|"Changing" Acrylic painting, |
© 2018 Toni Becker, Whimsical Jewels
Lately my inspiration has been coupled with my emotional content and what I'm processing internally. Time weighs heavy on my heart and on my mind. When your staring Father Time in the face wondering when the clock will stop ticking, it definitely raises all kinds of uncertainty and a level of emotions I can't place into words. That's my current story right now. It's not an easy story to tell, because right now there is a vulnerability that comes with an authentic raw emotion that cuts to my core, leaving my heart aching and a sickness in my belly. I have wrestled with myself internally and went back and forth about sharing my feelings. I feel very vulnerable and emotionally raw. That's my truth and my story. The wrestling is over. I've decided to share it because it's healing for me. A couple weeks ago, in the middle of the night, inspiration called and I had no choice but to listen. This time it was about my dear momma.
I've been called to write about her a few times over the years. She's a very influential part of who I am as a woman and as a mother. In December, I was awakened from a very powerful dream, with the same sense of urgency to record my thoughts and feelings. I still carry my dream message with me, because I lovingly talked with my mother the day after the dream. December was a really stressful month. At the beginning of the month, my dear mother was hospitalized for several days, on 12/13 we experienced the anniversary of 9 years without my brother Jon, and on 12/15 my husband said goodbye to his brother. It was a really tough month in our family. My dream came the night before my brother's anniversary and it was so powerful. In my dream, my soul openly spoke to my mother with a pure love I've never experienced before. I have grieved the loss of my brother, HARD, for the first few years after he died and thankfully now when the anniversary of his death arrives, it's an honored space more than a sad, grief space. I take the time to honor his life and what he meant to me while he was here. For my mother, it's a lot different. I don't pretend to know what she goes through as a mother losing her son, and when I think about it, the feelings almost break me. In the dream, I shared that pain with her, and in that moment I could feel the tremendous pain of her heavy loss and it was unimaginable. During that moment of love, we sat and openly talked with one another sharing our love for one another. When I awoke from the dream I was crying. I felt the need to write it down, and realized I had a few things I needed to say to my dear mom. Instead of popping out of bed to quickly write it down, I trusted myself to remember what I needed to say to her. For some reason, I didn't fear losing it, quite possibly because it was so powerful and the emotions I felt were quite deep.
Over the years, I have spoken with individuals who have lost a sibling and I've read books on grief and this particular loss. In my own research and in the pages I read, a lot of siblings shared they felt neglected by their parents after their sibling died. When holidays would come, they expressed the same type of experiences... Instead of celebrating life and a joyous time of togetherness during the holiday/birthday/etc, the parents focused on the death of their child and that they weren't there to celebrate with them. For a lot of children who have lost a sibling, there can be a sense of survivor's guilt with irrational thoughts and feelings that come as a result of this tremendous loss. Thankfully, I have NEVER had to experience those feelings. I absolutely went through survivor's guilt, but it was part of my grieving process, not because my mother, or father for that matter, caused the feelings. In my dream, I felt my mother's broken heart and her feelings of loss. Her heart was whole and full of love prior to Jon's death, and after this tremendous loss she felt incomplete, broken, and her heart was missing the other half.
In my dream, the purity and power of her love was clearly communicated to me. Her soul spoke so lovingly to mine, sharing that Jon and I were the true loves of her life, and with him gone, her heart felt incomplete. As I share this, I can feel her pain and her love simultaneously. It immediately brings me to tears and makes my heart ache. My soul so beautifully expressed my understanding, and how loved I felt by her despite her burden of grief. In my dream I thanked her for her love and for always making me feel wanted, despite missing the other part of her heart. This dream was such a gift to my heart, healing in its own way. The next day, (my brother's anniversary) I called and thanked her for her gift of unconditional love, for allowing me to be the love of her life, and for always loving me just as I am, nothing more or less. We cried together and expressed our love for one another. That moment, in dream and in our phone conversation, will be something I will hold in my heart forever.
A couple weeks ago, after being asleep for a little while, I was suddenly wide awake. During the day, I had some pretty terrible news about my mother's health and I was processing everything before drifting off to sleep. When I awoke, I was really groggy and quite tired. Emotionally I was spent. I really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, pushing my ideas and thoughts to the side, forgetting that I had been woken by the voice of inspiration. I can't lie, I contemplated it for a few minutes, and then told her to go away that I was tired, and I really didn't want to deal with the emotional content of her inspiration. Somewhere deep inside me there was this voice... "If you don't go write it down and write it out, you will regret it." Then like a flood, these ideas, thoughts, feelings, and MEMORIES had come to me in that moment and quite frankly, I didn't want to forget them. Begrudgingly I got up. I went to my studio, and started writing in my journal. For 2 hours, I wrote. I remembered things, I hadn't remembered and saw things from a different set of lenses. A new pair of glasses. My heart hurt and my body shook from my sobs, but there I sat writing until I couldn't write anymore. When I finished writing and my tears stopped flowing, I felt so much better. I saw things differently. I also had this sense of "Knowing" that wasn't there before.
I have a Rumi journal that has his beautiful quotes on each page. In the silent hours of the night, I scribbled on the pages of my journal about love, beauty, and childhood. I wrote about motherhood and the blessings of love that I have received. Perfectly aligned with my late night writings were these 4 Rumi quotes: "Love is a cloud that scatters pearls." "God created your wings not to be dormant. As long as you are alive you must try more and more to use your wings to show you're alive." "Thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives." "You think because you understand "one" you must also understand "two," because one and one make two. But you must also understand "and." Each quote, magically aligned for a deeper knowing and sense of gratitude that I had listened to the voice inside me, calling to scribble on my pages.
|"Blue", Mixed Media Nature Mandala|
© 2017 Toni Becker, Whimsical Jewels
42 years ago, I was a little "seedling" in the tree of life called my mother, or as I like to call her... mommy or momma. She has lovingly guided me throughout my life and really placed a solid foundation for me as a woman. Any words I use, will be inadequate for describing my gratitude and love for this dear woman. She is pure love and embodies it in her core. My descriptive words of love barely scratch the surface of who she is and my love for her. From the time, she knew she was pregnant with me, she loved me. She did what she could to protect me, and cared for me with a love so deep I can feel it in my core. Throughout childhood into adulthood, she has been a fierce lioness protecting me, her cub. She has been a strong and fierce, a force to be reckoned with. God help you, if you did anything to hurt Jon or I. These days, it is I that protects her. And quite honestly, my actions pale in comparison to hers. Her love has always been flawless and gentle, unconditional and forgiving. She was a good teacher of love, friendship, and how to be a good mother. Her teachings showed me taught me to stand on my own feet as a woman. She made sure to give me the tools I would need to be successful in this life. I could go on and on... but you get my point.
So now here I am, looking at my time with this incredible woman. Life is short, and her time is being
shortened by cancer. It makes me feel all the feels. Some would ask for healing and would beg Father time for more time, but that's not where I am in my journey. I accept that this is where I am and where she is. I surrender to this process, knowing I can't control it. The only thing I can do is love her fiercely and support her decisions as she rides the last wave. I have appreciated every second I have had with her. She has loved me with a depth I am inadequate in describing and even father time can't take that from me because love is eternally infinite.
|"Acceptance" Acrylic painting |
© 2016 Toni Becker, Whimsical Jewels