Birthday

45 years of a great life!

It will be my 45th birthday on Friday.  I am looking forward to this one.  I know many women stop counting their age at 28 or 30, but not me.  I relish the fact that I am getting older.  I am wiser than I was when I was 28.  At 28 I was still trying to figure out what it meant to be an adult, a wife and a mother.  At 45 I understand those things.  I appreciate them.  When I was a little girl my mother use to tell me my birth story.  But before she got to me, she would tell me the birth story of my 3 older siblings, then me, and then my youngest sister.

I don’t think she told these stories to my siblings.  The stories were told when I was suppose to be laying down for a nap, and she would climb into the bed with me.  I would ask for her to recount the stories to me.  Her voice created a blanket of warmth and love.  Every time she recounted our births, I knew we were wanted and loved, regardless of whatever else was going on in the house.  Our household was not always full of warm fuzzy memories.  There were fights, physical and verbal.  There was anger.  And while I remember those violent acts, I also remember the loving ones.  It is those memories I cling to and go to when I want to reassure myself of my place in this world.  I remember my birth story.

My mother went into labor, and the hospital was in the next town over in Geneseo.  My father, a very calm and collected man in every situation, flew down the road with my mother in the seat next to him.   Now between Cambridge and Geneseo, there are a lot of hills, and my mother would float out of the seat while my dad was praying for a police car to catch him speeding.  Once at the hospital, my mother went right into the delivery room, in her clothes, and there I was.  The doctor barely arrived in time for my birth.  My mother told me I wanted to be born into the world right NOW!!  I was a happy baby and my Grandma DeKezel swore I smiled at her when she saw me for the first time through the glass partition.  My mother would tell me how I always woke up happy, even in wet diapers. 

Most importantly, I was told I was wanted, and I was loved.  In fact I was told each of us was wanted and loved.  What a great gift my mother gave me.  It is probably those nap time stories that allowed me to forgive her.  I saw my mother’s rage.  I felt her abandonment when I became pregnant and wasn’t married.  But in the bottom of my heart remained the fact that I was her daughter.  I was wanted.  I was loved.

Those stories … those close times of intimacy, gave me the ability to see past her faults.  I was able to cling to my nap time as a child and make it out of the quagmire of anger and hate.  So I ask myself, what am I doing to create the same intimacy for my children?  Have I created a space in their heart to forgive me for my mistakes as a parent?  Have I learned from my mother and told those birth stories to my children?

I have, but I still need to remind them:

I want you.

I love you.

You are still my child.

Love ya,

Mom

4 thoughts on “Birthday

  1. In my forties, I went through the same turmoil in regards to my parents. Not the same experiences, of course, but the same misgivings and feelings of despair toward what should have been a wonderful relationship between parents and their child. I do believe that a lot of people struggle with this in their lives if the truth be known. God taught me a blessing though that I am so ever thankful for in my heart. I had perceived injustices that I did not feel could ever be healed, but I knew that God demands of us to honor our parents. I also knew that God gave me the parents I had for a reason or reasons that I just could not understand nor fathom the reasoning behind the choice. I thought that I could at least honor them for bringing me into this world, if nothing else.
    I had always missed not being told I was loved or even given a hug occasionally letting me know that I was okay in their eyes. I so much had wanted a pat on the back for anything. There was abuse as well physically and emotionally. I prayed so much to be able to understand my childhood days better with my parents. One day, I made up my mind (I now believe God was guiding me.) that every time I saw them or talked to them I was going to tell them I loved them and give them a hug if possible, especially before hanging up the phone or before leaving their presence. It was awkward at first, but after a while it became a normal routine thing for me to do. Little did I know that God had his plans as well for that small giving gesture on my part. He certainly does work in mysterious was!
    After being in Indiana for close to a year, one day my father opened up to me about something that had been a major sore point in my life ever since I was in high school. It was something that at first had made me feel unloved, devalued as a woman, and later on it was something that had made me determined to begin making goals in my life to achieve. Unknown to me for years was how much this major sore point in my life had formed me as an individual; Now, of course, I can see how it had effected me, but at that time I did not. A few months later after my father and I had our conversation, my father passed away. I have been so eternally grateful ever since then that I had opened up even a little toward him with what I had thought to be such a small gesture of a phrase and a hug.
    That’s not all there is to this either, because my mother was more open to our relationship with my insistence on a hug and an, ‘I love you‘, we became closer over the years while I had lived there in Indiana. We ended up having the kind of relationship that she never had with her mother. This was such a blessing for her and I both, I cannot begin to tell you how it has affected my inner being. So, I know how you feel in regards to your mother. That’s why I’m telling you all of this. So, that you will know that you are loved, that God does hear us, and welcomes us to understand that when we begin to be more open ourselves toward what our parents had been through growing up, the things that had formed their attitudes, and the things that had formed their ideas, we become more open as an individual. Especially, when as you have begun to do, share your love with your children so that they do not experience what we did. I grew to have a wider understanding of the world around me finally just as I know you will. I do believe if we as individuals are open, meet our needs by inclosing the ones we love within those needs, we are greatly blessed and we are healed.
    Our turmoil is really a Journey of Faith that we go through. This I know, that my sons will have their own journeys, and so will your children.
    I love you dearly. Hugs.
    Mom

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