Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It is enough

Dear mom,

Thougts of you come to me now like waves, rolling over my mind like the ocean does the sand. I see your face in my dreams, feel your hand on my shoulder as I sit and think. When I am alone you sometimes fill the space with your presence.

You don't like me to be lonely. You don't like me to be sad. The irony of this care now when you have been gone so many years is not lost on me. We share such a past.

You are at once my compass, and my example of who I don't want to be. Your mistakes haunt me.

But as I go further along this path of motherhood, I understand you so much more than I ever could. And as I battle my own demons of anxiety, I understand the struggles you must have gone through.

How lonely you must have been. I was right there, and you could not love me or hold me for fear of your madness breaking me.

I understand that now. You kept me at bay to save me. You held your love back, because with your love came your madness, and with that madness came destruction.

God. I get it mom. I get it.

For the first time in this life, I understand you. For the first time ever I can truly say that I have such pity for you. Because you tried to be normal. And you tried to be good. And you tried so hard not to wound me.

But your illness crept around the edges of your wall. And in the end the monster got us both.

I wish I could spend just one more day with you. A day in the sun. You and I. Talking about all of the things we never did. Saying all the things anger and madness kept us from saying.

I would tell you that I love you. I would tell you that you are not lost from me. I would tell you that I forgive you the scars. I forgive you the hurt. And that although I do not have many good memories of you, the ones I do have are enough.

They are enough.

And everything you tried to be, every effort you made to be more than your illness was not lost. It may have taken me 36 years to see the effort you made to be a good mother- but here it is.

I see it.

I remember you sitting and watching me sleep. Your tears were running down your face. I woke and looked at you. I was too tired to be scared, still half caught in my dreams. And you said I love you. Don't forget I love you. Never forget.

I know that was you talking. The you that got hidden and buried behind sickness and drink. I know that you pushed past that sickness so far you broke your own mind trying to be what I needed.

I would tell you that I look at my own daughter and see myself. I see the potential of what I could have been, unbroken and unscarred, and in a way it is as healing as it is damning. I see her face light up when I hold her, when I read to her. I see who I might have been had the weight of your illness not broken my spirit.

And that too is enough.

Because I can live through her. Through her careless days. I can live through her unburdened soul and heal a bit of myself as I mother her precious heart. I can give her what I wasn't given.

I can give her what I know, I know, you tried to give to me. I can do it for both of us.

You just couldn't. It was beyond you. And I forgive that.

Mom, I wish we had what others have. I wish I could call you. I wish you could see my babies. I wish beyond anything that I could look into your eyes and tell you all of these things.

I wish. I wish.

But wishes build nothing. So, I have this. Words on a page. Tears on my face. Love and forgiveness in my heart for the person who broke me.

And that, too, is enough.

We are enough. You and I together here and now. In what we can be.

And someday I will see you, and hug you. I will touch your face and cry. And in that day your eyes and mind will be uncaged. I will see who you are, without the bipolar monster staring back.

In that day you will love me. And I will love you.

Until then, this is enough. I am your daughter. With all of the weight and loss and hurt and love and pain that brings.

I am your daughter. I carry the memories. I carry the pain. I carry you, always.