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March 5, 2013

Love: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/love_yesterday_today_and_tomorrow/

Photo

The Maldives

Love is a great thing and I am blessed to have it in my life in many different forms.  I love my son, parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, and friends.  I love them and am loved in returned which is special and something I do not take for granted.  I have been thinking a lot about my future lately and that has me wondering about love.  I am a person who tries to learn from yesterday, am thankful for today, and hopeful for tomorrow. Does that apply to love or is love exempt from the formula?

I am thankful for love every day.  I think having lost my father I am aware that love can be taken away from you.  I was able to tell my dad I loved him when he was dying, but he was so sick I’m not sure he understood how much. Life is fragile and love is elusive so if I love you I want you to know.  I am not reserved when it comes to declaring love.  I tell my son constantly, say it in daily conversations with my family and friends, and end conversation with these people by sayng I love you because saying it matters.

I am at a transitional point in my life in terms of my work and being a mother.  My career is changing slightly, in wonderful ways, but still changing.  My son is a junior in high school and starting to think about colleges and moving away from me. The thought of him leaving is terrifying and exciting, but I don’t think about it too much because I want to focus on him now, but also because I don’t allow myself to think that I might actually enjoy the phase of my life where he is away. Everything I do is with him in mind.

Does it make me a bad mother for thinking I will enjoy his being away at school and my being more independent?  Will my love for him be defined differently if he is not here with me all the time?  Yesterday, for the first time in over 17 years of motherhood I had a vision of my life with my son not living in my home and not only was it interesting, but I felt okay.  As soon as I acknowledged to myself that I would be okay, I felt horrible and it made me cry.  I can’t breathe at the thought of him going so why was it okay?

I define myself as a mother so I feel like a bad mother for having even a fleeting thought of my life as okay when he moves out.  That got me to thinking about being hopeful for the future.  When I think about the future I think of it in terms of my son’s dreams, not mine.  I want to be thankful for every minute my son is home with me so that I have those memories to relive when he is away at school and building his own life.  I want hope to embrace this time in my life my son.I want him to know his dreams are mine. 

I want to allow myself to look forward to my own future, not just that of my child.  Love is defined by yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  All the experiences, lessons, mistakes, and joy come together to shape who we are, and in the end I am a great mother.  I have done my job and while it has not been perfect or easy, it was been done well and my son is proof of that.  I am allowed to fulfill my own dreams because they do not take away from his.  I can plan a future because I have earned it and my son wants it for me.

When my son leaves for college I will sit in his room and cry.  There is no getting around that.  I will also plan a trip to the Maldives.  I will sit on a beach and marvel at teh stellar job I did.  I won’t feel guilty for not feeling guilty about it. Who am I kidding? I will feel guilty about sitting in luxury while my son plugs away at school, but a cocktail and my memories will make it better. I am a mother but also a woman and allowing myself to have the dreams of both is okay.  I am planning my future, and keeping the faith.

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