Friday, February 12, 2010

Epiphany

Dictionary.com says:
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I think that's what I had last night. An epiphany. Let me tell you as quickly as I can some history, this being my birthday month and all:

My mom had a great mom and a very rich but a simply horrible, cruel birth father who tried to kill her twice, and who kept a razor strop hanging on his chair, with which he would strike my mom. Many a time, my grandmother made up a bed in the bathtub for my mom to sleep in, behind a locked door with her mom...to be safe. Grandma wised up and left the jerk when my mom was 8, giving my mom the chance to decide....you can leave with me and have nothing, or stay with your father and have the world. Mom picked her mom.

Grandma married the man of her dreams, who had loved her forever in England (another story, another time) and altho they were poor, they had this amazing relationship and love and Poppy was so wonderful to Mom.

My mom worked hard and was very smart. She married my father, Henry, after the war and I came along in 1949. Then he died 4 months later. This past Christmas, Jocelyn gave me this wonderful trivet (but I have it hanging right in front of me as I sit at the computer)...that's me with the big ears...and my lovely mom. Not sure of the date but as I look at pictures of our Lily, I figure I am not much older, and my mom? The very young widow. I am fairly certain she's brushing sand off my hands which means wwere had to have been at Long Point Beach in Canada...where she went with me to grieve.

Life rolled along. Things continued to change and grow. That's what life is really....a series of fortunate and sometimes unfortunate events. As my Faithful Readers and friends know, my mom died of cancer in 2004, with Bonpapa following 4 years later. My mom had left me her home here in Paradise with the understanding that I'd make it even with my sister. We didn't move in here until about 6 months after Bonpapa. It was a hard decision to make, as you know. I loved my 809 house. But the housing market made it difficult to see this large a home facing Lake Erie. Fortunately a lovely young couple bought 809 and are now turning it into their home.

And that 'turning' is something I haven't been able to do....until yesterday. I've wandered around this house. Finding my mom at every corner, in the cupboards, on the shelves. I have reached for something, and dragged out just the very thing I needed...but it was hers. And I always thanked the air for everything she gave me....and I'm not just talking about the house. So many riches. Life, support, courage, encouragement, truth, understanding.

Last night, after Holly, Maddie, and Nathan left (they are the givers of the toast clock, remember? The ones who darted right over when they were asked to help me move the stuff out of the various rooms and the kids worked like blessed 'demons', nothing was too heavy and they did it all laughing and having fun...even leaving with these words from Maddie..."I like to work." bless her heart) I walked through the near empty house, anticipating and fearing the install of new carpet. What were we thinking? New carpet? We've never bought a house load of new carpet in our lives.

I was so blessed to have been able to be a stay at home mom, raising 5 perfect children, while Robert slaved away (yesterday he worked afternoons and then his boss, whimp that he is, calls in and says he doesn't feel good and Robert had to work a double which actually means he worked nearly 18 hours). We didn't have money for big, luxurious vacations. Ask my kids of the long, nonstop drives in the van...with and without AC. So if we needed carpet, it was scrimp and save and maybe even charge a room at a time.

And here I was, standing in the house, anticipating new carpet. Throughout the whole house! Oh my! (Oh wait...not the family room...that carpet is still fine)

And suddenly, in that instance, the house became MINE. MINE and ROBERT'S. Suddenly, I saw future get-togethers here. Future parties (starting out with a dinner with Holly's family who are so dear to me, and so willing to help). Time with friends to hangout. Pie Iron dinners in the fireplace with Pam/Ken on a wintry night. And if my family happen to come visit, bedrooms with new, non smelling/dusty carpets.

Sure, it would have made more sense to paint the walls first...but (sigh) we just went with the moment. The walls will come next, slowly, and we will be sure to invest in huge drop cloths and tape to take them to the floor boards. Dawn has always offered to come strip off the wallpaper and Holly, Dawn's friend too, wants to come help. Cara is an amazing painter she tells me, a steady hand and she's willing to come paint. Last night Jordan said he has some days he can take off work (now that Lily is born and they aren't buying a home and moving) and he's willing to come up and help Robert paint. Naturally, our professional painter Hank would do it if they weren't so far away. And Jocelyn is willing, too. Everyone has been so willing to do this ever since we moved up here, moved here in laundry baskets. Everyone else has been anxious for me to get to this point in my head. In my heart.

But I'm slow. And it took me til last night to think that this is truly our home. We are 3830. This carpet will outlast us probably. And maybe it's that thought that got me here...20 years from now, when the carpet may or may not need to be replaced, we might have already been replaced.

But my mom, who gave me life and everything else including this house, would be happy for me. Probably she has been very impatient for me to get here, to this acceptance. To this love. But I'm here now...and so very at peace.

Thanks Mom!

6 comments:

HJHatch said...

So glad to hear your stories and your revealation!
We'll come up whenever you need, Jordan has plenty of days off and we don't take vacations :)

Lin Floyd said...

wow, how neat...amazing how life moves on and teaches us. Great post-I've missed you sharing your heart and discoveries with us. Happy Valentines.

Dawn Mercedes said...

oh please...you will never be replaced!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying the trivet! :)

Millie said...

Many memories were planted within those 4 walls, and now many more can be added to them.

marissa said...

Can't wait to hear that "other" story about Poppy!

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