Far From Home

I’m alone and far from home these past few days, and I have enjoyed it; but I’ve missed them all so much. I talked via FaceTime with my hubby for a bit today, and with the kids the night before. I love how technology allows us these things so that it’s not quite so hard. I tried to call my Mom, but she was out with her mom shopping for a new dress – which is pretty cool.

For some reason, after today’s sessions, I started thinking about Mom’s – I’m guessing it’s because of Mother’s Day on Sunday and I really haven’t made any plans…as usual! LOL! 🙂

I have written posts about Mom’s before: Never Alone and Delta Dawn and this cool reminiscing one: Where I’m From

I remember a time when I didn’t get along with my mother…how she just didn’t understand me…how a word from her could make me crumble…how I was afraid to disappoint her…how I always wanted to be far from home.

And then I was…

I will always remember that day…I was home on the farm for the summer and I’d never felt farther from home than before that day…and I’d never felt closer since…

I was out by my car, I don’t remember what I was doing, but my Dad walked up to me and in his quiet way asked me the question I’d been afraid he would ask. “Do you have something to tell us?”

They’d just got back from a summer holiday with my sisters and I had stayed at the farm while I worked my summer job to help pay for university. The night before, I’d stood next to the stove as everyone told of their adventures. I was dressed in my usual sloppy clothes that conveniently hid the growing bulge of my belly. The bulge I’d not told anyone about…

“Do you have something you need to tell us?” he asked again.

I shook my head, but the tears were already welling up.

“I know what it’s like, you know. I was with your mother when you were born. I know it’s hard”. He said more to me, but I could barely hear him as I just sobbed and sobbed. He didn’t yell. He didn’t scream. He just talked.

I couldn’t control the agony as it fell down my cheeks. I knew how much I’d let him down. And oh God, now my Mom would know. I was so ashamed. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to die. I’d pleaded with God that it wasn’t happening. I pretended it wasn’t, but I couldn’t deny it anymore. I had to stand there.

A short distance away,  my mom pulled up on the quad. He walked over to her; knowing that I couldn’t face her at that moment. That moment when she would hear the truth. My knees shook…I wanted to throw up…and yes, I wanted to die right there where I stood so that she wouldn’t have to share my shame.

She cried when he told her. The first time I’d ever seen her cry. I wished again that I was dead. I was so not worth the tears and the heart break I was giving her.

But then, she did something that I never dreamed she would do. I thought she’d throw me out. I thought she’d never speak to me again. I thought she’d turn her back on me. Instead, she called me over and told me that I wasn’t quitting school. That it was even more important for me now.

She stopped crying and mothering took over. She wanted to know if I’d been to a doctor. If I was OK. She wanted to know if I’d decided what to do. If my ex-boyfriend knew about it. So many questions and I just stammered the answers. She assured me it wasn’t going to be easy, but that we were going to face this head on.

As she made sure that I got proper medical care the very next day and all the counselling and support I needed; I realized that this was what being a mother was about. Never turning your back on your children, especially when they need you most. That you are NEVER, EVER far from home.

Up until that day, I had felt so alone:

  • The troubled young woman, full of fear and shame
  • The perfect one that had fallen so far off her pedestal; with her knees bleeding and her halo bent beyond recognition
  • That even God wasn’t listening to me
  • That no one understood me
  • That no one even loved me – he had broken my heart, my first true love; I would never love again
I had never been so wrong:
  • I wasn’t alone, my family surrounded me instantly with their love & support
  • God gave me the most beautiful gift – being a mother; a gift I didn’t even know I needed
  • God understood, my family understood
  • Most of all, they all loved me more in my frailty and my mess
  • And I have loved again; loved my family, my three beautiful children and the man I adore with all my heart
God’s love surrounded me that day when I finally came home to the family I didn’t even know I had. I was no longer far from home.

Delta Dawn

Heard this song and I was filled with memories of times long ago…

As I grew older, I was responsible for either helping mom cook dinner or actually cooking it. It was basic and good food back then; beef/chicken or pork we’d raised ourselves. Vegetables either fresh from the garden or from the hundreds of home canning painstakingly done by my mother’s hands. Potatoes grown in our garden pulled up from the cold storage room. Even the milk on the table was milked from the cows by my father. Dessert was home-canned fruit or fresh baked cakes/cookies.

Summer days included helping my mother with the garden. Our hands were dirty pulling weeds, digging carrots, picking peas. Summer evenings we were gathered around in lawn chairs on warm evenings shelling peas or snapping beans. If it was cooler out, we’d be gathered in the basement. All of us, together, talking, laughing, arguing; together.

My mother spent many a sweltering August day in her kitchen canning jar after jar of vegetables, fruit and pickles for her family. Never complaining, but wishing for a “summer kitchen” in the basement. Sometimes we would peel peaches for her or wash raspberries – stealing the “occasional” taste when she wasn’t looking!

There was no eating dinner in front of the TV. The table would be set by a sister or two. My brother would be the runner downstairs to the cold storage to bring up whatever Mom needed for the meal. Dad knew exactly what time to come in – it was the same every day; rare exceptions.

Food was never dished out of the pot – it was put out in bowls properly and passed around. And make sure you go clockwise, kids! So much chatter around that table: 3 girls = 1 brother not getting a word in edge-wise…and a Dad sometimes begging for quiet for 5 minutes! And oh, the laughter and discussion sometimes…

The BEST treat: when mom had been baking buns and we had fresh butter we’d made ourselves and homemade raspberry jam….I’ll take that over a chocolate bar ANY DAY!! Or if she skipped the bun entirely and let us have fried dough gobs with the jam for a special supper treat…oh, truly heaven…

Then three sisters would gather up dishes. I washed and Kathy & Marie dried and put away. So many nights standing at that sink. Sun setting in the west, sometimes too hot in our faces and we’d close the blind. Always left to right in the sink. Back then, annoyed that mom used so many dishes to cook and to serve the food. Not really appreciating it like I do now. How it meant we had such good food on our table. How we three sisters were together spending so much time together.

That time was truly special. Talking about the day, who did what. Dreams, stories, you name it – we talked about it.  Sometimes arguments getting louder and louder until we’d hear a yell from the living room: “I’d better not have to come in there!”

Most of all, the times we would would sing. Yeah, we would sing. As a mother now, I wonder how those songs from the kitchen made my mom feel? She’s never said – but I’ll bet it is one of her fondest memories: her girls singing “in harmony” around the kitchen sink. Simple country songs that we heard on our radio or tape deck every day. Growing up in that house, we’d learned a lot of them by heart. Songs that my parents loved enough that they would spend their hard-earned money on the occasional record or 8-track tape. Songs that their daughters would sing must have brought such joy to their hearts.

Looking back now, I think that’s why we’re pretty close as sisters – we know each other so well and we truly loved each other – enough to not be embarrassed about belting it out in front of each other. Knowing even then that this was indeed a special time…

Our favorite (and mom’s too) that we sang – Delta Dawn – Tanya Tucker: