The last time I sat down to write on this blog was way back in 2015. It’s unbelievable to me how 7 years can pass so quickly? It feels like my life has been this constant feeling of there’s not enough time and time moves so fast to time feeling like it is dragging, and I’m not sure what to do with all of my time. I, like most people, have my phone in my hand a larger portion of my day then I should. I randomly check my multiple social media sites, and I often stumble upon some delicious recipes and some thought provoking quotes that I save. Most go into my favorites folder and there they stay. Every once in a while one quote will stop me in my tracks and change me. I immediately know that I will have a lifelong reaction to the words I just read. This happened to me just the other day while mindlessly looking through Facebook, the site Tiny Buddha popped up, and I read the following:
“It’s a unique brand of pain when other people remember a deceased person for lots of positive qualities that you yourself never got to see. It’s even more painful when that person was your parent.”
It’s amazing to me how a quote on Facebook can awaken the feelings that I have always had about my mother, but never had the ability to string my feelings into words to make this much sense. I sit here tonight a 56 year old happily married mom of 2 incredible young men who has been trying to find the words to express to every single person in my life how it feels, almost 41 years later, to know that my mother was not the person to me that her other children and people in her life remember.
I didn’t get the version of her that they got. I can say for absolute that their memories of her are their versions of the relationship they shared, yet when I express my memories, I am often shut down with comments like “she was a wonderful mother”, “she was my best friend”, and “she gave her all to her children”. All of those would never be the words I would choose to define the mother daughter relationship she and I shared. Granted I was 15 when she died and she was only 40, there is a whole story there – but staying on this quote for this conversation, I really felt a weight lifted to finally have read the words that expressed the real pain the memory of my mother always covers me with.
I vividly remember she was in so much pain from the cancer that was killing her, and she spent many, many days in bed. There she often stayed with her other children right after she would tell me to go out and play. She never asked me to stay bedside with her. I went outside, every time. I went to go play with my friends, the people who wanted me around. Of course this time span for me was from age 13 through 15, which are very important molding years for young girls. Whether she knew it or not, each time she allowed me to walk out of that bedroom the hurt grew. I learned to begin the distancing dance, and I have been doing it every day since.
Instead of having a mama who taught me tenderness and togetherness, my mom’s decision to let me go – out to play – taught me that I am ultimately alone and it taught me how to keep people at arms length. I got her message, and I grew with that blueprint. It wasn’t until I was well into my 30’s that my husband and my babies taught me that I have 3 people who want me around every single day.
I rarely look back to my mom and my memories of her for guidance on how to parent, instead I take my memories of her and my relationship and know that she taught me what not to do. I have soaked up every single second I have with my children. They are the best gifts I have every received, equally. I could never imagine my asking one of them to stay while shooing the other one away, for whatever reasons. I have days where time goes slow and others where it rushes by, but each and every day I have the one gift my mother did give me, my life. My life is filled with love for my little family. I love those 3 men with all my heart and soul, and I let them know multiple times a day that they are loved by me forever and always.
Welcome to my blog! I love the name of the site…..free to be me. The jpc attached to the blog name is me: Jacquelyn Patricia Commander. I sit here today 56 years young, and since I was a girl of 15, I have always daydreamed about becoming a writer. Since now I find myself feeling semi-comfortable with me, and time feels like it’s running a race, I have decided to be brave enough to give myself the gift of telling some of my story.
I love that my story has bruises and holes. Some of my memories are beautifully painful and some are so wonderful they almost make you lose your breath. I love them all, even the ones I cannot completely remember.
My hope is that I can continue to write and lean into the possibility that I am indeed, a writer!
I would love the words that I place on this blog to mean something to someone, or touch someone in such a way that tomorrow will be better for them. I know that words and music have done that for me. The lost and down deep sad little 15 year old girl that I still feel sometimes has seen many tomorrows thanks to words on paper.
I hope you enjoy and always remember to BE.
I love your writings Jackie!! Your honesty is so powerful. Thank you for sharing!❤
Jackie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Keep writing! GP
Many of the blogs I happen upon seem “polished.” They seem like they’re trying to put a “gloss” on their supposedly “wonderful” life. The honesty of your blog is striking and refreshing and I think will be helpful to many. It’s so wonderful that you share your anxiety about doing a blog. I think all the “gloss” that people put on blogs adds to people feeling stressed and disconnected from other people – which is the opposite of what I think we all need, i.e., a more honest sharing of what it’s like to be human.
My oldest and dearest friend — I am so proud of you. You are never too old to follow your dreams and I am so happy you are writing again. You have always had the gift of gab…lol…and I mean that in a good way. Your ability and willingness to share all of you … the good and the heartaches … and the ups and downs in life will truly touch anyone who has the privilege to read your words and hear your heart. Don’t ever stop writing or being who you are. Linda
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