So everyone is aware, I am still the happy-go-lucky Jennifer that I have been for the past couple of weeks, I have just been caught up in my usual over-thinking. I honestly hate that about myself. If, for one day, I could shut my brain off and just stare at a wall, I would be the most content I have probably been in awhile.
When I try to think about my mother, I do not always remember a lot at one time. Films give people the disillusion that memories will fall down around them like a horrifically beautiful collage of pictures and home movies, but it never happens that way. I have an unfortunately good memory--part of the reason why I have a tendency to dwell on things--however, when I try to remember things about loved ones I have lost, I typically draw a blank.
Sunday night, I had finished packing and was ready to tuck myself in bed before I make the long trip back to campus, when I found a picture of my mother on my wall. It was of my mother, Lynn Gleason, before she started her treatments. I studied the picture for awhile and suddenly realized the face smiling back at me was slightly unfamiliar. This thought was not comforted with my poor memory of her, either.
I spent so much time being angry and only really remembering some of the worst memories, I had forgotten who my mother was--the woman everyone else saw. I felt like a despicable human being. Sunday night, the worst of the memories flooded back and I remembered the days of being a rebellious bitch of a daughter at 14-years old and could not believe some of the things I had said and done to her. And despite all of it, she loved me more than any other woman could. She was an amazing mother and I never gave her enough credit. I can only hope she has forgiven me by now.
The worst thing a person can do is dwell on the bad or make a bad situation worse by forgetting what made life worth living "back then." We all need people, and even adults need their parents. I am fortunate enough to still have my father and to have my stepmother in my life, but I can never forget I did have an actual mother who cared for me more than I was willing to give in return sometimes. In more ways than I would have been willing to admit even a year ago, she is the reason I am here today doing what I am doing. It may sound sappy, but people need to know how much they mean to others. I try to let the ones in my life know, and I hope they do understand just how much I need them and love them.
When given that little bit of time to think, Sunday night, I realized I have been given the chance to finally start healing and understanding who my mother was and how much she meant to me--thoughts I had been shoving aside for too long. I am experiencing some of the more painful aspects of this at the moment, but I am actually happy about it. I never turn away the process of healing. Being bitter hurts more.
Related Post: How Writing and My Mother's Nagging Saved Me