Yesterday, I paid a visit to a friend who was telling me about how difficult it has become to communicate with her mother, to find the support from her that she needs at this time in her life. My friend is stressed by her personal affairs and the demands of owning a business that relies so much on the holiday season. She told me that her mother is depressed and has lashed out instead of drawn her in and nurtured her. I listened and thought back to times when my own mother acted in similar ways, times when I had to put my own needs aside and understand hers and I empathized with my friend. As I departed, I promised to call her mother and invite her to the opening reception of a show in which I have a very small and insignificant painting. But, it is my very first exhibition so it will be special in some ways
I also told her to encourage her mom to get a hearing aid after she told me to let the phone ring a while before hanging up when I called. My advice came from my heart, not only from my thoughts to her mother's personal safety. "Please tell her that she's missing out on so much because of her inability to hear all that you want to tell her, all that her grandson wants to tell her" this, I said, I know from personal experience. There was so much I wanted to share with my own mother but didn't. I gave up. She could not hear and would not get assistance so I stopped trying to tell her anything that wasn't important. The words I wanted to say lost their meaning when I tried to shout them, they just weren't the same.
I just emailed my friend, telling her that I did indeed make a date with her mother and will pick her up tonight and bring her to the reception. A simple act, one that makes me happy. My friend's mother was delighted too, at having been invited, and I included that in my email. And at the end of my note, the words, "I really miss my mother" flowed out and it suddenly came to me that I had so much more love to give. But time ran out.