).
I had no prospects, and it was the furthest thing from my mind at that point. I was a rolling stone. However, when my mother passed I realized that I was stuck in a rut and I began to ponder how to manifest my destiny. I was 30 years old.
I believe my dear departed Mother has had a hand in how my life has unfolded since her passing. Here’s where this post gets interesting….
Each year since my Mother’s passing, something BIG has happened on or around her birthday, September 26th. I’m talking, life-changing events. I refer to them as “gifts”, because they have all changed my life for the better.
Here’s the list of “gifts”, in order:
1. Kitty—October 6, 2009
I was not ‘in the market’ for a furry friend. But on an otherwise ordinary day, I walked out of my apartment to smoke a cigarette (yes I quit) and this kitten started circling my ankles. My heart dropped down to my feet—I had butterflies in my stomach. I invited him inside my apartment, one thing led to another, and now we’re inseparable. Totally caught me off-guard.
2. Mr. MLACS—September 26, 2010 (Mom’s bday)
I was working in a bar to make ends meet (my degree was as useless as toilet paper) and my good girlfriend/co-worker got me trashed (and I let her) because it was my Mom’s birthday. Mr. MLACS walked into the bar as my shift was ending, and bought me a sugarfree redbull. As a general rule I didn’t give my number to guys I met at work, but he was a gentleman and I was driggity-drunk-drunk, so I ‘bent’ my rules and told him he could take me on a date. Again, butterflies. I had no idea that he was my future husband.
3. Marriage—September 27, 2011
I had already planned a spring wedding and I did not want to get married early. But, my Ulcerative Colitis was “flaring” out-of-control and I had no health insurance. So in the interest of not starting off our marriage buried in the debt of medical bills, Mr. MLACS and I were legally wed at a courthouse in some po-dunk town near where we were living at the time. I felt the butterflies.
4. Quit my Sh*tty Job—September 29, 2012
Mr. MLACS and I had just moved to a new city, and we were broke from the move (his company screwed us) and from paying for our (awesome) wedding. I desperately searched for a job, and I landed one in a medical office. But it was TORTURE. I was totally exploited, and I desperately wanted more for myself. I had ‘butterflies’ when I walked in the office and told them “today is my last day, mail me my check”. And then I self actualized and enrolled in a prerequisite class I needed in order to follow my destiny: to become a Nurse (after holding my Mom’s hand through terminal illness, having my own chronic illness, and taking care of kids all my life, it just “clicked”.)
The “butterflies” feeling I speak of is akin to fear, yet different. I think it is spiritual arousal, as interpreted by the body. While my mind did not recognize the significance of these “gifts” at the time, my soul did.
I still turn to my Mom when life overwhelms me. I have a sort of “shrine” to my Mother in my kitchen—a little alcove with pictures of her, and when I want to connect with her I light candles in my kitchen and I talk to her (usually sobbing) about what’s going on. I’m not one to ask for favors from God or my Mom, because I know (from experience) that what I want isn’t always what I need, and that when I leave room for possibility in my life, wonderful things happen that I couldn’t have imagined. So you see, I’m torn this year: I don’t want to request a “gift”, but there’s only ONE thing I desire; there’s only one life-changing thing I can imagine….
I’ve done my part, too. I’ve taken every pill and assumed every position. And now I’m (post-ovulation) waiting to exhale…
To add to the suspense, we’re moving (from the Southwest) back to my hometown (in the Midwest). The movers are, of course, coming on Thursday, September 26th to pack up our house. It’s only temporary, maybe a year (long enough to have a baby) or two at most. And I’m lucky to be able to surround myself with friends and family after a year of tumult and heartache (chronic illness & miscarriage). But I hope that moving back to my hometown is not my “gift” this year.
No pressure Mom…BUT…I’d be most grateful if you’d give me a reason to open up that baby box…