I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Momma-part two

This is the second part of what a dear friend asked me to do, which is write about my Momma, and my relationship with her. Thanks for reading.

One of the most bittersweet things to realize is that I still HAVE a relationship with her. Though she is now gone...the mother/daughter bond remains. Ahhhh...the circles we motherless daughters run in. Though she is here.....she is gone.....it's a neverending, heartbreaking circle in this life without them. Not to mention the fact that those sweet women who didn't have a great relationship with their mothers, or may not have even known their mothers....still yearn for that relationship. I could write about this for days. I'll save that for another time, though.

As I mentioned, the ties are still here. And the way she Mothered me still affects me every. single. day. It has made ALL TOO REAL to me the BIG job of being a Momma. It is an everlasting bond.

My Momma had a job outside of the home. She mentioned to me many times that though she DID enjoy working, she wished she could have stayed home with us. I think for me, that is why I have chosen to do what I do. I don't get a paycheck every two weeks. I'm not on salary. However....you couldn't pay me enough to stop doing what I do. So in an ironic way.....her working outside the home, which was what worked for my Momma and Daddy.....had a huge factor in my choosing what I do.

Another thing that has affected my whole family's life thanks to Momma was the way she encouraged me...as I've mentioned before. When we were pregnant with our sweet Babylove, I mentioned homeschooling. I was scared to talk about it with many people, because so many people have STRONG opinions. I talked to her about it, and the first thing she did was talk about how she knew I could do it if that's what we decided to do. Immediately I felt that familiar "you can do anything" feeling that she always instilled in me. I love thinking about that. I know our decision also affected several of our friends, giving them hope in homeschooling their children. To this day, our lil' boy is thriving in our little school. I really believe my Momma's encouragement has a huge part to play in giving me the hope of knowing our family can do this.

If I may, I'm going to back up a bit to when my amazing husband and I were dating. Momma and Daddy both instantly loved him...and my sister did, too. (He was called "Uncle Darryl" way before he was actually an Uncle.) :) Both Momma and Daddy encouraged our relationship, and thought VERY highly of Darryl. It really is a good feeling when one's parents love the person they're dating. It speaks volumes, actually. Parents always want what is best for their children....so it did my heart good. I never had a reason to call my Momma and complain to her about my husband....because he's never given me a reason to do so. Needless to say, losing her had a huge impact on Darryl. I can't speak for him, but I know part of the reason he's been able to carry my grief with me is due to the grief he, himself has carried.

Another thing about my Momma that my sister can agree with is the love she had for her grandchildren. I could write for days on that. She just thought the world of them. And Dylan was C R A Z Y about her. He would literally double over with laughter, squeezing his fists together whenever we got to see her, and say "It's NANA!!!!!!!"....and laugh like crazy after he said it. :) She had that affect on people....and I miss that.

There is an unspoken language for motherless daughters.....we are often very hard on ourselves, wondering if we're doing things "right". We are often lonely. We are often angry. The smallest thing can trigger our longing to have our Mommas back. When I see little ones Dylan's age out with their grandmas, when I hear a child say, "Nana!".....when Dylan tells me he misses her....it is the worst feeling ever. It is an ache that I would never wish on the cruelest person. I remember the look in Momma's eyes when she talked about my Grandma after she was gone. It was a look that I didn't understand until December 2007. Seeing my Momma miss her own Momma after she lost her helped me know it is okay to show how much I miss her. It is indeed a wound time will never heal, counseling will never fix, and no amount of tears will be able to cover. It is definitely a grief I know I will always carry. Until all is made new.

The one thing I've been thinking about so much over the past year is that I can't replace my Momma. As much as I'd love to find somebody to Mother me.....there is nobody else. Let me be clear....there are many who I know love me, and I know who they are! But there is not, nor will there ever be another Momma. She is gone for now. One day, I will get to have her back....and she will get to have us back.

Until then, I will learn to live with this HUGE VOID that can only be filled with her.

**Thank you again for asking me to write this. You know who you are.**

My Momma (Part One)

At the risk of diving into what will certainly pull out many feelings (good ones, that is....just emotional) I was asked by someone I love VERY much to write a post about my Momma. To write about the things that I love about her, our relationship, etc.

Keeping in mind that a person's writings are only a SMALL glimpse into what is in their mind/heart.....one would never be able to put onto paper all the things they know/feel about another person. (This fact fascinates me.....because the Bible is only PARTS of what we know. It isn't exhaustive. That definitely CHANGED the way I read the Bible.) Just wanted to put a little disclaimer....this is only small parts of the wonderful life experiences shared with my Momma. From my point of view. Enjoy.

She was always encouraging to me. I can't remember how many times I heard, "You can be whatever you want to be"....and things like that. She supported me. I always knew she was "in my corner". I remember having a BAD experience with an ex-boyfriend and knowing she was just as upset as I was made me realize my feelings DID matter. (This fascinates me, because so many times we try to downplay other people's feelings, thinking it'll make what they feel go away...and in reality it will only deaden others as well as ourselves....but that's a whole other subject...) She let me cry when I needed to. Even in my teenage years, when I knew she didn't understand what I was going through....you know, because she'd never been a teenager herself. ;) How my heart aches when I think of the times she was carrying my hurts with me....and I didn't even know it. And now, as a Momma myself, I've realized we hurt even more than our child does during any sort of pain they have....physical or not.

Looking back, now that I think about it, she always encouraged me to be ME. I never felt her pushing me in any certain direction, she supported my decisions, and wanted me to know who I was as an individual. Even when I was becoming an "adult" and I BEGGED her to make my decisions for me....she wouldn't. She would listen, talk about things with me, but she always made it clear that in the end, I needed to be the one making the decision, whatever it was. That mere fact has helped me so much....everyday. It stretched me, and helped mold me into a wife, Momma, and every other hat that I wear. Thank you, Momma.

I also idolized my big sister. (And still do, of course. Hi, sister.) Everything she did, I wanted to do....and I ended up following in most of her footsteps. She never compared us though, she always loved(s) us both so much.

My Momma always made me feel beautiful. I have always struggled with self-image. In my head, I am the MOST unattractive girl EVER created. She always told me I was beautiful, though. I remember picking up magazines with beautiful models on them. Salma Hayek is my idol. I remember her being on the cover of one I was reading....and I said, "Momma, LOOK at her. Is she not the MOST beautiful woman you've ever seen!!??!?!" She responded, "Not at all, I think MY girls are the MOST BEAUTIFUL!!" And you know what? I know she meant it. She wasn't trying to make me feel good, she believed that with all her heart. The way SHE saw me, though I still disagree, helped me know how loved I was, and how adored I was. The fact that SHE believed in me helped me believe in myself tremendously....and that still has a hand in who I am today, and how I mother our sweet son.

There's so much more, I think I will need to split this piece into two parts.

I realize there is a part of people who will try to make their loved ones look like Saints. This is normal. However, I want to be clear that when I do write about Her, it's reality. Yes, I fought with my Momma. Mainly when I was in high school. I rebelled in a big way. Though at times I wish I could change those few years....it was a part of our relationship. Seeing both my Momma and Daddy embrace me even when I made FOOLISH decisions that hurt me.....the way they always loved and always had open arms....THAT echoes the Gospel to me, and STILL does.

In a very odd, ironic, bittersweet way......my Momma's believing in me has helped me know how to grieve through her absence.

I've never thought about that until this very moment.......

Thank you friend, for asking me to post this. It helped me so much. I hope it encouraged you, too.

Second part to come.