“The Light Shines in the Deepest Night, and the Night Did Not Overcome It.”
I awoke at 4:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day in 1990 to urgent messages on my answering machine. I had unplugged it the night before, and retired early.I drank wine before I did that, as I had done for well over a year. I mistakenly thought it would help me sleep, because I was terribly anxious. Anxiety is debilitating and exhausting, and it took its toll on me. It killed my mother, in a way.
My brother and sister-in-law had left messages asking me to call them, immediately. But, I didn’t hear the phone, because I had turned it off. That’s what I used to do when things got painful. Drink, and shut things off, including my own interactions.
I sat there for a moment, in the dark of a cold November morning, and knew my mother was dead. I can’t explain how I knew that, but I did, before anyone ever told me. I had tried to reach her for days, without success, but we lived 400 miles apart. And, we were both exhausted from the struggle. She killed herself, sometime the day before.
I was afraid to wake anyone up, so I didn’t place that first call until around 7:00 a.m. That’s a long time to sit alone in the dark with such an awful reality. I remember my table, the candle that I lit, and the fact that I painted my nails. I began to lose my breath though, and that’s why I finally had the courage to face that news.
I am releasing my book this week, Going Naked Being Seen, on Amazon Kindle, and it is dedicated in part, to my mother. It is also dedicated to the Blessed Mother Mary, and Mary Magdalene, because they loved me in ways that my mother could not, and brought me back to a loving God. Even though I spent many years after November of 1990 trying to find God, and relief, I could not on my own, and without healing my heart of the illusion that I was not loved, or worthy of it. Shame kills too, if one doesn’t accept mercy and grace.
I miss my mother today more than any other day I can remember, and I hardly knew her. But, I want to. I want to know myself, and others too.
That is the gift and courage of intimacy, and my mother helped me to learn it, despite such tragedy.
So, I give this gift to her, to let her know that I am well, and happy, and loved. That she is not responsible for any of my pain, because God helps me to transform it. It was a Divine coincidence that this book will be released on the anniversary of her death. I consider that a blessing from the beautiful beings that inspired it, and that comforts me.
I’ll write an update with links to our Giving Thanks, Giving Books and Author pages later this week. Today, I’m taking a much-needed rest.
Here’s the Indigo Girls and Strange Fire. I listened to it for months after my mother died, and it helped me a great deal.