Friday, April 25, 2014

Give and Take

My mom and Gary had an opportunity to fly home on October 30th. If not, they would catch the next boat on November 1st, and arrive home November 19th.

With our single conversation, the depth of her deep was obvious. So much was said, but all of this was most telling. "Do you think you'll be continuing on, or coming home?" Right away I could tell my mom was feeling around to see if they could carry on. Without hesitation, I let her know it was completely fine with both of us and we understood if they needed more time. She jumped on my response. "We think the additional days will be good for us. I think we need time to 'cry it out' before we come home." I too, thought it was a good idea.

I let her know we would use the extra time to relax and carefully plan Aviana's service. She agreed without talk of food, or details. This was yet another glaring example of where the mind of my mom was. If you know her, you know she is event central. She's all about the food, planning, people, how it should be, be sure not to forget so and so, this, that, the other. My mom is quick to act, jump, help, and just plain orchestrate. She would never - not ever - miss the chance of being by our side in support of anything, especially something such as this. So after I said we would have everything ready for them once they arrived back home, she agreed, and then - silence. I knew, this was beyond.

The remainder of her voice was resolved, yet defeated. Her words were simple, yet full of love. "Are you sure you and Dave can handle all this?" I answered back, 'Yes, we are good.

***

Since they've been home, we've heard the same sort of sentences from both Gary and my mom. They sound something like this, "We abandoned you during that time. We left you during the most difficult days. We took off. We ran away. We couldn't handle any off what was going on here - with Aviana, Roger, anything...so we left. We left you and Dave to deal with everything. We know what we did and we're so sorry. We feel so bad." It goes on and on. We've continuously told them that's not at all how we see it and wish they would stop.

We wanted them to go on their trip. We were hoping they would. We honestly thought it would be best for all of us. The last thing we want is for them to feel they abandoned us. I believe everyone who knows us, or reads here, knows we are completely at peace with how everything happened.

A few months after, while gathered around their kitchen island - they laid it on once again. After saying my usual, I soon left. As I was driving home, I got to thinking and it finally all came together. It's funny how some things need time to simmer.

In relationships, sometimes each person happens to be in a good place. But other times, we need to help each other along. Isn't that always what any true relationship is about - give and take? At times, one is strong, and the other...not so much. Where one just can't, the other can. Where one is lacking, the other is able. Isn't that what makes something average into something extraordinary? Isn't that what helps pull us through the years?

The thoughts were flowing. In our first year or so after Aviana came home from Guatemala, I just wasn't in sync with her. Every time I needed, my mom and Gary were there. They were just a call away. Soon after the phone was cradled, their car was on rails, 'round that corner. They would scoop that brown-eyed beauty for hours, days, sometimes (if things were really difficult) even three. Whatever was needed was done. Those were some extraordinarily trying times, and they knew it. They were sad for me, for her, for them, but we did what we had to - we did it the best way we knew how and above all - we tried our best to always do it with love and respect for each and every one of us.

So yes, I've talked extensively about those days on here and to everyone I know, but the truth is - I never felt I was abandoning Aviana, just as I don't like to hear them say they abandoned us! I was doing what was best for our situation at the time. I did have guilt at the time, and after the accident, but not anymore. Guilt is useless.

The way I see my mom and Gary leaving on their trip is the very same way I view my earlier days with Aviana. We came together as a family and placed Aviana in the most loving and capable hands at the time. When I couldn't before, they could and very much so wanted to. They were able and willing. In those moments, adding me to the situation would only have adversely affected an otherwise harmonious situation. When they recently couldn't, we could and very much so wanted to. We were able and willing. The way I saw it, in those moments, adding them to the situation would only have quite possibly adversely affected an otherwise harmonious situation.

I hoped explaining this to them would put it to bed. I don't remember hearing anything since : )

***

My mom keeps some things to herself. Months after their return, she and I were driving and ever so nonchalantly she said, "You know our second boat, the one we took from Europe to New Orleans. It was called the Sunshine. It just became the Sunshine halfway through last year." Instant tears rolled down my face as I realized we were being taken care of in our own unique way here, just as they were being taken care of there.

My mom always called Aviana her Sunshine. True to her name, she was carrying them through for all their remaining days at sea.

11 comments:

  1. Jen, what a beautiful TRUE story with so much meaning and purpose for every thing that occurred from the moment that little girl was born . Even right down to the word Sunshine. Aviana , for sure was put on this earth to teach us all something profound. She accomplished that in a way that is so hard for us to understand, yet she did! Now she lives on with her family still sharing her with us.
    Thank you so much for sharing ALL of it with us.
    What a beautiful Mom you have, her love for Aviana comes through loud and clear through your sharing!
    Love to all of you,
    xoxo
    cindy in nc

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    1. Thank you! I so love having someone to share her with : )

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  2. You truly hit the nail on the head. Beya and I are a team in our grief. When one of us feels as if we can't go on, the other is there to help carry that one through. Together we are a team. We always said the three of us. (Sissy, Beya and me) were a well oiled machine. We each knew our strengths and weaknesses and together the three of us made one highly capable person, dare I say the three of us made a whole, complete, perfect person. One left, leaving two to create their own, new path. When mom breaks down I dig in my heals and help carry her and vice versa. It is as close to you and your mom as we can be although our situations and different and I can't imagine what you two deal with and how you deal although you do a damn fine job of describing it!

    I love you and your mom.

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    1. I love how you describe the three of you...a well oiled machine. I've heard you say it in the past, and I love hearing it again. You will always be, but yes...having to create a new path...

      Thank you, love...

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  3. The clarity, the synchronicity... This is your most beautiful post yet.

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  4. I just read the last couple of pages with a box of tissues. I have not been here since your trip to Mexico and have not commented for a long time. I feel like I have been on this Journey with you, peaking in through a window. Thank you for all that you have shared, your writing has touched my life deeply. - Jill

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    1. After I read your comment I went back through to see what I've written since Mexico. My gosh...tissues indeed ; ) Thank you so very much for being on this journey with me Jill, I really appreciate your comment, as well as you!

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  5. "Guilt is useless". Amen sista! I need that on my coffee mug, my keychain, a coozie and maybe embroidered on a nice throw pillow. ha! I know it, but if I see it enough maybe I could start applying it more consistently in my life.

    Wow, amazing that the boat was named The Sunshine. You have such a sweet mama. I'm glad she was there for you and sees now that ya'll were there for them.

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    1. Guilt is useless! Guilt is useless! Guilt is useless! Ha Ha!

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    2. Just a few more to add on to the ones you already listed ; )

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