Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Finding my voice

Ever since I started down the medication route, I have had the most bizarre feeling. Do you recall the movie "while you were sleeping" with Sandra Bullock? When Peter wakes up and his mother soothes him with a gentle, "There, there, have some jello." And Peter replies confusedly, "Do I LIKE jello?" Yup, that's it.

Today, though, a blog post or two began to percolate in my mind for the first time in a long time. I made my new favorite sandwich and some coffee.

First the sandwich:
ham, cheese, spinach, mild pepper rings and just a shimmer of ranch dressing on wheat toast....yummy.

Now the post:
I had an excellent discussion with my mom today. We decided together to reinvent ourselves as mother and daughter and grandmother. For a long time now, I have been sad about living so far away from my parents. I loved my upbringing and living close to my grandparents and extended family and have long suffered guilt for not providing that idyllic childhood for my own kids. I never could square my call to ministry with what has seemed to me to be a dis-honoring of my parents. But denying the life God set before me for the sake of living near my parents never seemed right either. It's been a gray spot in my life for a long time now.

I'm not sure I could have worked through it on my own, but talking it over with my mom really freed us both up to think about our lives in a different way. There is really something amazing about the power of words spoken in conversation, which explains some of the mystery of prayer, I suppose. Through our talk, I think I found the freedom to reinvent my idea of how things "should be."

I'm sure a lot of you out there are far away from family too. I'm curious how you bridge the gaps to remain close to each other? What's the best technology? What's your strategy or tradition? I'm curious.

5 comments:

H said...

The word that comes to mind is one you and I have discusses on several occasions.....

Intentionality.

Like any other difficult to maintain relationship...like with God, spouse, children, friends etc. It takes intentionality. Keeping up with it no matter what. LIke it is a matter of life or death. Not with guilt or fear, but with the intention of making an effort to keep relationships alive and well. With phone calls, pictures, letters, cards and working in the occasional visit. Meet them on their terms if they can't meet you on yours (like say....if they aren't avid blog readers for instance).

And never give up.

klasieprof said...

a couple years ago, my friend Robyn and I realized, that if we kept up our average, we would only see each other 10 more times before we died.
My youngest was almost 3, and she had never seen her in person.
We made the commitment to see each other AT LEAST once a year, more like twice.
How do we do this when I'm broke, live a LONG way From South Carolina, have 3 kids, no job, Boards I'm on etc, and she has like 3 jobs( Owns her own businesses) and 2 kids etc.???
WE COMMITTED to things being Different.
Sort of sounds like that INTENTIONAL word.
I get flights from Flint to Atlanta, She drives the 2 + hours there and back to get me to and from the airport.
We LAUGH, we drink, eat and be merry.
No matter how much we TRIED to be in contact...we found you simply HAVE to see each other. WEBCAM helped a Lot.!
For instance: I heard CMU was playing Clemson in October. We are both CMU Grads. For no apparent reason, other than to see each other, we did the football game. I flew in on a Thursday, Did the game Sat, flew home Monday.

A said...

Being close to your family ain't all it's cracked up to be either . . . trust me . . .

Seriously, h nailed it. Even though most of our family is near, it seems like it takes someone being in the hospital to get us together sometimes, which isn't right either. No matter the distance, or lack thereof, relationships take intentional work and attention to be "right."

Amber said...

I think for me it's taking those small moments when you need them. Take those moments when you just have a question about cooking a certain dish, or what's little bit's favorite color now, and call them up and talk. Use the phone. There's so much email and electronic options now, that we lose sight of just talking in real life.

Don't wait for a two hour gap to call and talk to someone who lives thousands of miles away. That's when it seems like they are so far away.

Candice said...

Of course, I love H and agree often. In my case, I meet my mom around 99 percent of the way, and when I finally surrendered to this, I was finally able to regain love and honor for her. Is it fair? Not really. Is it better than strife and arguing and insisting on perfection? Hell, yeah. For folks like me who don't have a ton to look forward to in a parental relationship, who still experience a toxic thang, I reccommend a second factor to intentionality, compassion, and a third, boundaries. Once my boundaries were safely intact, it became leaps and bounds smoother.
To ANYONE struggling with familial voodoo and relationships, I reccomend patience, with the other party, and with yourself.

Ness, I am so happy for you that this has unfolded so beautifully. That rocks!

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