Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tears and Smiles

It's my birthday, 49 today. I've been feeling quite melancholy for several weeks now, and having trouble putting my finger on exactly why.

I keep telling myself how great my life really is. That I have so much to be grateful for.

I have wonderful friends, loving friends, friends who gift me daily with their love and support. I have a totally insane, completely dysfunctional family, but they love me and I love them. Neither I, nor any of my loved ones suffer from any major disabilities or illnesses. All of my basic human needs are met. I live in a lovely rural setting with much of nature's beauty surrounding me. Nearby are several libraries, a university and community college, all giving me access to more information than I could ever possibly read and digest. Within a few hours drive are two cities that are full of so many venues to feed my need to experience beauty and excitement. There is more, so much more filling this life of mine, and yet, here I sit wallowing in the land of doldrums.

I know many of the reasons why I am filled with sadness, much of it having to do with so many endings in my life of late. All of the roles I've used to define myself are at end, or quickly reaching an end. I could go on, and on in that regard, but it all seems rather nonsensical at the moment. Not really that important. Which is truly where I need to be directing my thoughts...on what is important. For the past decade or more, there has been one question I ask myself when times seem rough, or when I become caught up in the spiraling loop of depression.

"In five years will this matter?"

When asked, often a very easy question to answer.

The answer always leading me in the right direction.

Answers to the questions filling me this day are of the negative and positive sort, yet still quite simple when viewed from that basic question. Some of the decisions I make in the near future will matter greatly, others...not so much. Those that matter, are where my focus needs to lie. Perspective, the question gives me perspective.

For over 22 years the main focus of my life has been to be the best mother I could be. . Due to the very nature of my own childhood, I wanted my children to be able to look back on their own childhoods and have it filled with wonderful memories. I have often questioned if I succeeded or not. I received a birthday gift from Chelsea last night. With all the things going on in her life, she had forgotten my birthday was coming so quickly. She felt bad, in addition, she also felt the need to give me a gift yet has no funds to do so. I received the best gift possible though, maybe ever. A letter.

Mother Dearest,

I feel awful for forgetting your birthday. I'm really really sorry, I'm also sorry that I have no money to buy you the gift you deserve. Yet, there are some things I want you to know.

First off, whenever Alex and I think back over our childhood, we remember amazing things that it was full of. For example, the museums, the battlefield hikes, the CAR WRECKS, sports, the books you read to us, games played with us (remember Crystal and her many children?). And songs, songs sung to us every night. All these amazing memories are because of you. You gave us the perfect childhood.

Then there's my middle school years, which were most definitely the worst years of my life so far, but you were there for me. I had problems and you had perfect advice. Advice which still helps me to this day, and helped shape who I am today (a person who forgets her mothers birthday---sad face---). Nonetheless, you always had the right thing to say. You have helped me through epic boyfriend problems, the biggest being B. You were there for me through all my heartaches.

I still think you worry about your decision regarding Dad, and moving out, and divorce, but I don't regret or feel ill will towards you, anyone, or anything in that whole situation. I believe in you. The little things you've done for me through out my whole life will stick with me forever. Like the poem you wrote about me in the fifth grade, (yes I am very vain and love every word you wrote). Over all, you have been and still are the most amazing mother. Alex and I are blessed to have you as our mother. You are intelligent, spontaneous, and fun. You're 49...big deal, in real life you're 25 and young and fun, 49 middle-aged and crazy, and 92 old and wise, you've got it all. All I'm trying to say is that you are a powerful, brave, intelligent, and loving woman, and a perfectly insane one too, but I wouldn't have my mother any other way :-).

I love you more than words can say,

P.S. Happy Birthday too!



Funny thing is...not an hour after her giving me this letter we had one of our head-butting mother/daughter arguments...but...ya'know's all OK, it really is...this is my life...the good, the bad, the sad, even the days filled with melancholy are OK, because it is my life, such as it is.


Fiona said...

I read Chels' letter to you and cried....NOTHING could compare to getting something like that, absolutely nothing.

And a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me too (slapping forehead). Hey we're finally the same age....for a few months anyway ;)

I know 'melancholy' has negative connotations, but I actually have enjoyed those times, mainly because they so often signal a lighting of spirit coming on. I hope yours does too dear woman :)

BBGR hugs

Anonymous said...

Your daughter sounds like a smart, wise, loving young woman. Happy birthday and sending hugs.

X. Dell said...

Wow. A belated happy birthday. I hope to be 49 too, someday, but the way I'm going that's an even money bet:-)

I'm sure you see Chelsea's letter as a very nice present in and of itself, if for no other reason than giving needed perspective.

D G said...

Happy Birthday. you have a year to look forward to your 50th. I enjoyed mine, so plan now. It's a great milestone. Take care sugar.


Mom to the Girls said...

It sounds like I have much the same relationship as you do with your daughter. I just hope that my mom knows I love her (and I guess I hope it's mutual) Sometimes it's hard to tell... The writing is amazing (so very soulful). Happy Birthday!

Sunny Delight said...

Fi: I cried too, I don't think I have ever received a better gift. Don't know if my spirit is lighter, but I am working on it. BBGR HUGS!!!

Deb: Thank you, and at times she truly does amaze me. I certainly hope you reach 49 and more! Yes her letter did indeed put my life in perspective...much needed.

dg: Thank you for the birthday wishes. Is this the dg I think it is? You've been away for a while! Hope all is well with you.

Ummm...the 9s have always been milestone years for me in decision making...not sure why. As to my 50th, it is my sincere hope I will be living one of my dreams on that destination in mind yet though, probably one which August is an off season month.

mom to the girls: Chels and I have as open a relationship as possible, while still maintaining the mother/daughter boundary, been tough sometimes, she is most definitely one of my treasures. The relationship with my own mother has become much more open the older we've both gotten, which has pleased me and her I think.

plan0 said...

Happy Birthday babe! Sorry I missed it, I'm off running to 7-11 or the gas station to find you some suitable gift... how about a tire gauge?