Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Mind Works to Forget


Just two years ago today, my mother died.

And along with her going, she took culture, my history, my stories, and memories. Her passing also made me no one's child any more.

Today was a struggle, and I couldn't find the steam to operate the basics.

I tried to do all that I usually do in my days. The run to the supermarket, the back to school errands, some time out for fun with my kids. But from the time my eyes popped open surprisingly early at 6:45 AM, I have felt foggy, slow, unable to hear right or see right. And vulnerable.

It's so much like a day back in 7th grade when a boy knocked me down with a push to my chest. I flew, landing on my elbows but my head falling back and smacking on ice. I heard a deep clonking thud. Stunned, I looked up to find a faceful of kids around me. I knew, but still tried to understand what had happened.

Last night before I went to bed, I prepped myself. I knew that I would wake up to this being the two year mark of my mother's death. I closed my eyes and gave myself a pep talk. I would brace myself and make it through August 5. I had survived the first year of firsts, surely, year #2 couldn't be any harder.

I made plans to visit my mother's grave with my children in the morning. We would take the roses she wrote she wanted to have close by, always. One by one, we would place the flowers and say a prayer and then it would be back home to roll up my sleeves and dig into the day.

But as my friend, Christy, told me last month, the body remembers what the mind works hard to forget. I gave in at 3:00 PM today. I told my kids I was going to go upstairs and to not worry, I was going to take a long hot shower. Beyond the daily six minutes of hot water use we allow for each of the five in our house. I held my face up to the warm water and it felt like noonday sun. I lifted my hands to scrub my hair when I hit upon a tender spot on my scalp. I stopped and slowly felt the bump on the back of my head. I had forgotten about it.

It was from this morning. It was early, but I had been half awake for most of the night so I thought I could get up but my arms felt too heavy. I changed my mind and let myself lean back against the bed. In the darkness, the back of my head fell hard against the headboard. As soon as I heard the dull whack of skull against surface, I recognized the sound. It was that same shock of a thud from so many years ago. I looked out, confused, knowing but still trying to understand what it was that happened.

"The body remembers, even when the mind works not to.”
 
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20 comments:

  1. Powerful. The day is past, and I hope today is easier, but I'm still sending love.

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  2. Hugs to you. (I think this often both in sadness and in laughter. I wish we were neighbors.)

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  3. Such a poignant post. I'm so sorry for your loss and this difficult time.

    I had a similar experience my last birthday, the first I experienced with out my beloved dog, Zoe. My heart broke all over again, to my surprise.

    You've made me think of one of my favorite quotes: “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ― Kahlil Gibran

    Sending much love!

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    1. I love that so much. Thank you for sending it my way. xo

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  4. Alexandra this loss is still fresh--it's so clear in your words--and I'm glad you chose to honor that here today. Sending you love.

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  5. This is very beautiful writing, friend. I remember being in the hotel room with you as you called your family to make sure your moms needs were being met that year. Your heart is so large.

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    1. THanks for being so kind and understanding to me then, Jennie. You listened and assured me of so much. Thank you!!

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  6. I'm semi offline at the cottage and I found a WiFi friendly spot and so glad I stumbled upon this. I don't know what to say, except that I know that I've found comfort in writing my grief down and applying some structure to it through syntax. I hope that writing this beautiful and powerful poat, as others said, gave you some relief. Lots and lots of love to you. P.S. so interesting that I had a dream about you this week. . Now I feel like there was reason to it.

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    1. I love dreams. Thanks for dreaming of me!!

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  7. Sending you tons of love and light, Alexandra. Your beautiful post hopefully brings you some comfort, as I'm sure it beings much comfort to others who read it.
    XO
    A.

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  8. The loss of a parent is so significant. Hopefully writing about it eases some of the weight and sadness of it. The love you feel for your mom is so clear in all your writing. It's pure and beautiful.

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    1. Oh, Diary. You're the best. Thank you. xo

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  9. This makes me miss my mother, even more, states away. It's been 2 1/2 years since I last saw her, and I'm so afraid that I'm never going to be able to see her again. My father is gone, passed on a little over that time frame. It's hard not being able to be with your loved ones, especially your parents and children. I pray that God will keep her in good health. Thank you for writing about your mother and the sorrow you went through.

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    1. Dear Skirt: I think we always will. I just thought the first year would be the hardest... it's no less hard the second year around. Thank you so much for your love.

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  10. I'd forgotten how much I love reading your beautifully written words. I'm so sorry you're missing your Mother. It's a testament to what a wonderful Mother she must have been.

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    1. Oh my gosh, but it's SO GOOD to see you!! (I miss her, friend, I miss her voice and her easy laugh. She was a very funny woman) Thank you for lifting my spirits.

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