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And with the morn those angel faces smile which I have loved long since and lost awhile (John Henry Newman)

April 7, 2010

My mother would have turned 78 today. It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since she died. I am never quite sure how or what to feel on these occasions of remembrance. Thinking about her conjures up the deep and familiar sadness that lives just below the surface of all of my mother-missing days. But there is a lighter, more gladful (if  that’s not a word, it ought to be) feeling, a feeling that despite this passage of time, my mother is still here, still teaching me  how to be a mother to my own two (all grown up) daughters. 

Two days ago when my youngest daughter Taryn told me she was (for real this time) planning on moving to another province to be with the love of her life (I loved him too, but am struggling at this moment with that affection) I burst into tears. I didn’t cry for her (she will be fine), but for me. I will miss her more than I can ever tell her.

Yesterday, I thought about how my mother must have felt about the many times I moved away from her. Those leavings (a word for sure) were too many to count. Some were journeys that clearly, I ought never have taken. And yet, what I  remember from the times that I told her I was leaving (there were also the times I just left without telling her, but that’s another story) was that with nothing but love, grace, and support, my mother always let me go.

For the first time in my life, I realize how much sadness my leaving would have caused her. So many times more than once. And my pain is doubled.

Still, when I listen quietly for what my mom would say to me as I ponder Taryn’s leavetaking, I hear (and feel) my  mother’s wise counsel:

“Just let her go, my pet. She will be okay. She is so much better equipped to journey off away from her mother than you ever were. Taryn will be fine. And you know honey, she will never really leave you, you will never really lose her.”

And because my mom was always very practical, she would add “And don’t forget, you still have another daughter who isn’t going anywhere.” 

I smile as I answer her:

“I know Mom. I know that what you say is true because I never really left you either, and you never ever lost me, not even when I lost myself.”

The hours pass, and comfort comes to me as this day ends and as I reflect on birthdays and other happy days. On love, and on feeling loss. On mothers and daughters. On change. (I don’t care for it).

I believe that Newman may have gotten things quite exactly right. That indeed, angel faces which I have loved long since and lost awhile, do smile upon the morn.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jayn permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:28 pm

    just beautiful Dawn – keep it coming!

    love you, Jayn

  2. April 9, 2010 11:36 pm

    This entry snuck up on me, and stole away a few tears! Beautiful Dawn. I’m so happy you’ve found the pen again, so to speak! Or is it the ‘public’ pen you’ve finally found!?

    I’ll look forward to return visits.

  3. April 11, 2010 3:20 pm

    Thank you Dawn. This post has caused me to cause and reflect on my relationship with my own mom and my daughter.

  4. Claudette permalink
    April 27, 2010 12:10 am

    Sniff, Sniff…this is beautiful. A mother is smiling from above, at the daughter she so loves!

    Best,
    CK

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