I feel like most people who read this blog know that my Mom passed away almost three years ago. She had ovarian cancer. I am finding that I go through periods of time where I miss her more than others. I’ll bounce through months just fine–being reminded of her occasionally, missing her at big events, but grounded with the greater realization that she is happier and healthier now than all of us down here on earth. However, I also go through periods where she seems to be everywhere–a mis-glance in a mirror and I think I see her, she frequents my dreams, and any big event that occurs seems unbearable without her to share it. I am just coming out of one of these latter periods.
I don’t know what triggered it. Maybe it was all the stress of moving out here and making several life-altering decisions in a row? Maybe it was because we read Same Kind of Different as Me
on our drive out here, and it stirred so many memories of the times when Mom was sick? Or maybe I’m just always going to go through these times, and this was one of them. It’s always small things that hit the hardest, like Mrs. Linda buying me a new sweater and my immediate thought being, “I can’t wait to show this to Mom, she’s going to love it!” And then the crashing remembrance that I can’t show it to her. Or getting the girls settled in a new school and missing our phone calls where she would listen and agree to ad-nauseum to every teeny little fear or hurt feeling. Or planning the girls birthday party and longing to share the details with her.
So, in that state, I was feeling a little nervous about my Dad and Konie’s visit. Konie is my Dad’s new wife. She lost her husband (who was an orthopedic surgeon just like Jeremiah, side note) to cancer a few years ago and is probably the most genuinely sweet
person I have ever met.
She has a child-like heart and love of life,
And she loves my girls so endearingly (sending balloon messages to God).
Most of all, she and my Dad are happy together, and I (as a daughter) have the peace of knowing he is not alone.
While all those statements are true, and I feel them to my core, sometimes it is still. hard. It just is. I wish I could blame some fault in Konie, but I can’t. She, in all truth, does everything right. She has jumped into our lives and been a supporter and a helper, without stepping over any boundaries. She is easy and fun to be around, and I know I could call her and she would be there for me, no matter what. So what in the world is still hard???!
I think I figured it out asI said goodbye to her. I think the lingering problem is my loyalty (insert stubborn, pig-headedness, but I’m going to use loyal because it sounds a lot nicer :)). There are people from HIGH SCHOOL, that still make my insides recoil if I run into them. You know why? Because they cheated on, or hurt the feelings of, or said something nasty about…one of my dear friends. It was like I pegged them a mortal enemy from that moment on. A lot of times, I can’t even remember what they DID, but I just know it was something bad. Now, we’re talking high school bad, so GET OVER IT PSYCHO-PATH (which is what my husband very rightly says to me if I ever make the mistake of telling him). I have had moments, when people hurt my family members, that I have questioned my propensity for murder. Don’t you hope your kid is the bully in my kid’s class at school?! 🙂
I think you get the point; I am pretty loyal. As I hugged Konie good-bye I felt like my Mom whispered in my ear, “It’s Ok to love her, Abby. It’s O.K.” And that was it. I needed to know it was Ok–that I wasn’t being dis-loyal to my Mom by embracing my Dad’s new wife. What felt like an inherent need to protect and serve my Mom was misplaced. In reality, Konie is protecting and serving Mom by taking care of the man who was most precious in her life. And it is Ok to love her, even if it were only for that.