I learned SO MUCH on this trip, and more, since.
In raising my children, I often pointed out to them that “I have my own life to live” when their activities coincided with my own. Sometimes, they had to find their own rides, etc.
One of the boys once wrote an essay about that; I still have it, I think. In it, he said that while he hated to hear me say that, he liked it too, because it gave him permission and response-ability to live HIS own life as well.
I visited my children this time without an invitation. I simply decided to go, and asked them when would be convenient. I won’t do that again. Next time, I’ll wait for an invitation. I say that because I realize that while they may have been my children, they are adults now. I am only a doorway through which they came into this this form of existence, and they have gone through. Now, we each have to knock to go through that doorway again into one anothers’ lives.
Of course, as GRAND children come into the picture, I hope and pray that they will choose to visit me, and that I can have a chance to share all that I have learned since I was a parent. I would really hope that continues. It feels good to know a few things now that I didn’t know then, and have a chance to do it differently this time.
I hope all, children and grands alike, know, and I’ll tell them, that my door is always open to them, but I’ll have to clear a path for when they come. I cannot assume they have time, desire, energy, whatever, to welcome me anytime I feel like going.
Which actually, is fine with me, because I really don’t like traveling. Eight airplanes and two long bus rides, while joyfully uneventful, wasn’t my favorite part.
As much as I love my sons and their children, which I really, really do, I cannot be sure that if we were not family, we would choose each other as friends. Maybe, but likely not.
One of the biggest things I am obviously still learning, is that my ability to respond to help my grown children make any life choices is limited to when they ask. You would think that would be obvious, wouldn’t you? I guess it “should” be, but I’m not about “shoulding on myself” here. I’m just remembering, again, something I thought I already knew.
Since returning, having gotten very attached to my Kindle Fire, and unlimited reading, I have been reading book after book about the afterlife, and people seeking out advice from their loved ones on the other side.
My friends will roll their eyes. I put such stock in what I read, and I’ll freely admit that my whole life, I have felt that Spirit has guided me through leading me to books that have messages in them that I need to learn. It’s my library card to the greater wisdom than I have between my own ears, or at least that I can access readily.
In these stories, one after the other, my belief that “it’s all good” is reinforced over and over. The bottom line is, it’s all learning, it’s all good, and nobody dies. AND, the last judgment will be when the last damn fool judges himself or any another.
So as my sons choose wives, and as they together choose whatever they choose, it’s fully and completely their right, privilege, response-ability, whatever, to live their lives in their own way, time, and outcome.
Which somewhat inconveniently frees me to live my own life, and stop worrying about them. Now I have to unpack my bags (way too long overdue) and renew my driver’s license (ordering ridiculous amounts of proof that I am me) and find new tires for my car, and get to the ocean, and dance my hula, and learn my chants, and write my books, and paint my pictures, and water my plants and clean my room, and read my books, and work on my quilts, and teach at Sew Fun, and do my web design work, and write in my journal, and live a joyous life with people who love me and choose me now. I was overjoyed to find, upon my return, that I was sorely missed, and there are lots and lots of folks who do.
One last note is that as I traveled from home to home, from New York to Texas to Arizona, I was gratified to find all the quilts I’ve made over the years for my boys, gracing their homes, and being used and loved every day. It inspired me to keep quilting, and keep sharing the unique form of love that only embraces, never assumes, and can only be welcomed. Here’s a picture or two of my latest creation for Reed. He really liked it, but truth is, he liked the little rolling suitcase better! It’s all good!