Friday, October 9, 2009

The space in between

Today is my 35th Birthday.

I knew that last year would be a difficult age to turn (I didn't even mention it here), but I had no idea that this year would be just as hard. So today, I feel the need to put how I feel in writing.

Photobucket

My mother stitched this the year before she died. She was 34. I turned 6 that year. These are the only words I have from her. And, granted, it's likely from a kit, but I still consider them her words. It sits on a shelf in my bedroom and I see it every day. I didn't even know it existed until my parents moved, shortly after I was married, and we were emptying the attic. There, in a dusty old box, was something so much more valuable to me than anything else I could ever own.

I wish it was a ten page letter in her own writing, but it's not. I wondered for years why she didn't write my brother and I letters. Last year I asked my Dad's mom about that (she's got a good memory, he doesn't) and she told me that my mom did ask her to help her do that. Really? Why didn't it happen, or did it? Well, I thought it was better for her if she didn't. It would have been too difficult emotionally for her, so I just didn't encourage it or help her get around to it.

Oh.

I felt like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me. It took me a while to process that. A year later, I think I can finally understand that a bit better. I put myself in her shoes a lot, especially now that I have children of my own. I imagine what it would be like to know that you will never get to see them grow up, get married, have children, know if they are walking with the Lord, know that they are loved. And it's suffocating to think about. I can see how writing a letter would feel somehow...final. Like the good-bye that you would fight with every breath, not to have to make.

So now, when I look at her stitching, I think about her loving fingers that threaded the needle, carefully made each tiny stitch and her gorgeous brown eyes that read this saying over and over and over again (just like I do). I can absolutely say that she is the reason I love sewing so much. She sewed so many beautiful (in a 1970's kind of way) outfits for me and because I wore those in pageants, I have some great professional photos of them. I love knowing that she would be proud of me. That she would ooooh and ahhhh over every little thing I make.

I realize now, that as I turn 35 this year, inside I'm really still just a 6 year old little girl, desperate for her mother's approval and wishing she could come home.

Tomorrow David is taking the kids to the grocery store so they can come home and bake a cake together for my Birthday. They will make handmade cards and I will have all morning to sew.

I sew for me, because I love it.
I sew for my children, so they can feel how much I love them.
I sew because of my mother. Because she can't.

10 comments:

Hannah Buchanan TF5B said...

Happy Birthday! My mother died when I was 12. It was 14 yrs ago on Wednesday and I still wait for her to come home too. I think it never goes away.

Fan Man Lighting said...

Happy Birthday little sister. Thank you for posting this Blog. 35 was a tough age for me too.

It is amazing to me how much of Mom I see in you. I am certain she is proud of you in every way, and she is with you every day(Carter would point out the "Rhyme" here).

My stitching says:

"Your Mother's love goes with you Son, every where you know. Be sure that you don't take it where it should not go". I carried this around with me the day she died.

I have some Christmas letters Mom wrote, and a letter she sent to Aunt Bonnie, I'd love to show you sometime.

I love you always,

Jason

Kacey & Kandy said...

Happy Birthday Sweetie! I hope it's a fabulous day! You share your birthday with my little niece!

Kacey

Jessica said...

Oh, Angel, my heart goes out to you, dear friend. Knowing the relationship I have with my own mom, I can't even comprehend how hard it must be not to have your mother around. I remember you mentioning before how you wished you would have had a letter from your mom and it inspired me to do so for Grace. I had done cards and scrapbooks, but not an actual letter, so the night before I had Hudson, I sat down and wrote my little pumpkin a heartfelt letter. I was sobbing by the end and that was just the first time I was going to spend the night away from her, so I can definitely see how it would have been suffocating and heartbreaking to write a letter knowing it would be a final goodbye.

I'm so happy for you that you have the stitching. It has a beautiful message. I know your mom is very proud of you and the beautiful godly woman you are.

Hope you had a blessed day with Dave, the girls, and Sam. Happy Birthday!
((Hugs))
Jessica

Sarah said...

Beautiful writing and inspiring thoughts. Thanks for writing them :)
Sarah Wolfe

Jenn said...

Happy b-day...the love you have for your mom has molded and shaped you into the compassionate mommy you are to your kids!! What a special gift your Mom gave you in sewing. I can't imagine how hard it has been. You are definitely an inspiring gal to me!!!

take a bow Jenn

grandmarockton said...

I know it never goes away the empty spot where Mother would be as I'm 64, and still miss her because SHE was called home when I was 5! Even tho I know she's been with me every step along the way.

micah and betsy said...

happy belated birthday! i just read your beautiful post. you were the first real friend that i remember having. i remember your sixth birthday party. i remember how "cool" your mom was! i remember that you always had much "cooler" clothes than i did- and i'm sure that was because of the love that went into making them! i remember your broken arm- i actually just told my students about it the other day! your children are truly blessed to have you as their mother. what wonderful memories you create for them. you learned so much from your mom and it shows in the blessing that you are to your family. may today be a day full of precious memories!

Stacy Nieman said...

Hi Angel,
Happy Birthday a few days late!
That was such a beautiful story.
Thanks for sharing it.
Stacy

Angel said...

Thank you everyone. Your comments have really touched me and it's difficult to say anymore about it.

I feel hugged. :)