Monday, May 9, 2016

so long

It feels an eternity since I wrote here last. So much life lived between now and the last time I worked in this space. The unfortunate truth that I am back here to process a loss, a loss I'm not sure how to articulate. Today is the day after Mother's Day, the first Mother's Day I celebrated as a mother of 5 and here I sit, delayed in the airport after missing a flight that will lead me to bury my mother. The sudden loss of her is both startling and somewhat expected and yet the irony of this, of my traveling to lay her rest with my sweet daughter, 5th in line, just as I was to my mother, born to me the same age my mother was when I completed her child bearing years. So full circle and continuous is life.

In six weeks time my siblings and I were to gather together for the first time, all in one place, to give our mother a chance to enjoy her children and grand children what was expected to perhaps be the last and only time. The heartache of this, that instead she passed alone in her decades old trailer, no one there to notify 911, no one close as she breathed her last breath. I can't stand it. I can't fathom this, why the trajectory of life lead her this way. I hesitate to even say God, though I know He allowed this. I am angry with Him over it, but also oddly placid. Things will happen the way they will after all. It benefits us not to dwell on the unanswerable why. The practicality of my nature that I inherited from my mother.

I don't want to do this. I don't want to go back to the town where I spent my entire childhood, where all my memories of her are so fresh. I don't want to step into that trailer where I grew up, the one I cleaned because she didn't, the one I was so embarrassed of in my youth, the one that made all of my belongings wreak of second hand smoke. I don't want to remember the man who lived in the trailer down the street and how she never knew. But I'm writing all this here because I have to. I have to process the loss of her, of a person who loved me so deeply but hardly told me. Who boasted of my successes in life to people she'd never met, but from whom I only received criticism.

I love her, she sacrificed for me, she worked hard so I could have the very opportunities that brought me to the college where I met my husband, where God met me, where my life unfolded into this beautiful masterpiece that it now is. I love her because she is my mom, but I still carry hurt and resentment and questions and I know that only the healing presence of the Father will walk me through this. I am an orphan now. No father. No mother. But I don't walk alone. I have a Father who adopted me long ago, who celebrates me and allows me to rest. It is my joy and challenge now to rest in Him.


  1. Thank you for sharing this blog so I can know how you are doing and what you are going through. It helps me better to pray for you and the needs you have. I know I don't know you that well Jen, but I consider you a friend. I pray God will guide you through this grieving process and help you to let go of resentment and into His peace.

  2. Jan. We have a lot in common. My own mother never wanted us kids. She attempted suicide on our front porch that we were all there to witness. It wasn't until later in life that I knew this. I guess I was very young or God kept it out of my ability to remember that. My sister always took care of me. I never realized it till one day later in life just how selfish my mother was. I am not sure of your exact situation but I can feel your pain. I called my mom over the weekend to tell her that I wouldn't be down until next weekend after mothers day and she told me not to worry about it. I have struggled with my own children because I lacked the nurturing of my own mother. My kids suffer and we are still having issues most of the time. My oldest and youngest daughters gave me pure hell. They never understood that I wanted best for them. They just wanted my time. I could have be broke and homeless and they would probably still loved me. It's not until my own kids start to have babies of their own and the sisters began to fight and cause heartache that one day after a few weeks of my older daughter pissed off her her younger sister that she realized what I meant by letting go of things that you can't or couldn't control and to realize you have to live for you and your kids and husband because either you will die of a heart attack or end up in a mental hospital. And finally it clicked in her to what I meant and she finally let it go. I planned our first mini vacation as I never took them anywhere when they were young. She and I had the best time of our life. She is actually calling me and talking on the phone longer than 3 minutes. I told my oldest you know I am trying to restart our relationship but the mean things she use to say would open wounds and when that happens I feel horrible and suicidal because I just can get away from the thought ls of how bad a life the kids had. So instead of her being hurtful to me just try to start over. . For once no bickering, opening old wounds I have learned a lot of important and valuable things during my journey as a mother of 3. I guess what I am trying to say is. Even if you had a chance to tell your mom how you feel. It would only probably make her feel bad and that is not going to change the past. Maybe that's how she was raised I told my daughter sure I could go tell my mother how she screwed me up but not teaching me just how precious kids are a blessing from God. I made bad choices and will have to deal with them. Just like my mother will and how it's weighing on her heart. The past is throats. Remember the good times, the blessings and enjoy your family and move forward. I am almost certain that your mom had made peace with herself and God before she passed I hope this helps you. Love Ellen Stewat-Leyva

  3. Like you, I often express myself better in written words than in person so thank you for sharing with such raw honesty. I love you and am praying for you always but especially during this hard time. ~Amy Baker

  4. Jen you are amazing and I am so inspired by every step of your journey.
    I am so sorry for your loss but so grateful for your wisdom. Your beautiful children have been given an incredible mom that has the warmth of the sun, the embrace of a gente bear and the love that every child could only dream of having.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I wish I had the right words to say, but I don't. Just know that I am hurting for you and with you. I wish I could take some of your pain away. Praying for healing, love you!