Vulnerability is a funny thing. Not ‘ha ha’ funny, more an intriguing state of well-being. As a mother myself, I am tuned into the caring of others. It’s what I do. It’s what I love to do. When I am strong, I thrive but when I’m compromised, well, I fall.
Recently I fell. Yep, like actually fell. No reason why. I’m a relatively fit 41 year old woman but for some very odd reason, my right ankle decide to just let me down and it folded in, resulting in me tumbling off stairs and using my right arm to catch my fall. All the while the poor kids were making their school lunches, until witnessing their mama hit the floor like a bags of spuds. Apparently, and this would resonate with mothers of boys (and I have 4, so I should know), my first words whilst clutching my right arm were ‘OK, this is NOT funny…’ – Mind you, no-one was laughing…
So, the diagnosis of said fall?… A badly sprained right foot, massive egg on left shin (not pretty at all) and cracked radial head (elbow). Bummer…
I sit here typing this with my left hand, sick of myself, in constant pain, unable to cope with the normal daily tasks but well aware that when I am vulnerable like this, the grief of my mother being absent from my life (yep, that bastard cancer, 2008.), takes hold and I just feel damn sad.
I know this is OK. I should know. I have done some studies about grief. I have spoken to hundreds of women about the loss of a mother. I know it doesn’t matter how old I was, how old she was, how long ago ‘it’ was, how it happened, how I coped with it… It just is what it is and every time I am challenged beyond my comfort zone, I feel the loss more-so.
I would love to have her come and take some of the pressure off. She would have been happy to do so. I would LOVE her insistence on cooking some wholesome meals, doing some of my washing, helping ferry the kids around… It’s not that I need an ‘assistant’, it’s more than that. Mum would have stepped in without being asked and just handled this. Then I would have been able to handle it better too. She would understand the pressure that comes with being a busy mum and the struggles that come about when you’re not able to perform to your best. She would know the guilt I feel when dinner is ‘make your own’… again… She would just ‘know’ how to make it all better. But also, and most importantly, she would give the best, most re-assuring hugs and remind me that this is merely a moment in time and it will get better.
Yes, I may be 41, but I still need my mum. I always will. The need will vary. It will come in waves, it will alter as I age and go through parenting stages and seasons of womanhood but it will never disappear. To know this is my best defence. I won’t feel guilty for wanting my mum. I won’t apologise for missing her. I certainly will not feel bad for dipping back into the lonely grieving process but I also won’t allow it to consume me. I know that I am vulnerable right now and so I implement things to re-gain mental and emotional strength. I do things for me that I know lift me up and remind me to be grateful. I have my little solo ‘pity party’ but only for a short time. Because, I am entitled. Because I am allowed. Because I am human.
Peaks and Troughs. Ups and Downs… Ride the waves… What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… Right?… X