Watching the Michigan versus OSU game today is very bittersweet. I remember years past this game playing in our house when I had no interest but listening to my Auntie Annie provide commentary as she watched the game with my father and mother, although I don’t think my mother knew much about the game at that time. However, over the years just as I got drawn into the tradition and ‘family religion,’ U of M football turned me into a blue blood.
If I had no one to watch it with, like today, I always knew after the game the first person I would call would be my mom. Win or lose we would talk about the game whether we knew what we were talking about or not. Today will be the first time I cannot call her; there is no cellular coverage to heaven.
Earlier today I started reading an article on grief recovery. As I began to read it I realized the title said it all; there is no specified time for someone to recover from their grief. It is days like today that even at my age I need my mom. She was my best friend. I may not have called her every day, but I told her things that I didn’t tell others. I allowed her to treat me in ways I would never have accepted from anyone else, but I understand why; it’s because she was the mother I loved, even when I didn’t even realize it.
As I sit here writing this, I see a similarity in my relationship with my mom and my relationship with my oldest son Steve. It’s not about talking to each other daily and chit chatting. I don’t need his constant confirmation, however when we speak, text, or spend time together it is special. Just as I chose to become an independent adult, my path took me in a different direction than what my mother had dreamt for me. However, it has been a journey, and she was always a part of it as I am part of Steve’s. As a parent, there is such truth in the meaning, “if you love someone set them free…” Even as a daughter, I need to learn to set my mother free to allow her the peace she now deserves.
I will be honest I don’t know how to do this! I am searching my heart and soul and seeking grief counseling to walk me through this process. I am learning so much about myself, and that is amazing. I am feeling this growth spurt, even at my age, and that proves to me that IMPOSSIBLE does mean I’M POSSIBLE.
The internal turmoil of watching this football game is how I have been feeling since I got my brother’s phone call on August 2nd telling me mom had a stroke. Part of me believed it was another false alarm. Mom was known for having an ailment that took her to the ER only to recovery 24 hours later. Of course, that did not happen on this occasion, and I have not been able to shake that queasy feeling. Just like watching my favorite team play against the home State Team and feeling torn, but still wanting my team to win. I cannot settle my emotions, and everything has me on edge internally, but on the outside, I am going through the motions because I know this is part of my journey.
My journey is just beginning as I need to spread the sweetness and share the stories of others, so we can make changes that will enhance senior living and wellness.
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