This week, I will have lived longer than my mother did and it feels strange.
Mum died in her 30’s exactly 1 week before her birthday and in my childish mind I thought that this was quite old and begun to believe that I would never live longer than she did. However, as I grew and my own years began to slip away, I realised just how young she was and how much she had overcome in the few years I had with her and my admiration for my mother grew evermore. Unfortunately, so did my odd unsubstantiated belief that I wouldn’t make it past this age.
I have all sorts of mental demons and one such manifestation is an obsessive compulsive issue with my made up childhood beliefs. This is not as negative as it sounds. I have in fact taught myself to use my issues to spur me on in life and this one in particular has helped me have courage and be unafraid of taking risks and really live life to the fullest point that I realistically can. It has taught me to never mind wearing my heart on my sleeve but to wear it emblazoned across my whole being and so what if I say things that people think is odd and curiously emotional….I don’t want to leave things unsaid or unfelt.
Perhaps it is grief that instilled this belief in my head. It is a sad fact that my sister and I were prevented from attending our mother’s funeral and so perhaps it is this that kept my strange notion niggling away at me for over 20 years. It doesn’t really matter I think. Time does heal in a way. In my case it dulled the sharp pain and replaced it a bottomless admiration of my mother for being a truly phenomenal woman (entirely worthy of THAT Maya Angelou poem) who overcame all the worst things that a woman can face and still have a grace, kindness and generosity of spirit that I have never again encountered in a person. I still do have an indescribable confliction of silent numbness and dull aching on certain days of the year yet even this has enabled me to grow stronger and maybe a little wiser too.
So this week, I will have lived longer than my mother and I am sat here wondering what I shall do with myself now that I have made it this far. Someone on Twitter said this to me;
“this means you’ll feel a lot better tomorrow. A new chapter in your life without the countdown.”
I could not have put it put it better. Thank you Seb for finding the words that escaped me. Up until now I have a had a full life always thinking of this day and so that it is shifting into my past, now more than ever before and with everything I have inside me I will strive for more of the same. The photograph above was taken under the wide skies of Tanzania at the end of last year and it just seems to sum up how I feel.
Now let me get up and get on with the rest of my life!
P.S. I have decided to stand up to myself and write about this on my blog for 2 reasons. Firstly, as selfish as it may seem on the surface, writing is therapeutic for me. Secondly, this may give some sort of solace and comfort to others floating in the same lonely boat.