Sorry - had to add back the word verification - Spammed

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

MIA and other stories...

So, I have been really quiet about a few things for a long time. I know that the support on this thing is great and I thank you all for being here for me, but I didn't talk much about being sued recently. It was my whole family that was, not just me but even with that, it's scary, hard and I was pregnant when it stared and Miss T was only weeks old when I got served. It was just hard enough with everything else going on to have this too. I don't talk much about my family but this has to do with my dad and that was subject enough all on it's own while I was waiting for her to get here, that I didn't need this on top of it all.
I made this sound like it was the beginning of the story but it's not and that's a post for another day and one big set for Miss T and her grandfathers (yes both of them) so the short story for now is, he left when I was 5 and soon after I didn't see him again until I was 15 and we started talking when I was 17 then he died when I was 20. Either or this is where some of it goes...
The Court date was this week, we had our primary Unkie in charge of going to court and he and Auntie Rach came in town for a visit. Miss T and I were there all weekend and most of this week to prep and support the cause. We were glad we did, I have a few pictures to post soon but we have been traveling a lot this week so I have not had a lot of computer down time.
I did get a note from a friend this morning that came in perfect timing to help explain my gratitude to my mom for all that she's done for us while growing up, being a single mom with 5 kids, a full time job, extended kids from the neighborhood, and a life of her own to try to have as well. This Post from Migraine Mom, Invisible Mom says it all.. Take a read, it's worth it.

Invisible Mother..
I only have 5 more days to squeeze into summer because work starts back up on Monday. Today we will be at a friends house all day playing, playing and playing! A friend sent this to me yesterday and it really struck me. I can't claim it as my own and I'm not sure of the author, but I thought it was beautiful. Enjoy!

Invisible Mother.....
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this ? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

3 comments:

Kelly said...

That was BEAUTIFUL and so eloquent!
I'm sorry you're having the added stressors of a court case; I hope it's over soon and the results are what you hoped for.

krgans said...

Thanks for posting, I am sorry for all that you have been through.

Z's Mom said...

Sorry I didn't comment sooner...I read this earlier, had to go potty....then totally forgot I hadn't left a comment. You know how my brain malfunctions.

So sorry you had to go through that...with family no less...while you pregnant. I had my demons to deal with while I was pregnant then after Z was born, and I know how it can be like a little black cloud over the whole experience. I hated that and I'm sorry you had a little black cloud too....

I'm glad everything is finally resolved and you know I'll always be here to listen or whatever you need me to do...I got your back!!! (you will just have to remind me of course)...