Yesterday, I posted about our “hero” – our mother who essentially lived for us after dad passed away 35 years ago. Well lo and behold, my sisters read the blog post and we started a 45 minute text exchange full of laughter, some sadness, some regret, and a revelation that we still have things to deal with. Thanks to mom’s dementia, we are dealing with those things sooner rather than later.
Our mother was and is no angel. Dictionary.com’s definition for hero is, “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character 2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal” and their definition of angel (leaving out the references to heavenly beings) is, a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God; a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, or kindliness; a person whose actions and thoughts are consistently virtuous.” So in many respects, our designation for her as one of our heroes is correct, but the record must be clear – an angel she is not.
She is a human being with all the faults and weaknesses to varying degrees. She is a sinner in need of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. Maybe that is why my relationship with her remained what it was – fairly formal. Although we talked and prayed, I could never tell her my deepest anything. We were never around each other enough to see all the deep cracks in each others’ lives. On the other hand, my sisters saw most of her cracks. Apparently, there were many and some of them are of the type with shock value!
Well, let me tell you the significance of this “rant” – some of those cracks are more prominent because she no longer is able to filter what she wants us or the general public to know. For instance, we were at a store and she loudly declared how a lady had ruined her body because of all the tattoos she sported. Whooeee – I ran to shush her, but the damage was done.
Don’t get me wrong, she is generous and still hard working – she does all our dishes quite happily (she loves to play in the water and all the more so after we got a brand new faucet). But, mom was raised in the “old school” way. Never argue in front of the kids, don’t talk about sex, no public (or private for that matter) displays of affection, feign normality at all costs, and it’s okay to gossip but never okay to be confrontational. Whew!
I have been forewarned – chalk it up to one of my lessons. Deal with my junk now. Practice, practice, practice all the things Jesus wants me to do. I need to forgive, let go, be honest, trust, practice KISS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle), be generous, be thankful, and LOVE. Love my family, friends, and all those I happen to be blessed with by them being in my life.