09/09/2016- Dennisport, MA/Cape Cod
My husband, Brian took our son, Jackson to a local playground to give him some time to run and climb after 2 1/2 days of being housebound due to Tropical Storm Hermine. Both post concussive syndrome and Lyme brain has made it very difficult for me to tolerate a lot of noise. I don’t do well filtering. I become clumsy, irritable and unfocused.
Our son is a very creative type. He can play for hours with anything! He played with an empty raisin box for an hour on the ride home from Boston the other day! And, I swear he thinks his life is a musical. He turns everything into a song. It’s so adorable. However, recently he has been incessantly talking. My husband thinks perhaps he lacks an internal dialogue- because everything, and I mean everything comes right out of his mouth. Sometimes my husband and I will say, “Jackson, honey-Mommy and Daddy need just 5 minutes of quiet time please.” And he will respond, ” Quiet? You want me to be quiet? I can be quiet, lalalalala……” He truly cannot help himself. Now, for those of you who know me personally- I am sure you have decided this is just karma biting me in the butt! I may have been told I am a bit chatty (wink wink).
When I look at him, I am looking in a mirror.
For a few weeks now, Jackson and I have been like oil and water together. He’s been indecisive, angry, frustrated, and scattered. I understand that some of this is being a 4 year old. However, he has been directing most of this frustration toward me- not my husband. I’m no fool. I know children are our mirrors. When I look at him, I am looking in a mirror. My husband tells me that he is concerned about how the two of us have been interacting recently; and that we have some healing to do. He is totally right.
So, to say the least- after almost 3 days housebound in our little cottage rental, I was about to lose it. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who can recognize that place right before I hit my boiling point (you may recall the hairy eyeball from an earlier post, Watermelon Patience) and play interference for me. Brian suggested I take some quiet time for myself while they went to the park; maybe go sit at the beach for some alone time before my brother, Danny came to visit us for the day.
For some reason I find it uncomfortable to take quiet time for myself. I think of a million other things (AKA distractions from my mind chatter) I could be doing- like dishes, laundry, writing my blog, prepping dinner for my husband ( he’s the chef in our home), etc. But, today I took my husband’s advice without feeling guilty -which is a huge step for me; and I walked to the beach with my chair and book in tow.
I am currently reading, A Pirate Looks At Fifty by Jimmy Buffett. If you have read the About Me section of my blog, then you know I secretly want to be Jimmy Buffett. I absolutely adore his music, sense of adventure, and how he unabashedly follows his passions. He inspires me. This seemed like the perfect book to bring to the beach. I got all settled in-toes in the sand, chair facing the ocean, and book open. I got about two pages in from where I left off the night before, and realized that I am now reading about Jimmy’s father and his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease; before his passing. Immediately, tears roll down my face; and I can no longer read the text.
My relationship with my mother has been strained, sad, and disappointing for many many years.
This is a hot topic for me, for a few reasons. First, my maternal grandmother- Nana Morris died from Alzheimer’s when I was in graduate school. Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a huge strain on any family. It is an extremely sad process for all involved. Second, my mother has Multiple Sclerosis. She is wheelchair bound, has nerve deafness, is in the beginning stages of dementia, and living in a specialized MS home in Boston. My relationship with my mother has been strained, sad, and disappointing for many many years. Now that she has dementia, I have been faced with the harsh reality that I have a very limited amount of time to mend our relationship, to practice true forgiveness, and let go of the hurt before she has completely gone within herself. Finally, my dad passed a few years ago. Anytime I read or hear about someone’s father passing; I end up crying. In fact, I still cannot talk about my dad for too long before I start doing that awkward cry talk. It’s this terrible sound that comes from the back of my throat as I choke down tears while still trying to speak. I loved him so much. I had such a connection with him.
So, I put down the book, wipe away my tears, throw on my sunglasses, and just lean back into the beach chair as I breathe in the saltwater air and stare out into the vast ocean. I ask God for guidance. I ask to be more like water. I feel like God answers me through the ocean waves as they break on the shore. They carry messages of healing, hope, and forgiveness before they rejoin the ocean.
Just like the waves- I break. And, just like the waves- I can return to that which I am.
I now understand I am part of something bigger. I am not alone. I am enough. And, my son is my greatest teacher. In order to heal my relationship with my son, I must forgive my mother first.
A few moments later I am joined by my family on the beach. I am so in love with my husband and son. And, in this moment I have a knowing that everything is going to be alright. I have a knowing that so much is about to change in my life.
I send out a silent thank you to the ocean…
“Thank you, Mother Mother Ocean for all your wisdom and love.”
Love, Joy, Truth, Gratitude-