It is my mom’s, Sandra Diane Holmes’, birthday today. She would be 73. She left her earthly in-body-meant at the age of 43 1/2, from cancer, in 1989. ❤ Just because someone has left us in any way, doesn’t mean we need to stop celebrating their existence.
I haven’t felt to write a blog now for 1 year, 1 month and 11 days, though I’ve started many times. Is it time now? It’s also an 11/2 date, 11/2 day and 11/2 year in numerology. <3.
My mom wasn’t quite 18 when I was conceived, up north at a cottage near Algonquin Park, Dominion Day weekend. I only know this because of a few pages in a diary I somehow came to own when I was 11, and a few photographs, with a short story of where and when from my father, not so long ago. I did the math at some point and asked for his confirmation. I learned from him also, on my 28th birthday, amidst other major life changes, she had had another daughter at the age of 15, given up for adoption. He thought I knew. The intention had also been for me to be given up. My father says he couldn’t allow it. He also had a daughter from an earlier relationship, the sister I knew, about the same age. In seeing what I’ve been shown these last years I question whether it was actually my paternal grandmother that wouldn’t allow it. I was ‘legitimized’ about a year later, when they married, and my last name legally changed to my birth father’s. There are no early baby pics of me that I’ve ever seen.
My mom was the oldest of three girls. Not a lot has been shared about the past. Both my grandmother and mother were shut down a great deal, emotionally. And I never felt to ask too much. I’ve been understanding more greatfully these last few years why my mom felt to.
I can only share through my own perspective, my eyes. I’ve seen that each of us has a different vantage point and memories, sometimes not even remembered as they were. Journaling is a definite way of clarifying more concrete things. I learned this more so in more sorting and purging recently, rereading my somewhat sporadic diary entries from ’75-’80. In connecting with my brother these last few years I also learned that we had remembered things differently. We can hold on to some things that were never even true. ❤
As a child I remember my mom getting angry with me and chasing me with the hairbrush. I remember her being annoyed with my sister’s long hair, having to brush it, detangle it, her biological mom not wanting it cut. She had mental health challenges so my mom was my sister’s main caregiver, at a very young age. My sister was 7 and I 3 when our brother was born… Mom just 21. I remember sitting at the table and having to eat foods I didn’t like, along with what I did like. There was a hole in the floor, down to the dirt basement, as I recall, where I’d sneak the food, lol… If I remember correctly. We were given 25 cents once a week to go to the store for chips and pop. My favourite were sour cream and onion and root beer. There were Dare chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar that we would try to sneak more than we were allowed. She would send us to Sunday School sometimes, likely to give us something to do, get us out of the house. She was definitely not religious. I remember my most memorable Christmas when my mom was sewing dresses, hoping they were for me and my sister. She said they were for someone else. They weren’t. Mine was mauve, my favourite colour at the time, with a banded lace empire waist and collar, that was too small to fit my neck. I don’t remember caring. Best Christmas ever. I had my dance leotard on underneath. I was 7 I think. I took ballet when I was 5, lol. I wanted to be a gogo dancer at that time though, when I grew up.
There were a few memorable camping trips, one to where my dad was working in construction. Having been a parent myself I can appreciate all the work that went into these vacations now … not so much for her. A mom’s work is really never ending. We don’t often really real-eyes as greatfully until we experience something for our Self. We can take a lot for granted. I’ve been on this journey of acknowledging my Self worth a lot this last while. It’s an emanating effect, in acknowledging, valuing All more wHOLe.Y.
I remember the parties my parents, or father, had on weekends. I loved the live band and the dancing in our back room. Most of the time my sister and I were sent to grandparents for the weekends though. It wasn’t till these last few years I’ve understood more greatfully why. I only remember one fight between my parents, standing with my brother and sister watching at our parents bedroom door, as dad chased after mom. He was a heavy drinker on weekends. He felt he worked hard all week and deserved the heavy partying. I know I don’t remember the details of this fight now. My sister, aged 10 or so, likely got my brother and I to move away. This was not long before they split up, after my mom took pills and was taken away in an ambulance. We went to stay with one of her sisters for awhile, taking the bus to our school.
When they split up, the house was sold and Mom and three kids moved in with my maternal grandparents. I didn’t know of the challenges my grandmother and mom had had, adding to that the challenges of two women feeling to run the roost. Though once upon a time it was traditional for several generations to live together. Still is in many parts of the world.
My grandmother’s Sun is in Scorpio, Mom’s in Leo, lol. More I didn’t understand then. Most of my weekends were spent with this Grandma, so it didn’t bother me. I was excited. I saw it as a new beginning, an adventure, until reality set in. It wasn’t as easy for the others, especially when my mom felt she had to move out and leave us there, for some stability. She’d gone back to school and was working full-time, in a new relationship, albeit not as new as I thought. She and the neighbour had been having an affair… who I had known for a long time as a BF’s father. I thought later, this was the reason for that fight. I only learned from him recently (they were together for about 14 years and an integral part of my life) that the fighting went much deeper than this, and the cheating was not one sided. My mom had gone over to their house once looking as if she may lose an eye. It took everything for my future ‘stepfather’ to not go over and do major harm to my father.
I remember my mom being tired and stressed a lot, even though we lived with our grandparents, working hard to help support us and herself. My understanding was that our father had a good lawyer and got off with paying as little as he could get away with for our upbringing. I never felt lack though, in having my material needs met that is, as far as food, shelter, clothing. It didn’t bother me to wear clothes from the rummage sales my grandmother loved to go to. It instilled in me a great sense of value. I was very independent and started earning my own money at the age of 11, with babysitting. I didn’t ask for much. I remember wanting a poncho for my birthday one year and receiving it from her, so greatfully. I don’t recall how much I expressed it though.
During her return to school I remember she was in a pageant, as shown in one of the pics. I realized much later she hadn’t finished highschool, at least in part because she’d been pregnant, twice, in a small village. She’d been sent to a home in Toronto for the first time, as I was told. Following school Mom worked in the local hospitals, working her way up the ‘ladder’, with greater responsibilities… from the kitchen, to ward clerk, to office management. She could have been a nurse with all that she learned and had to do as a ward clerk.
I loved that short pink circle skirt she wore and I had it for a long time. I always thought she was beautiful, and people thought I looked so much like her, yet through my experiences I didn’t feel this for myself. I was even in a pageant, taking a finishing school and modelling course. It wasn’t a focus of my mom’s or grandmother’s. It was more about being well dressed, clean, neat, and hard work, intelligence, ‘accomplishing’ something with my life… from their perspective/conditioned views of success that is.
I would get to spend time with my mom and her partner some weekends, which I relished. In my last year of highschool with challenges with my grandmother, I moved in with them, following my brother, who became ‘too much’ for my grandmother to ‘handle’. Of course when you live with someone, rather than visit, it’s a whole different story, and we had our challenges, especially as I was coming of age. So greatfull we had these times though. All challenges are given for a reason, lessons, fertilizer for our growing.
Each Christmas Mom would switch spending more on my brother or myself, in buying something bigger. I still have the cedar hope chest I’d asked for, that she tried to hide in the dining room Christmas Eve, just after I’d met my future husband, I think. It was kind of hard to hide, for me to miss, lol.
She was concerned when it looked like I was planning a future with this young man. I hadn’t dated at all before him. I was 18, just out of highschool. She wanted more for me. She wanted me to be an accountant, or a nanny even. I wanted a home and family of my own, more than anything else, though I had some other dreams… Not these. She may have felt I was settling as I can see in hindsight, also thinking he had dated more. He hadn’t really either. Once we were engaged, a few years into our relationship, she encouraged us to get married. She did a lot of the cooking and organizing of people to help serve for the wedding, for about a hundred, not having time to do her makeup or hair as she might have liked. I didn’t fully appreciate it for a long time, until I looked back.
Remembering and coming back to add a story… My boyfriend/future husband and I were lying on the couch watching t.v. at my Mom’s. It only happened once. My stepdad’s brother and his love partner were visiting at the time. I was scolded after everyone left… that it didn’t look ‘good’. I didn’t point out that both couples were living ‘in sin’, not ‘legally’ married, and that nothing, that I heard at least, was ever said when my brother had girlfriends move in to this same home at different times, whatever the reason. I addressed this with my stepfather recently. He said they were worried about me. This wasn’t the most effective solution… Remembering now, a favourite book, Forever, by Judy Blume. Reading my diaries reminded I read it over and over. I received a great deal of life lessons, different perspectives, through the books and television I was drawn to, that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to, in helping shape my perspectives, how I wished to Be, see, feel, through life. I realize it’s through the contrast though, that we can more greatfully appreciate, see, anything.
I also didn’t realize at the time her relationship with my ‘stepdad’… never legally married as she didn’t want to… was coming to an end; as if she was waiting so he could be at my wedding. We had a special relationship. I would have preferred he walk me down the aisle. He insisted, as a father, that I ask my biological dad. In hindsight it’s really my Grandma and Mom that had the most rights to walk with me. ❤ She’d also been concerned about not getting pregnant (not surprising)… really not communicated till closer to getting married, as far as I remember. I may have realized I was born out of wedlock by then. Still, I was very mindful of this, though leaving it to my partner to take care of this. I didn’t go to the clinic for the pill till after I was married… conditioned thoughts of right and wrong preventing me before. This was really the sum of the depth of conversations with my mom, that I recall, and not much else with my grandmother, who was the one who told me when I had to start wearing a training bra, taking me shopping and attempting to show me how to use a tampon when I first got my period. There’s more on this in another blog.
It was almost three years into my marriage that Mom found out she had cancer. My first thought was she wouldn’t be here to be a grandmother, as I was trying to get pregnant. She had had a hysterectomy when I was about 18, and I recall overhearing her say to someone on the phone that it was necessary… looking back thinking/feeling there was something found then, likely having spread. She believed that when we are opened up, and oxygen gets in, that it feeds cancer. Beliefs can be a powerful thing. She went through surgery anyway, removing her bladder, and getting radiation, and was able to attend my brother’s wedding, making it through that Christmas. There was a special time I got to spend with her and some of her friends, when she was still living out of town, that I cherish. I knew in my heart that New Year’s Eve that she would not be with us much longer. Her family was with her a great deal in her last weeks, at my grandmother’s; her next oldest sister, a nurse, caring for her greatfully. I remember sleeping over several times, on the floor with my sister. At one point, when she was in so much pain, she asked if she was giving birth. I told her I hoped to soon, perhaps wanting to give her something to hold on to, some beauty to envision. I remember saying to her, or just thinking it, finally, when she was in so much pain, that it was okay for her to go. She didn’t have to suffer anymore. I found out the day she left her earthly in-body-meant that I was pregnant.
In my own journey of healing I’ve learned a great deal about WELLth, through nutrition, nourishing our wHOLe.Y Self, and the psychological/spiritual connection to dis-ease. My mom smoked from the age of 11, getting acupuncture once, which helped until she had surgery, which she was told could happen. Then she pretended she wasn’t, spraying perfume in the bathroom to hide the smell. She also dyed her hair as long as I could remember… two big connections to cancer of the bladder. I understand now there’s so much more to it than that.
Once upon a time I wished for a different kind of mother. I see things differently now. My mom is one BeYOUtFully integral Being, perfectly supporting and guiding me in my journey of growing in My Self, All as it has and Is meant to Be… As All who have been a part of my life have, whether appearing good or bad. She and All are with me Always, in Spirit …helping drive me, inspire me in what I’m drawn to do, to Be… to appreciate my response-ability, to My Self and my Divine Nature… inside, outside, upside, down… as greatfully as I can… (We All do our best)… And to share… My HeArt Work. I have No doubts on this matter. We are Always working together. She and others may not be seen matter-really. They are felt, known, in my Heart, Mind/Spirit, Soul. They just Are… still Being, as we and All Are… in their in-body-meant now and always… ether-really.
As this is My story, my book, always being written, I get to choose the lense I wish to to see through, My perspective. This is One of our greatest powers. For Me All Is Perfect, as Co-Creation, Co-Created by Our wHole.Y Divine Nature. It doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Nothing is created without destruction. In Life/Nature there is death and birth, light and dark. One does not exist without the other. We are All Lighthouses. It is the dark and light in unison that makes the beacon. ❤
Blessings of Nature’s Infinite WELLth. ❤
Love, Momma K ❤