This is my birthday week, and birthdays invite contemplation.
I'm in a weird in-between place. Trying to make friends 15 years younger than I am, while also maintaining relationships with old friends who have moved to the next stage of life. New friends may not think I can relate to them. Old friends can love me and wave to me in the rear view mirror, but we just aren't on the same path.
It's hard not to think of what life would look like if our nest had emptied in 2019, as was our plan. Would Tim be able to work less without the financial pressure of expanding our family? Would I be able to work more without the emotional pressure raising a child right now entails? Would both of us feel like we "fit in" a little better in our worlds? Would we be more rested?
I'll be six years older than my mom was when she died. In many ways I still feel like the 18 year old whose mother went to heaven on a hot May day. I'm so proud of myself for all I've made it through: grief upon grief, difficult relationships, and feeling on my own much of the time.
When my mom and Jack died, I was so hurt and angry for all they would miss out on. My mother never got to travel, enjoy an empty nest, or grandparent. Jack? Well, there are so many things you don't get to do when you die at 12.
Over time, I've come to believe they are missing absolutely nothing! First, because I know the veil is thin and even though their physical bodies are dead, their souls are alive and right here with us. Second, because I believe there is no LACK in the afterlife. They are MORE than okay!
So today, as the weather grows cooler and I grow a year older, I miss them. I miss them for what they could be, physically, for US, more than for them. I miss Jack most of all for Margaret. And my mother? I miss her for myself. I miss the vast, accepting love of a mom who knows you and loves you regardless of where you fit in, even in middle age.
Deep down, I think perhaps I just want to be mothered.