Friday, September 20, 2013

Why We Do It.

Hello Ladies,

These last few days I've been working on a post that is really, really angry. I make some good points in it. It's about isolation. It's about constant interruptions. It's about not being able to finish a sentence, go to the toilet by yourself, and not being able to get a child to go to bed. This is the stuff of early motherhood is made of. It is real. It is frustrating. And happily, it's not what this post is about.

You see, moms don't do it for the money or the glory. We do it because it is in front of us. If we do it with great love then we can get by. We can also do the same tasks feeling defeated, bitter, and covetous. Some mothers don't do it at all and the children are physically and/ or emotionally neglected. But when we do change that diaper, we never, ever do it for ourselves.

So why do we do it?

Today I took my girls to visit my dad. My dad is now totally bed and wheelchair bound. He is now confined to his bed for several weeks (except for doctor's appointments) due to sores on his bottom. He has to use a bed pan. I am typing with tears in my eyes. My mother died before my children were born so I know that as awful as it is to see my father this way, at least he is with us. Was he lying there feeling sorry for himself? Was he bitter because I have a future in this life and his is winding down? No. He lay there, helpless, with sores on his bottom, a model of integrity.

He spoke to me about how the picture a my 8th grade teacher took of us dancing during the Valentine's Day dance at school. I was picked on in the 8th grade. When I saw that picture posted on the classroom wall I thought it would fuel more bullying. Instead the other girls were jealous.Their dads never danced with them. I got a copy of that picture, put it in a cheap frame and gave it to my dad for Christmas. He still treasures it - cheap frame and all.

He told me that my daughters (and son) are beautiful - they look like their mother. (For the record they look like my husband's side of the family.)

When I complained that my youngest daughter had been fussy and only wanted mama, he laughed and told me it was because I was doing such a great job. He told me it was a sign of trust.

He thanked me for raising his grandchildren with love and discipline.

He thanked me for bringing the children over.

When I had to leave (the baby was fussy) he told me that it was my job to take care of my children, not to worry about him. Right now my children are safe in bed. I worry about my dad.

I love my dad. He's awesome.

Writing all this, I realize that it's easier to do those silent, hidden, tedious tasks set before me with great love because I am loved. I also have someone whom I adore who believes in me.

One day, sooner or later, my father will die. My mother, with all of her problems, died, if not at peace, then in hope. I believe that she is now in heaven.

Ladies, we all come from God's imagining. Our potential is greater than we can ever comprehend. We are born. We are broken. We are scattered. If we are very lucky, our lives become a love song, sung in harmony with those who have dared to sing since the dawn of humanity. Maybe the tune will continue without our voices, but the result will be greatly diminished. We are unique. We are important. We are a single thought given form and freedom to become greater in our capacity to love.

When I held my son for the first time I stopped seeking knowledge and began seeking wisdom.

It isn't that my children deserve "the best". They deserve the best from me. And my father, in his helpless, childlike state, knows that the only thing to regret is that which we failed to do for others with great love. That and not being able to play on the ground with the grandkids. But now I'm crying again.

May God continue to bless you.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Question for My Readers

Hello Ladies,

To date my blog has been more of a ramble than anything organized. Sometimes I think this is a huge failing. To this end I am working on a systematic theology for mothers based on Pope John Paul II theology of the body, Marian theology, Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta, and various mystics.

If there is any questions, theological or otherwise, you wish to have addressed please do not hesitate to let me know.


Theology Mom


Hello Ladies,

Lately I have been thinking about forgiveness. A lot.

As you might already know, an elder of my family was dying at the time of the birth of my youngest daughter. Did the prospect of new life bring her joy? No. She told the entire family and anybody who would listen that this child should NOT be born. She told anybody who would listen that we should only have two children. She told everybody that I felt trapped by my pregnancy and that I did not want, that I even resented, the child.

Ladies, sometimes I look at my youngest baby and want to cry at the cruelty of her words. How this woman could even think those things, much less utter them? And who in their right minds would believe them?? This is the sort of slander that this woman had been spreading for years before her death. I don't know what angers me more - that she said them or that people choose to believe it.

My husband and I are still dealing with what this woman said. Relationships within the family have been broken. Horrible accusations and insults have been met with stony silence. What should be a strong family is now fragmented. (And people still believe that I don't love my child. The bastards!!)

And of course we are right. We are the reasonable ones.

Which is why I have a hard time forgiving. No, I simply can't forgive.

Growing up, I remember watching silly television shows where every problem is neatly and humorously dealt with in a half hour. Injuries were caused by misunderstandings, not by spite. But spite DOES exist and we do deal with people who couldn't care less about reconciliation.

So now I believe that this 'forgive and forget' thing is just a load of crap perpetuated by people who don't want to deal with the real issues and want to go on as if nothing had happened.

What I DO believe in is the transformative love of God. Let me explain. I don't think we can 'forgive and forget' because we approach forgiveness as an act of will, not of healing or transformation. I simply cannot will myself to pretend that what happened didn't happen. I cannot pretend that I am not hurt by it. I will never say that on some level what happened was good, right, a misunderstanding, or acceptable. And I will not try to see things from the point of view of a bitter woman who died as a direct result of her addictions.

What can I do? I can pray. First I flung my anger at God and asked for deliverance from it. Then I began to pray for those who wronged me. I didn't pray for any particular outcome, just that they should know the love and grace of God. I prayed for myself. I poured forth my anguish at the harm that this slander did (and continues to) inflict. And one day, God answered:

"Yes, it was wrong. No, you did not deserve it. Yes, it hurt you. But I was with you. I am still with you. Please, come to me and be healed."


Ladies, I do not believe that we can forgive. But I do believe that God can share His vision with us. I may or may not be right in this situation. I may or may not be justified in my anger. But I will not be a victim of slander. If God wants me to let go of this so I may be a part, however small, of His beatific vision, I will let go. And when I see my misguided relatives again, with practice, I can allow God's love and forgiveness to flow through me. I am small, formed of dust and Breath. That is the best I can do.

May God continue to bless you.