A Mother’s Love

A few weeks ago, my friend Peter Pollock hosted a blog carnival on Grief. My friend Annie had sent me a guest post entitled The Winter Trail which I thought was perfect for the topic. This week’s carnival hosted by Bridget Chumbley on the topic is Love, and Annie’s follow up to that post is fitting as well. Here’s Annie:

For over five weeks I had avoided going into her room but I knew sooner or later I was going to have to face the daunting task of packing up the things she left behind.

I looked around the room and took in the few items left hanging in the closet, mainly the old clothes she didn’t wear anymore. The desk held a few nick knacks, school supplies and stuffed animals. The walls had been left mostly bare except for the remnants of her high school volleyball days and a random tack here and there.

I climbed up on the bunk bed and began taking down the volleyball shirts one-by-one. Player number on the front, name across the back. One shirt had the words ‘Team Captain’ boldly printed across the chest, and I had a flashback to the moment she told me she’d made captain. There were bags she had hung that had been decorated by her ‘secret bear pal’ and given to her on the days we played our cross town rival. Pictures of her with the team, the saying, ‘you wish you could hit like a girl’ and the ’10 Reasons I Play Volleyball’, all came down one at a time along with the memories I had of her volleyball days.

I climbed down from the bunk bed and began going through the items on her desk. There was an Angel jewelry holder that she had painted at a little pottery studio we had visited and I carefully wrapped it up and put it into a box. I gently tucked the stuffed animals into the box along with jewelry, pictures, old cell phone chargers, books, and school projects that she had worked so diligently on.

As I cleaned off her desk, I noticed the tiny white Christmas lights that she had strung around her desk and up the bunk bed. I plugged them in and continued working.

I went to the closet and began opening the drawers of her dresser, a hand-me-down from when I was a little girl. As I opened the top drawer I smiled at the mismatched socks in it. We had always laughed about the fact that she never wore matching socks. And there was not a match in the drawer. I closed the drawer and left the socks as they were.

Other drawers held old high school sweatshirts that I packed along with the volleyball shirts into a box. The jewelry box she’d had as a girl that was tucked safely away in the third drawer down was just going to stay put. For now.

As I surveyed the room, I hadn’t realized how late it had gotten and the room was becoming dark except for the white Christmas lights. I glanced over at her desk and my eyes landed on the blue dolphin lamp sitting there. Blue was her favorite color and she’d always loved dolphins. I reached over to turn the lamp on and it lit up as mini lightning bolts raced through the dolphin. I stood there for a moment watching the lightning show…and then the tear fell.

And it fell for the emptiness of the room.

And then another fell for the hurt and sadness of my daughter walking out the door and not looking back.

And another fell, for not seeing her in those mismatched socks.

And then the tears came.

For wondering how the dreams for ones child could go so wrong somewhere along the way and for feeling like I was packing up all the memories I had of her 17 years into a few boxes.

And for missing the hugs, the kisses and the ‘I love yous’, the laughter, the quiet moments, singing Lady Gaga in the car, being goofy, baking cookies and watching movies.

And they fell because I won’t watch her graduate from my old alma mater, and because don’t want to miss out on her future.

And they fell because I’m afraid she doesn’t know how much I miss her.

************************

As I sat there letting the tears fall I knew it was only the beginning. There will be many more tears in the coming weeks, and who knows, maybe months because there is a lot of healing in our relationship that needs to happen, for both of us. But, there is one thing that I am certain of where my daughter and I are concerned. And that is no matter what the differences are, or what trials we face, or how mad and disappointed we are with each other, she knows I love her and I know she loves me.

***

Be sure to check out the rest of the entries in the blog carnival over at my friend Bridget’s blog, One Word at a Time.

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18 Responses to “A Mother’s Love”

  1. vanityofvanities December 29, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    >Wow, Annie. My heart aches for you, and I'm praying.

  2. Helen December 29, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    >Annie, I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Will you really have to miss her graduation? Do the tickets go straight to her, or her parents?

  3. Candace Jean July 16 December 29, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    >Annie, if she doesn't know now, a time will come when she does. Praying for reconciliation but most of all peace in your heart.

  4. Ginny (MAD21) December 29, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    >I can't imagine the pain of having my child separated from me in this way. Like others here, I will be praying for reconciliation for you and your daughter.

  5. Maureen December 29, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    >Your daughter, you write, walked out the door without looking back. Perhaps she didn't need to look back. Perhaps she already knew, could see even without turning around, that you're keeping the door to your heart open, and that she just has to knock.

    "A door is truly an amazing thing. / Closed, it is an agent of separation. . . / But swing it open and it becomes an invitation, / uniting what before was separate." ~ Drew Leder (Sparks of the Divine, 2004)

  6. Jamey December 29, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    >Thank you Annie for sharing this…I can totally relate. My prayers are with you both!

  7. ~*Michelle*~ December 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    >Oh Annie….my heart is breaking for you. I will continue to pray for God's bridge to bring you and your daughter together.

    As I type, I have a vision of Jesus standing holding hands with both of you. He will be that bridge that connects you and brings healing. I just know it!

  8. ♥ Kathy December 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    >Heartbreaking. I don't know what else to say. Except I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn't.

  9. JML December 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    >Our God is the God of reconciliation, and I honestly believe you'll have a joy-filled day when everything has been restored. I'm sorry you had to experience this and thank you for sharing it!

  10. L.L. Barkat December 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    >off topic…

    of course it still counts! :)

  11. Billy Coffey December 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    >You hang in there, Annie. There are a lot of people praying for you and your daughter. The roads God makes aren't just designed to lead away from home, but back to it when the time comes. That time will come.

  12. Bridget Chumbley December 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    >I agree with Billy… the time will come!

    I'm so sorry for your pain, Annie. You are so correct in realizing that the love is still there… that won't change… EVER!

  13. M.L. Gallagher December 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    >Annie. I work in a place where sons and daughters are lost to or have lost mothers and fathers and families are broken.

    I work in a place where sons and daughters find mothers and fathers and familes are reunited.

    I work in a place where we keep hope alive for sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, families who have lost someone they love to something they hate — addictions, the street, mental illness…

    With hope and love living in your heart, there will come a time when she will feel your love calling her heart home.

    This I know. This I pray.

  14. Glynn December 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    >This says love like few other things. Thanks for sharing Annie's story with us.

  15. nAncY December 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    >another part of love…
    and thanks for sharing it.

  16. JoAnne December 30, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    >Annie, your post touched my heart deeply. I can truly feel for you as I am a mother of three daughters. Also, over the years, I've mentored a number of young women. What I have found is that sometimes it's takes a teenager learning from their own mistakes to appreciate a mother's love. I am praying for you!

  17. Annie K December 30, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    >I just wanted to say to everyone who has left kind words of encouragement and said prayers for me and my daughter, thank you so much. It truly means more to me than any words could express. I appreciate each and every one of you.

  18. sherri December 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    >(Gulp). A beautiful heartfelt post- I wish she could read. Soon, she will realize what she needs- she already knows she's loved. Praying for your relationship.

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