Life is Grace

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

 

The  summer after my mom died ten year ago, I discovered a cache of letters, poems, and old photos I had never seen before, many of which dated back to her high school and college years. It was disconcerting, to say the least, to discover that my mother–my mother!–had once been as immature and silly as I remember myself being during those years.  Well, almost. There were other surprises awaiting me as well.

I think I was somewhere in my twenties when I realized that my parents had actually been people before I came into their lives. Interesting, intelligent, fun people, growing and experiencing young adulthood just as I was at the time. My head almost exploded at the thought. “Well, of course,” my mom said mildly, barely looking up from her mystery novel when I shared my discovery with her. My dad just looked at me. “When I was your age, I was fighting a war, ” was all he said, while I stood there with my mouth hanging open and my world tilted on its axis a bit more. Ever since, I’ve been hungry to learn more about them, the young woman and man who became my parents.

My mother’s letters and poems have helped me understand how she dealt (actually, she didn’t really deal) with the sudden loss of her father in a farming accident when she was 20. Reading her prose makes me sad that she never followed up on her youthful ambition to be a writer, and makes me more determined than ever to somehow, someway, realize my dream of becoming one, chronic migraines be damned! Looking through her papers I am continually reminded that although I may not be her flesh and blood, I am so much like her I might just as well be…The passionate love poem she wrote to my dad shortly before their wedding, well, I just have to keep putting that one aside because I can’t wrap my mind around that one, nor am I entire certain I want to!

But most astounding and overwhelming letters that I found were the ones I had no inkling existed, the letters she wrote to God when she converted to the Catholic Church in her early twenties. My mom was a real Christian; she lived the Beatitudes and was warm, generous, joyful, and loving, forgiving, nonjudgmental and kindness itself. But these letters reveal a depth of love so overwhelming that it is shocking, in the the same way some of the more mystical writings of the saints are shocking. It’s a good reminder that not all saints are canonized, that even those we love most have hidden depths, and that, indeed, we are all called to holiness.

 

I'd love to know what you think, please feel free to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Advicebyher

We are here to inform and inspire.

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

Cee and Chris

On becoming extraordinary

DaleDucatte.com

"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

WhyToStop

A Lifestyle Blog By Rachna

Luna

Every now and then my head is racing with thoughts so I put pen to paper

Out of My Write Mind

The blog of Sandy J. White

Photos by Ravi

Sharing unique images that I have captured from around the world. All images are copyrighted by Ravi Patel.

oregano&olives

Greek recipes from three generations of Greek chefs

Kalliope's Watercolors

"So tell me, what is it that you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?" --Mary Oliver

Janaline's world journey

My Strange, Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through the World

Buddha walks into a library ...

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....

My experience

digital banega village

Ana Linden

Writing Life

The Bouquet

A collection of beautiful things and thoughts

Lucid Being

Soul Dimension Esoteric My Universe! Articles, Philosophies, Technique And The Abstract!

RuinedBrush

Contemporary Artist Marwa Altantawi

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

%d bloggers like this: