Monday, November 1, 2010

Courage to Change

(When I first sat down to write this entry, I was in a much darker mood.   While I still feel that I'm under a heavy cloud, it doesn't seem quite as ominous.  I should have changed the tone of what's written below, but my lack of motivation is pretty widespread.  Besides, I really just wanted another chance to talk about my wonderful mother.)

As I sit here on the eve of my 52nd birthday contemplating the changes I need to make in my life, my thoughts turn to my mother and what a remarkable woman she was.  I previously wrote about her on her birthday, but even then I don't think I realized just how courageous she had been.

One afternoon when I was in my early 20's, I received an unexpected phone call from my mother.  She was in a nearby town and asked if I could please come down and pick her up.  My mother didn't drive and rarely asked for help, especially if she thought it would inconvenience someone.  But after suffering through an unhappy marriage for more than 20 years, and since her youngest child was nearing adolescence, she had finally decided to file for divorce.  She had actually walked the 10 or so miles to the county seat to file the paperwork, and now as the day wore on she needed a ride back home.  (Looking back, I think she realized she couldn't get back on her own in time to meet my youngest sister when she got home from school.  Otherwise, knowing her, I believe she would have found the energy to make the trip home without asking for help from anyone.)

Most days I can barely find the motivation to drive to the grocery store.  I can't begin to imagine walking 10 miles to a town I'm not familiar with.  And the idea of doing something that would drastically change my life scares me beyond words.  Maybe it was the desperation that pushed Mama forward.  Or perhaps she was simply the bravest woman I'll ever know.

I'm sure my mother thought I would be angry with the decision she made that day.  I wasn't.  As much as I loved my father, I knew the suffering my mother had endured.  I had been wanting her to find happiness, or at least some peace, for many years.  Her childhood alone had been filled with enough difficulty to last a lifetime.  Unfortunately, pain would follow her for the remainder of her life.  But until today, I had never given much thought as to the courage it took for her to wake up and make a choice that would change her life forever.

Mama, I wish you were here to guide me through these difficult days.  You could always make me feel better.  Maybe you wouldn't have an answer for me.  But I'm certain you would give me the strength to find it for myself.

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