Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Week

That week spent in Jamaica, in my brother's house, with my mother and my son, was a gift. It was one of those moments when we were exactly where we needed to be, so that my mother would not brood in her room alone, staring out at the hills. We did little else but be with her, watching games shows together, talking and not talking, and me holding my mother in those moments when she became overwhelmed by the reality that her sister had died. I encouraged her to cry. I told her it was natural to cry, to not keep grief bottled. She said she wanted to be strong for everyone. I asked her to be vulnerable for us, so that we might mourn together. At last she broke down and sobbed, whispering over and over, We've had such a good life, we've been so blessed. And then she slept. And my son played video games, waiting for her to awaken. And we talked about everything, all the sharing that can only happen unforced. There was sorrow in the air, but the week was charmed, too, a moment out of time, the three of us together, necessary and right.



20 comments:

  1. Thank you for reflecting on these moments. Your photos are so peaceful and beautiful -- even in their heaviness.

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    1. Elizabeth, it's good always to hear from you. I know things have been bureaucratically hectic with Sophie's new milestone. Thanks for sensing the peace. xo

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  2. I'm sure it was a huge comfort for both of you to be there. You will never regret that trip.

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    1. Steve, I think the purpose of the retreat i had initially planned to attend was to get me to jamaica *that week* and not another. we were needed there right then.

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  3. The bell beside the bed. The boy-who-is-a-man waiting for his grandmother to wake up.
    There in case they are needed.
    I feel such a sense of familiarity with these pictures. I feel you, Angella, so palpably, I cannot almost hear your breath beside me.

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    1. Ms. Moon, i love you so much. You see and know. The bell. Yes. The boy, who loves his grandmother so much. It is beautiful to watch and to participate in. Hugs.

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  4. she is amazing; so strong. and--i have to say it--dresses fabulously! (red slippers!)

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    1. Susan, right?? those red shoes are just so very fly. She was always a stylish one, effortlessly so.

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  5. ...so that we might mourn together.

    This post pierced my heart with its beauty.
    You were exactly where you needed to be at that moment. Thank goodness.
    Your mom is gorgeous. Stylish too.

    Thanks for sharing these tender moments with us.

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    1. Mel, thank you for sharing them, too. It is always easier to mourn with company, i think. otherwise it is such a lonely affair. hugs, friend.

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  6. I too sensed the peace with the sadness in this post. You have a beautiful way with words, just remarkable. I love the pictures o your mom -- so relaxed and your son... to me it felt like she felt safe with you and your boy there. And yes, you took the week off of work to go to that retreat and thank God you did because you needed to be in Jamaica and you had the time off to do just what you needed to do. S. Jo

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    1. Sweet Jo, she does indeed feel safe with this man-child of mine. She trusts him to catch her, to never let her fall, and he never would.

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  7. Your posts give me faith, Angella. That stars align, that families will be there when necessary. It is the best kind of knowledge, here in these posts. I'm so glad you were all there together, at the right time. Your comment on vulnerability stopped me in my tracks because last night I watched Brene Brown's interview with Oprah. She studies, writes on, and speaks about vulnerability. She says it is the pathway to courage and creativity. So those stars are aligning for me, between you and Brene.

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    1. Ah Vesu, faith is possibly what we're all seeking so i'm glad if you find a measure of that. It requires such bravery to be vulnerable. we do that here, day in day out as we share what is true for us, and trust others to receive it with kindness. thank you for that.

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  8. Angella, I was quickened by your words and the photos. I bet that if you had to be an item from these three photos, you would be the bell.

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    1. Nancy, what an interesting thought! It would be a privilege to be the bell.

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  9. Angella...so perfect! I love this post and all it conveys of love and family and being present in the moment alongside each other. It isn't easy to see and feel grace in sadness. You do it so right.
    love,
    yo

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    1. Yolie, thank you for your open heartedness, always.

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  10. Oh Angella, this post about your sweet family sharing grief is a beautiful thing.

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    1. ellen, this is what it is now. it will happen again and again now. hopefully we will have long grace periods in between. xo

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