Over the weekend we housed 8 people in our tiny home for two nights. Our friends Heather and Aaron came to stay with us over the weekend along with their sons, ages 2 and 3 months.
As you can imagine it was madness, life exploded all over the walls and floors of our home. Luggage didn’t fit neatly into closets and Noelle kept trying to climb into the baby swing. Friday’s breakfast dishes stayed where they were until we shoved them out of the way to make room for Pizza that evening.
As we attempted to coax all four kids to sleep Heather stood in my kitchen nursing Kasen and singing him to sleep. She opened with Somewhere Out There from American Tale and then transitioned perfectly into Somewhere over the rainbow. He drifted off in her arms as I finished the dishes.
There is something about bearing witness to the intimate moments of a friend’s mothering journey that arrives as a special gift. A baby nestled into his mother’s arms is a sacred and precious thing, don’t you think?
Suddenly, I found myself struck with a gut wrenching longing for my own Mother. Desperate to feel that safety of being held and had by someone older and wiser than you.
Perhaps it just the wine or the exhausted bliss of 24 hours of all out community and village parenting, but I began to wax poetic about our communal inner need for mothers.
Is it just me or does every thirty-something still have moments where they want to crawl into their mom’s lap? Where we long to escape the brutality of doing life on earth by retreating like a child?
Do we every outgrow this longing or are there eighty somethings out there who still yearn for mothers long lost ago to the other side?
Well I’m not sure it’s universal and I’m not sure that there is an age cut off but I can assure you that there are moments, days even when I miss my mother terribly. This is positively confusing for me because I long for a woman I didn’t know very well, even though I spent a my lifetime with her.
I remember being held, read to, bathed and cared for when I was younger. But I also recall the acute pain of watching that woman slip away, drown deeper and deeper into a sea of pain and depression.
Before I die I want to pull her back out and get to know her, be it only through memories and photographs. Perhaps by considering the perspective behind the photos she took or the verses outlined in her bible. By taking time to listen to the stories of those who knew her in the too brief “before” time.
Soon the calendar will flip another page and I will wade through what it feels like to mark two years since her death departure.
As each day passes I resolve myself to uncover the beauty of who she was and shout that from the rooftops, to create for her a legacy for that overshadows how she died and instead tells of the real woman underneath it all.
I can never climb up into the warmth of her lap again or beg her to rub my hair until I succumb to sleep. But, perhaps there is still a chance to know her, to find her piece by piece… somehow.