Where ya been? Where ya going?

I’ve heard it said that we must know where we’ve been in order to know where we are going.

I think there is something to be said for that. Knowing our past, knowing the downfalls and the success stories, remembering, honoring, and moving forward.

I sit out here this morning with the dog who barks at every leaf that blows by, with my coffee, with an eye twitch that could really get me into trouble at a bingo parlor, and I’m gearing up to participate in today’s Listen To Your Mother event here in Arkansas.

I’m thinking about so many of us that love with our whole hearts, that bend and break and bruise with newborn fragility despite not fitting the status quo of being a Mother. I look back at the women in my life, in the lives of my friends, and I am more resolved that my story is perfectly at home today, amidst all of the others.

I will tell you, most of you know, that when I introduced myself at our rehearsal a few weeks ago, the little caveat “she’s not a mother” was added by another woman there. I’m one hundred percent sure it was not added with malice or with any kind of intent to exclude me from the group…but that’s exactly what happened. On a day where the group of women were meeting for the first time, feeling emotionally vulnerable, risking rejection with every “hi my name is”–that was the knife to the back.

My story IS the only story written by a non-mother. But the thing is…I HAVE a mother. So that counts for something, right?  I HAVE children in my life that are powerful beyond measure, that move me in ways I didn’t think possible. Yet another check mark in my column. And I know many women just like me. Several who are getting in their cars and driving consecutive hours in order to be in the audience and support me today. BOOM!

I’m so honored to be counted among the women in this group. I’ve heard their stories. I’ve thought about some of them over and over and over these past few weeks…just can’t shake their words. It’s going to be an amazing experience and I’m so happy that I didn’t let my own insecurities screw this up!

I’m also sending out an Atta Girl to my PseudoSis3.

Ya’ll…that girl has done some amazing work on herself this past year or so. She has started working out, dropped a ton of weight and inches and she is running her first half marathon as I type this morning back in OKC. I could not be more proud of her. She has truly become an example of what it means to change your life.

It’s the first year since I started cheering for the Memorial Marathon, that I’m not there on my corner with Martha clapping and shouting encouragement in the wee morning hours. Last year we stood for four hours in the freezing rain. This year it’s gorgeous, and I’m missing it. I know she’s just as sad that she’s not in my audience today. Mutual admiration society…that’s what we’ve got.

I look back a lot. I look back at where I was, and who I thought I was going to be. I see circles, endless circles. “I’m here again?” I see lines and curves and triangles and all the shapes in the world that lead me right here to this morning. I see where Maggie has been, and the beauty that is before her. She’s got more inner strength than I ever did at her age. What a bright bright tomorrow she has!

It’s a beautiful thing, really. Knowing where we’ve been. Looking forward to where we’re going. And knowing, that it’s all just as it should be.

Just as it is.

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