The windows to the soul

Sometimes I get the urge to write about something, and it hits me quickly, almost hard. When I get hit with an urge like that it’s usually to write something about my mother, which at times is easy for me to do and other times is extremely hard.

Sometimes I write about her and intend to post the piece, but end up sitting on it instead, because like writing about her, there are times when it’s easy for me to post something about her and times when it almost scares me.

And there is a part of me that wonders if you, my readers, get tired of me writing about my mum – yet when I wrote about her recently, I was touched by the supportive comments that were left. I was thinking of how it was to be a teenager, but my mind drifted back to my mother…

I wrote this several weeks ago, thinking I’d post it, and never did. For some reason, this post made me feel kind of raw and exposed; I’m not entirely sure why. I wrote it when Julia was sick, really sick, and seeing her last week after her surgery brought these feelings up to the surface again. I got the feeling today that it was the right time to post this…

When my mother was in the hospital dying there were times when I couldn’t look at her. Everything about her was unrecognizable to me, but what bothered me the most was her eyes. The life was gone from them; they were wild and sick looking.

I remember the night when she called and asked me to come over and help her. I remember walking in the front door, taking one look at her and grabbing the phone. I remember the ambulance attendants, when they saw her, not even bothering to get the stretcher from their bus.

One of them grabbed her under her arms and the other grabbed her ankles, and they carried her out the door and loaded her up without looking back. She shot me a look as she went over the threshold, and I could see the raw fear in her eyes. I remember standing there in the doorway thinking, “There goes my mother. I’ll never see her again.”

I was right. She died two months later, but I never saw my mother again. The woman I saw wasn’t my mother.

I spent every day at the hospital until she died yet there is much that I don’t remember. I can’t. I can’t think about the way she looked or the pain that she was in. It’s too much, too painful. It hurts me, physically.

The hurt swells up in my stomach and weaves its way through my ribs and up to my chest, to my heart. It pounds, it aches, it breaks me down. It would ruin me if I let it.

So I don’t.

Julia looks a great deal like my mom. Those who knew my mom when she was healthy can’t get over the resemblance. Neither can I – the physical similarities are uncanny.

Not only does she look like her, she embodies a lot of my mother’s characteristics. In the past I’ve never given much thought to reincarnation but as my daughter gets older the belief that my mother’s spirit is inside of her grows stronger within me.

She’s clever, and I hope she’ll complete her regular high school education, and won’t need to go any kind of GED facility.

Julia was really sick this week, down for the count for almost three days with a mean stomach bug and a throat infection. She had dark circles under her eyes, her beautiful brown eyes, and they looked wild and sick.

She has my mother’s eyes, Julia, and when I looked at her on Wednesday afternoon lying in her bed I was shocked, because I was looking into my mother’s wild, sick eyes.

It literally took my breath away. I had to turn away from her. I couldn’t look at her, my own daughter, my little girl who looks so much like my mother, in sickness and in health.

I was torn. I wanted to help her, care for her, nurse her back to health. I wanted to hold her in the crook of my arm and stroke her hair and rub healing circles on her forehead, but I also wanted to run out of her room and go curl up in a ball somewhere and let the heaving sobs I was swallowing down rack my body.

I see my mother in Julia every day. In her face, her eyes, her soul. Sometimes she smells like my mom. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true. Sometimes it’s hard to look at her. It was hard this week.

But most of the time I look at her and am struck by her beauty. Like me, she has my mother’s eyes and brow shape – my mother had wicked eyebrows with a killer arch. She’s got my mom’s nose and elegant, ladylike hands.

She’s got my mom’s flare for drama, emotion and musical inclination. I’ve often said that she’s an old soul, and she is. I see her soul, and my mom’s, in her eyes.

She’s beautiful. Just like my mother.