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Finding a sliver of the past

Today a news article caught my eye about an arrest made locally. The police raided a house and found bombs, guns, ammunition and the like, The ages of the person was the same as mine, and the name sounded familiar, so I went to look for my old high school yearbook to see if he was in fact a classmate of mine back in high school. I found him in there, his picture next to a picture of one of my high school friends. What I also found in the yearbook, was several papers, pictures and cards. I must have slipped them in there within the past 6 years or so in order to keep them flat and safe until I could find a better place for them. (story of my life..things put somewhere “safe” only to get lost for years until they turn up again.). As soon as I saw my newfound treasure, I beamed with happiness,

Tucked inside my yearbook, was a small treasure of cards, letters and pictures of loved ones and people I had never met. One of the items that made me smile from ear to ear and then get a bit nostalgic, was a card from my mother. On the front is a child and a cat, looking up at the moon. Inside, it says “how I wonder what you are” in type. My mother, in her careful writing, in red pen, had written “have a wonderful holiday. As you can see I have saved up a little money for you. Sorry it isn’t more. Extra $3.00 for a drink on the flight”. The $3 comment shows it was quite a long time ago she gave me the card, because drinks on planes costs quite a bit more these days I believe. I’m not sure what trip this card was for. I don’t remember how much she gave me, or the picture on the card. What I do remember, is being on a plane, opening up this card, and the feeling it gave me, I remember the warmth, love, and feeling so, so loved when I opened this card. I remember feeling guilty she had saved up money to give me some extra spending money so I could enjoy myself. I felt…..mothered, and it was the best feeling ever. I lost my mother to cancer almost 8 years ago. I’ve mentioned it and alluded to it in the blog, and I’ve said I’d write more about it, but haven’t been able to bring myself to. I probably will soon. I lost my mother the same year I got married (she was too sick to make it to the JOP wedding we had in hopes she could see me get married. ). I lost my mother right after I moved into my house, and most importantly, right after I had my son.

At a time when new mothers call their mom’s for advice, soothing, or babysitting, I couldn’t call my mom. When I battled postpartum depression quietly, and felt more alone than ever, I couldn’t reach out to her. When I needed her more than ever, I didn’t have her. I was angry, I was depressed, and I was heartbroken. I don’t care how old you are, if you have a decent relationship with your parents, you always need them in some way, I wanted and needed my mom more than anything, and she was taken from me. I had a wave of the exact same feeling the day I had my daughter. When my hospital room was empty, and the visitors had left, I would cry big fat sobs that my mother was missing out on what would have been such a joyous, proud day for her, and for me. I cried for all the times i knew i would have questions about how to raise a little girl, knowing i couldn’t ask her. I cried for all the stories of my childhood that only she knew. I cried that she would never hold my daughter or son. I cried that they would never know her infectious laugh, her sly sense of humor, or her huge heart that made her always befriend the underdog. On that day, I wanted to be mothered. I wanted to hear my mom’s thoughts on my beautiful little baby, to hear her laugh, and to see her smile. I wanted a hug.

This morning, when I found that card, for a moment, I felt mothered. I felt the exact same way I remember feeling on the plane that day when I opened that card. It was simply awesome. For a brief moment it was like I had stepped back in time. What made it all even better was that right behind that card was a card from my mom’s mom. My grandmother and I, despite living 3,000 miles apart, we’re always close, I thought the world of her and she never made me feel any different from the other grandkids, even though I lived so far away. When she babysat me, she’d let me have fruit and icecream for dinner, for God’s sake. How awesome is that when you’re a kid? Why did she do it? Because once in a while, grandparents can do that sort of thing! That’s why! The card had a picture of the church in the village where I am from. There was also a letter that went with it asking if I remember the church, and that her, my mom, and my aunts and uncles had gotten married there. This made me laugh, because I didn’t remember this particular letter, but I too chose to fly to England and get married in that church, on the same weekend that my parents had gotten married there years before, and my bridesmaid was the daughter of my mother’s bridesmaid. The letter also said that she was sending a picture of her mother, and also her grandparents. I had been looking for these photos for several years and and had been devastated I had lost them, as I was the only person I knew of who had a copy of the picture of my great great grandparents.

Who would have thought that a house raid of a guy with tons of explosives would give me a huge gift on a snowy morning? A few pieces of paper instantly took me back to wonderful moments back in time, and reminded me of the two women who have had the greatest impact on who I am today. Of course, I am reminded yet again that I simply must archive all these family moments and notes. For a long time I couldn’t bare to do it because it often hurt too much once I’d start, and I’d quickly give up. I am getting to a point now where these tokens and memories of the past bring me renewed hope and happiness. My mother gave me a card once to bring me a smile, but I bet she had no clue that day she gave me what a truly great gift, all these years later, that it has become.

Bye for now,
Messy. Xx

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