February 25, 2010

I love you still

I awoke from a dream this morning, I was dreaming of you.  I dreamed that you had abandoned me... again.  Old hurts sometime remain, under the surface, I guess.  I didn't even realize that today was your birthday.  I know that last year it came and went before I remembered it.  I miss you. I might have forgotten your birthday, but I have never forgotten you.

Your hatred for me as a child is well known by many but, I loved you still.  You were my mother.  You did not protect your children, and as our mother you should have.  You spent my childhood blaming me for your mistake.  Openly saying you wish you had prevented my birth and that you hated me.  I have tried desperately to forget how you berated and abused me and in the end disowned me. I have come to realize that I have not walked in your shoes, not cried your tears, nor felt your loneliness or your heartache for lost love.  I forgive you Momma, I love you still. 

Some of my friends, and now anyone that would read this will know, that I do not remember my life before the age of 12.  God is gracious like that.  I have no desire to uncover those memories, He has cast them aside as far as the East is from the West.  I know bits and pieces as told to me by my 5 siblings, and that is enough.  And a hand full that return from the few photos I have.  Years ago during a counseling session, my therapist told me that as my children reached certain ages, it could trigger memories of me at that age, and yes it did.  Mostly unpleasant, but some were wonderful.  You taught me to make a skirt when I was only 6 years old, it even had a zipper.  I can sew and I can sew well, and that is because of you.  I love my family desperately, and that too is because of you.  I gave my life to Jesus and brought my children up to know Him, and that in a strange way is your doing too.  I ached and cried out in my soul to be different from you and that led me straight to Him.

And then you disowned me, October, 2001.  Why?  I saw you many times in stores around town, you would look straight at me and then turn away, like I was nothing, no one.  It broke my heart.   I saw you several years later at Jeremy's wedding, you looked unwell.  Teresa encouraged me to speak to you, I did.  I  told you how I missed you, how much I loved you, how I wanted us to not be at odds against each other any more.  You made a scene at the wedding, you told me you didn't want to have anything to do with me, that you hated me.  Why?  I remember a few months before you died, I saw you in Walmart in the check-out lane.  I remember I stood behind a display rack about 20 feet away and just watched you, listened to your voice as you spoke with the cashier, and the little girl inside me cried out to her mother, I love you still.

In December, 2005,  I received a phone call that you were gone.  I was devastated, no more time to make amends, no more second chances.  No more I love yous.  But, the caller was mistaken and you were indeed alive, but only barely.  When I got to the hospital as ill as you were you remembered that you were mad at me.  It was difficult, heart breaking.  But, as a few moments ticked by you softened towards me.  You told me you loved me and I you.  You told me you had always loved me and were very proud of me. .... and then you were gone.  I had waited 42 years to hear those words and then you were gone.  No more second chances, no happy ending...just gone, but you loved me still!

I think you had known Him for sometime, your sister told me as we were preparing for your funeral how you came to know Him.  What happened?  Why did you turn your back on Him?  I have over time thought about it, and I have an idea in my mind.  I think you were angry, so angry that you blamed yourself and you blamed Him.  And because of that you would not accept His love for you, you couldn't forgive yourself for what you had done and you couldn't forgive others, but He loved you still.

I know that I have not always treated you with respect, and many times I got what I deserved from you.  I was a smart mouth kid, but my children and I did nothing to deserve being disowned by you for 5 long years.  You cheated my girls out of a grandmother, and now that I am one, that is unacceptable.  But, also now that I am one, I realize that you suffered a greater loss by not knowing them.  I am grieved by that, but.... they love you still.

There are many similarities between our relationship and the one we share with God.  We abuse Him, mistreat and ignore Him, but He loves us still and He is always ready to forgive and give us a second chance.  I was not always that forgiving towards you, but I came to understand that through His forgiveness, I too must forgive.  I am ever grateful that your last words were that you knew Him, believed in Him and would see us again, You loved Him still!

Don't for one second believe that it was easy for me to write this or to learn to forgive my mother.  It has only been by the grace of God that I am able to do both and it has taken a long time to do so.  And to never share this part of my life would be to never share how God used it for the better.  I have always loved my mother and I know now that she has always loved me and because of God's grace, inspite of ourselves, HE LOVES US STILL.

I miss you more than words can say & love you still,

julie sig

Him:  Jesus, our Savior & Redeemer


Jill said...

Mom, this made me so sad. I miss Nanny and the birth stone jewelry she always gave us at Christmas. It's a shame she didn't know how to be a Mother. You are a great mom and grandma and you create so many happy memories for us!

Cara said...

Wow...this brought tears to my eyes...you are such a strong woman and a great mom! Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it was very hard to write it out...

Caity said...

This really touched me . Your a such a strong woman and I can tell your forgiveness is genuine.I hope your peace is deep .

elaine said...

Julie, that must have been so hard to live and I know it was hard to write. I believe the Lord will use your words to heal many. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Julie said...

Everyone's life before Jesus stinks. Mine might have had a stronger aroma. Thanks for the encouragement dear ones. Remember above all things, God is good.