FWF: Kellie Elmore, Jhana’s Daughter

 

English: Two candles in love. The flame is inv...

English: Two candles in love. The flame is inverted heart shape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My name is Jhana, I am very old but I have a young friend translating for me. She knows ‘Merican language real good. Now we start: “The pain in Jhana’s old heart was searing now. The intensity, the throbbing came and went but there were times when she would kneel on the dirty, muddy floor and weep. She only did that when she was sure she was alone. Jhana’s children, all except one, brothers and sisters all lived near-by but she was not looking for comfort, she knew there was none. None for this type of her anguished heart.

We are alone with our grief she had learned through the hard times even though we have family for whom we bless. It took more bravery and strength to be able to hold on to love, than to dismiss it. Love is fleeting, like birds in the sky. That, she knew. Love was there, deep down but could you feel it all the time? Of course not. You had to imagine it, rely on it, pray that it would be there or come back to you. Have faith. Love was an assumption only.fwf4Apr

Love was not the “smiling, holding hands” we would look at in the American magazines that the girls would find and hide under mats, and yes we let them. They looked at something called “romance” not true love but we let them. They did not yet know our plans to move to ‘Merica in a year or two years.

Here, in India, I would look at second daughter’s face as if I was looking through her, I had no problems with my other four children. Why was this child so different? The love was always there in my heart, in her father’s heart and siblings. What happened that was different for this child of mine? How could she not know our love? Did she not know that her father and I blessed the differences from her and the others. She was our pearl, our stand-alone gem. If anything she was more loved but would not take it inside herself.

The other older children could play and work and keep busy but this one held feelings deep inside her heart or just could not communicate. There was hurt and anger, deep inside hammered in to her heart but yet she could not forgive. Nor would she allow us to apologize for something we did not know about. She would not give in, she would be strong, very strong. But, I knew better, of course I did. Well, I thought I did. I was her mother.

This was not a betrayed love, this was a love that ran so deep, only a mother could know. I waited patiently until the day she would find her way back to me. Where did we go wrong I asked the husband? He said of course “we did nothing wrong, she is the child.” But, a mother is different, I tried to tell him. No, that is not the answer.” he told me.

I imagined looking at your face with my two hands one on each side like pressing on cold, hard glass. Press too hard and chips of glass would embed themselves in your fingers, blood would run down slowly each time. Not enough to scream but just enough to notice. I would imagine you trying to get away, twisting, fighting and screaming but my love for you was stronger than everything. You could not run away forever. I held you close, I would not let you go, ever.

I tried to forget the unforgiving words told to me about what you called me and how you viewed me because I do not follow that life. Love was a mystery that couldn’t be easily explained. Where was the joy, the simplicity, the laughter of love? Did it exist past the many layers of the wall you created? As a mother I dearly hoped but I could not know, you would not allow me to know.

Beautiful child, lovely child. No matter how old you are, you still live in my heart no matter what you do or don’t do. There is the difference. I will always cherish you, always love you,  for the goodness in you that I see, that I feel. Yes, certainly. Two hearts, even those estranged, can come back and beat as one.

Until the last breath I will love you. Do you hear me child? Does anyone?  I will say it again and again since I cannot see you, my eyes have failed me many years ago. But, I would still know your face, my hands might be gnarled and brittle with illness but my heart knows, will always know that you, beautiful heart, was so blessedly loved every second of every day and night.

I will wait until the last breath has left my body, which dear one, I know will be soon. I will never give up on you, you see I was learning Patience too and different ways of loving. None was right, none wrong. I was changing too.

That is a mother’s truth spoken in my body now and in the next life. I promise this to you. I love you now and forever. Look for me at night, in the sky, I will be watching you still, loving you, when I am gone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Figuring It Out. ALONE.

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Part 2: Figuring it Out: By Myself

Why didn’t I just sit down and listen to myself? Really listen and take my advice and go away for a few days to have some alone time? I didn’t have a second this summer when there wasn’t someone around me. Without a doubt, the high point of my summer was spending time with my daughter in Fort Lauderdale,  Florida for five nights, just the two of us. That was amazing and I would do it again, in a hot second, because not only did I want to go but my 18-year-old daughter wanted to come with me. For the first time.

I need my space, have always needed my space so I can breathe. Like a fish needs water, that is how essential my alone time is to me. That’s why I’ve been depressed, I knew it was something simple, something tangible but it was far beyond my reach at the time to understand. Yet, it was right in front of my face. It was just so black, I couldn’t see it.

During this summer, hostile weather and all, I was housebound with Fibromyalgia and Depression, not a win-win combination. For the first time in six weeks I feel so much better, I’m smiling at the computer and a smile feels better than a sack full of jewels. I’ve always needed my alone time and I had none. Not one minute. There was no balance in my Libra life, no balance at all.

I drove myself crazy with questions and speculation deepening my depression because I couldn’t figure out why the cause of my depression. I have never been a depressed person. Anxious yes, depressed, no. I had researched meditation, chakra, astrological practices etc. and what I really needed to do was sit still and listen to myself like I did tonight. Finally. I can breathe again, slowly.  I am yawning with relief and self-satisfaction. Next time, before I run myself around in circles I should just listen to my gut feelings and act on it and not back away because it feels too hard to do or too expensive. It’s worth every single penny and then some. I feel clean and light.

I couldn’t sleep when I wanted to sleep the most. I couldn’t concentrate because I forgot everything the very same second : the cause: Fibro fog (Fibromyalgia Fog: short-term memory loss. I had no appetite and could only eat the smallest of portions. My mind felt cluttered but if you asked me with what I couldn’t tell you one single thing. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Nothing felt right, nothing was right, I simply was not myself and I was out of balance. I tried to find my center but tried to find it on the outside and not on the inside where it belonged.

It took some time but when I finally figured out WHAT was making me depressed and the feelings beyond that, it was a gift I welcomed. I felt so disheartened not being able to figure it out by myself because that is one of my strengths and yet it was right in front of me. I just couldn’t see it in the dark.

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The Beautiful Daughter

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

She lies on her bed, my seventeen year old daughter with her long curly blonde hair swept up into a messy top bun that looks exquisite. She has headphones plugged into her computer listening to music, she instant messages friends on her red phone and does her homework simultaneously.  She doesn’t know I am looking at her and I hide the tears that start rolling down my face. She is a senior in high school; her criteria for looking for a college is for it to be “far and pretty” emphasis on far.

I’ve been through the college admissions process last year with her older brother. But, this child, this girl, is my baby, the one that clung to me like a little a warm nesting animal burrowed in my neck. This was the child who only wanted me and I was always there for her, picking her up when she screamed, soothing her at night. She called me “Mama.” Her first memory is being “sprung” from her crib by me and I remember that day as well.  A small, eighteen month old child engaging me with her big blue eyes and devilish smile, she melted my heart instantly.

I miss the little girl she was. I wish I could scoop her into my arms like I used to when she was a child. Even a hug is asking too much, I know. I still remember how it felt though. I can’t remember what I did last night for dinner but the softness of her skin and her wet sloppy kisses on my cheek are unforgettable, as well as the sound of her infectious, devilish laugh.

My daughter knows what she wants at all times. When she was a mere child she planned her birthday parties three years in advance and never changed her mind. When she was younger she did ballet, wearing a pink leotard, a pink tutu, tights, and tiny beige ballet shoes. Her hair was in a bun covered by a pink, lacy barrette.  If I had to recreate her in dance she would now be a modern dancer, leaping through the air like a gazelle, wearing scarves in vibrant colors, her hair loose and wild, moving with the music.

She is a vegetarian and always has been since she was a baby. When I tried to feed her meat baby food she spit it out immediately and laughed when it hit me on my face. To this day, she does not eat meat, she loves all animals, especially our dog. She shows the most affection to our dog whom she hugs and kisses and confides in. I love watching her long arms around our dog’s neck, whispering her confidences to her.

She is incredibly smart, private and can buy five outfits on the clearance rack that look gorgeous on her within three minutes. She takes after her grandmother when it comes to style, it definitely missed my generation. We do, on occasion, have our mother-daughter feuds. She will stare me down with those hardened blue eyes and say as condescendingly as possible: “you’re not wearing THAT are you?” or  “what exactly are those pants you’re wearing, tell me they are not sweat pants!!” Sigh, and I thought I looked fashionable, I refused to change.

I will always be here for you, beautiful girl.  I’m holding on to these last months when you still live at home. I can’t wait to see what second semester will bring: the prom, the senior musical, the college of your choice. I know you will have a lot of fun; be happy and know that I am happy for you.

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