Lately I’ve been wondering how much of me is left. I mean, when I think back, it seems like there have been at least a couple of incarnations in this one lifetime. I was someone’s kid in the first lifetime, and a sister. In the second lifetime I was someone’s wife, and mother. How much of me did that use up? By the time I became a wife, did I remember who that girl was? Was I still that person? Today I’m someone’s mother, someone’s mother in law, and someone’s grandmother. What about that kid? Is she still here? Does she know how old we are? Is she observing the relationship challenges, the unreached horizons that float in the mist, just ahead of wherever it is I am? Or is she the one driving me forward?
It’s funny. These days there’s a familiar authenticity inside my skin; is this what she felt then? Or is that dementia? Is that old age? I don’t know. But I can tell you this: I feel more on purpose than I’ve felt since I was five. Since I was the kid on that swing in the back yard at 1563 North Marion, crying because I couldn’t write a song like the ones on the radio. I don’t cry about that now. Today I’m grown up, and I write songs for a living. Does she know?
When I work on the various projects that keep my passions fired, I feel her here. She sits across the table, smiling at me, her chin resting on one dimpled hand.
I also feel her tears. When my Daddy — OUR Daddy — died earlier this year, she is the one who cried into my pillow. She’s also the one who took my sister’s face in her hands at the funeral home and told her everything was okay. In many ways I felt like I was watching her do that. I was the observer. Looking back at that weekend, I realize the girl of me led us through it with her broken heart wide open, loving everybody as big as she could.
Since then, she and I have hit a rough patch. One where healing and grief keep getting locked in hand to hand combat. It leaves me bone weary, and she’s trying to make sense of it all.
When I lie down and rest my head in the dark, I feel her there. She keeps watch through the night. Sometimes in that space between awake and asleep, I hear her whisper, “Daddy always believed in us.” The adult of we never thought so. The girl of we always knew.
There are those who would call me daft for seeing us as two separate people. Shrinks might tell me to “integrate.” I reject that clinical diagnosis. The adult mind lives on the surface where life appears steady, things are kept in tidy lines, and all rules apply. But the child mind is boundless; it explores below the surface. There are times I need to get hopelessly lost in her world of unseen wonder, secret caverns, mighty whirlwinds, and fragments of dreams unlived. This is where the thrill of excitement rides in on a sunbeam, where fragile hearts dive deep, shatter and heal, only to dive deep again.
Not breaking through the surface with her would pose a far greater risk to my Spirit. I cannot bear the thought of skimming the top, and never living the we of me at all.
If Daddy can see us, we know he’s proud.
Hold her close. She is the most precious part of you … and of us all.
Thank you for such a touching post. xo
Thank you for your kind words, Val.
Yes she knows and she is every bit of all of these things. She is every bit of EVERYthing. She is there and she will always be there even if the pain of it all takes her away for just a moment which may seem like a lifetime or permanent at times. This girl can write more than a song. This girl does what most say is impossible. This girl is a doer, this girl is a cheerleader for many, This girl is broken but it saddens me that it will take her entire life to heal. Feel her presence, feel her sorrow and feel her joy. That is there too. Don’t let the rest outshine that joy. For without it, you aren’t you. This girl is beautiful inside and out. There is NOTHING she can’t do. NOTHING. This girl is kind, loving, honest, a daughter, a sister, mother, mother in law, grandmother, a dear friend, a precious business partner, She’s a jill of all trades, she is also brilliant, and when I think of the talent that she has deep down in that little body of hers it all seems so unfair. I will be more aware of my surroundings the next time I sit with that girl. And I will give her the same hug that she so greatly deserves. This girl just recently sang harmonies on a song for a short film and it was impressive. Don’t ever leave her. She is ever more present than ever before. Run with it. You are every bit the WE of ME. Think about it no longer.
Yes, he sees you and yes, he’s proud. As do so many others that you left with lasting effects on or made a mark on their hearts.
Wasn’t sure I could get through this one but I did. I’m glad I did. Not without big tears streaming down my face for the duration of it but my struggles were REAL!!! Incredible!!!!
Thank you for posting some of the most beautiful words that I have ever read in my entire life. You have gift. You must use them. For everything.
Jillian, you touch my heart, in so many ways. Thank you for being a light.
Thankss for this