Moments with Momma – volume 4
Most of the time Mom is upbeat about her new life in SW Florida, but there have been a couple of days when she has felt differently. When questioned, she had a hard time describing what she was feeling. Then she found the word – Melancholy.
Hmmm, Melancholy. What a dark, foreboding, yet somehow romantic word. When I hear the word, I immediately think about the harsh, raw, wind blowing across the damp and dreary Scottish Moors. I feel the heaviness of the clouds as they blanket the landscape. I can feel the chill creep into the very bones of the heroines of a romantic novel as she draws her woolen shawl tightly around her shoulders. She gazes across the desolate moors thinking about the love of her life whose life was cut short as he bravely fought for the future of the kingdom, leaving her alone, heavy with his child in this lonely land.
When I asked her what her thoughts were when she was feeling melancholy, what she said actually gave credence to the above description. She talks about things that will never be again such as how she hasn’t been truly happy since my dad passed away, about how so many of her great friends have passed, how she misses doing all the things she use to be able to do that she will never be able to do again. She says it’s a heaviness in the heart. It’s not sadness or regret, just a heaviness from missing the people and things that were.
She explained to me that one of the biggest blows to a person’s life is when his/her driving privileges are taken away. It’s like stripping the person of their freedom. When Mom moved down here we all decided it was not safe for her to drive. Her reaction time has slowed and she was in a new and unfamiliar place. I am here every minute of every day to take her anywhere she wants to go whenever she wants to go but, I guess it’s just not the same.
So, the question I have been sitting with over the past few days is this: what is the lesson I can take away from these conversations? The answer? I need to be fully present every moment and to be fully engaged in everything life puts in front of me. I need to love a little deeper and express that love more openly. I need to appreciate my friends more completely. I need to never take for granted the ability to move freely and to drive. I need to notice the beautiful things around me, to drink in the fragrances of the flowers, to feel the breeze on my skin. Most importantly – I need to be so filled with gratitude for every single experience I have that I feel as light as air. I need to mentally record every experience and every moment of joy so I can look back on them in the future and be grateful.
The day will come when all of us will be in Mom’s position. We will be looking back over our lives and melancholy will fill our hearts. Time marches on, friends pass and situations change in a heartbeat. None of us know when these things will come so it’s just the most important thing in all of life to be unendingly grateful for every experience that happens today and every day.
Blessings to you, my friends. Thanks for being here with us on this journey.