she was just a young girl when the other three girls showed up for a month-long visit. they were close to her own age. her mother called them her stepsisters. this was new information. what was a stepsister and why did her mother have three of them? and who was this other ‘momma’ the four of them referred to? was that her other grandmother?
the girls’ arrival opened up the past, like old luggage surfacing at will after having been buried on purpose decades earlier. as the bags were opened and unpacked, the walls of the old brick farmhouse became privy to long held secrets. nothing would ever be the same. tensions flew between elder relatives. conversations were held in hushed angry tones while pointy fingers accused and placed blame. her mother and stepsisters were caught in the crossfire.
years had passed since that fateful visit. she hardly remembered any of it now, save for the trauma of her infant brother rolling off of the bed onto the floor. she’d spent the better of part of the past thirty years (the last five in earnest) trying to piece together the events of her mother’s life. she hoped to better understand why their relationship played out like it had. sometimes it helped to have understanding of the timeline of physical events to see the spiritual cause and effect – and vice versa.
clarity made it easier to forgive, to discard unreasonable expectations. the two went hand in hand, both were necessary for emotional, mental and physical healing to occur.
it was time for another epsom salt bath, seeking more revelation. that was generally how it worked. the combination of the salt and soaking music opened up her vision like nothing else. holy spirit showed her stuff.
this bath led to a new ‘seeing’ of her mother. an old familiar black and white photo came to focus in her mind’s eye. she saw herself as an adorable toddler holding on to the edge of her pretty dress standing by what might have been her grandfather’s fancy car. in a moment, the little girl in the photo took on the face of her mother at that age.
this image of her mother was not easy to see. she was a little girl, vulnerable, born into a family of broken adults. she knew what happened to momma at that tender age. it was as though she’d been thrust into the part herself. she had asked to see what happened and here it was.
there were issues. momma’s own daddy was broken and drank a lot. momma’s momma was young and her momma said she was too young to be tied down with a baby and a husband. this piece puzzled her greatly. what was going on between this mother and daughter and why would a grandmother reject her little granddaughter? how far back did this root of rejection go?
her memory went back to a phone conversation she had with her momma on a lunch break walk. momma recalled their house in portland, sitting in the breakfast nook eating with a view of mount hood out the window. she knew if momma remembered mount hood, she remembered other events, even if she didn’t speak of them.
back in the past, divorce proceedings took place in court. after that, her momma’s daddy took his little girl away from her momma across the country. she would never see her momma again. her heart was broken.
this explained in part why she had been unable to love. she’d been torn from her own mother when she was just a baby. that trauma alone kept her stuck emotionally. she’d had no tools to heal, no one to share her grief with. she got stuck there.
and then there were the letters. that is another story.
love your momma even if she can’t love you back.
(copyright © 2017 jane doe)
One thought on “unpacking old bags”
Clarity made it easier to forgive…. Love your mama even if she can’t live you back… this speaks to me on so many levels.