She put on lipstick.
Brushed her hair.
Applied a little blush.
“You look beautiful,” I told my mother when I arrived to visit her at the hospital yesterday.
Definitely much better than on Tuesday when my sister and I wondered if she’d ever be able to get out of bed again.
That is the thing about blessings and kindness (and good medical care). When the heart is open to receive, Love flows freely. And with its flow, in no time at all, healing begins.
She is getting out of bed. They’ve taken out the IV, and she is eating better than she has in a long while. Even though “the food is terrible,” she says. And she scrunches up her face into a look of disgust, waves her arthritic fingers in the air as if brushing away something foul.
Which given her estimation of the culinary efforts of the hospital kitchen, is probably what my mother is doing, brushing away an ill-smelling memory.
It is one of her habitual responses — to throw her hands into the air, brush away imaginary cobwebs of confusion and say, “Let’s not talk about that.” or “Let’s not bring that up again.”
And while my mother and I have many similar traits, this is the one that sits between us, irritating whatever fragile peace we’d managed to claim in our often turbulent relationship.
I want to ‘deal with things’, get them out in the open, deconstruct and dissect to discard. My mother would rather just leap to the discard.
In the past, I have judged her harshly for her desire to discard. How can something heal if you do not acknowledge its existence? I’d ask when she would ask me why I have to bring that up, again.
Because to learn from it, I need to see what it is, I would reply.
I don’t want to talk about it anymore. What’s done is done. Nothing can change it.
And I would insist on pushing into it, pulling it apart, pushing it through to the other side.
For my mother, that felt harsh, cruel, mean.
For me, it felt constructive. It wasn’t personal. I simply needed to understand in order to learn. Believing that I cannot heal or change what I do not acknowledge, I wanted to speak of what it was that was causing me so much distress.
Except, when looking to heal a relationship, or build a bridge between two differing points of view, talking over the other person’s point of view only creates more of what caused the rift in the first place — discord, differing points of view, decidedly different perspectives.
It isn’t that either point of view is wrong. it is simply that they are different.
Yesterday, as I sat and chatted with my mother and my youngest daughter who was visiting with her boyfriend, I marvelled at how different the view is when no matter my perspective, I step out of judgement to see the people around me through a compassionate and loving heart.
When I let go of having to prove I’m right, the world rights itself to that place where it is not our differences that connect us, it is the thing we share that can never be broken, our family circle united in Love.