Thursday 21 November 2013

To hear the voice of motherhood

Feelings of utter discomfiture
Caught between the vagaries of life and unhealthy resentment, I watched this day approach with some foreboding and trepidation.
It felt like that uncomfortable feeling that greeted my emotions as I returned home from any outing, the long walk to the end of the street that represented the house that did not feel like home.
The building was comfortable, my room self-contained and private, but the atmosphere laid heavy like a cloud of despair, I rarely felt happy returning there.
Just over 28 years ago, that place became a closed chapter, a place I only visited because I had a duty to, but I avoided because I did not need to return for anything.
Reflect and review
Therefore, as my mother’s 71st birthday approached, I found myself writing, Thought Picnic: To wilfully forget a parent's birthday – it was something I had the capacity to do and I had worked myself up for it – I could be that detached.
However, when I looked on Facebook to see a picture of my mother and a celebratory message from my sister, and the night before chatted to my sister-in-law about my misgivings, it became something I had to face, I must do the needful.
The first call did not get through, but a few hours after, I got through, and she was quite pleased to hear my voice just as I was to hear hers.
Soothed by motherliness
All the knottiness and tension dissolved and the soothing and comforting voice of motherhood in a mood of celebration and happiness became the balm to aches and pains of pent up uneasiness and angst.
We talked for longer than we usually do; mostly in English as we always did, exchanging pleasantries and making each other laugh with incredulity at the things we say and recollect of times past.
Then I wondered why things just soured, it is because there are still many things I have not shared for her to understand some of the tough journeys I have been through.
The little I shared brought prayerful encouragement and empathy. For all our differences and conflicts, she is quite capable of deep understanding and appreciation to show affection and compassion.
Of why and where
Why do we end up in conflict with our parents?
Where is the balance between the familiarity and the distance to make relationships work?
This is difficult to gauge, but it is something we on both sides have to work on, for to cherish and honour for as long as we have them and to forestall the deeper wounds of regret if we do not strive to make amends and make things right.
Even I realise how parent-child dissonance can reflect spiritual apoplexy meaning a lack of fulfilment in many areas of significance to a person’s sense of wellbeing.
I am glad I had the opportunity to reconnect, and I hope I can make more of this as time goes by.

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