The sadness felt like a heavy wool blanket, wrapped 'round my shoulders.
It wasn't uncomfortable. Rather, it was familiar. Tears were shed this morning, in the early light of dawn. I sat outside and watched as the sun crested the distant mountain. It was chilly in the morning air and the fog was thick over the thin stream of water that runs through the pasture across the way. I had thoughts of the failure I have begun to label myself as.
The remembrances of times shared with my young daughters, the joys they brought me, the trials I faced and the love and care I took with these young lambs. I was actually successful in what I was aspiring to. I prayed daily for wisdom to teach my girls what they needed to know. I asked God to help me be kind and respectful, yet disciplined and stern when the need arose. I pleaded with Him to take the mistakes, the failures, the times I just simply missed the mark - and use even those things to grow my daughters into the young women He intended them to be.
My goals as their mother, their teacher, their - mentor were to train each daughter up in the way, they as an individual should go. I funneled their father's money into whatever tools or materials they needed to accomplish their creative ideas. There were horse-back riding lessons, swim lessons, Karate, soccer, the Rodeo, the Zoo, the Aquarium, the Train Museum, and the Nature Science Center. Vacations were adventures and history lessons. Their friends came to their home and were welcomed.
There were parties, and limousine rides. A hammock in the backyard and ducks. There were pets inside the house, too. Cats, birds, dogs, and fish. My girls sang in choirs and danced in ballets. I made beautiful cotton dresses for Easter and each daughter has an handknit afghan that I used cotton string and their Grandmother Parkes Knitted Chevron Pattern to create. I sewed costumes, for the dance company, to pay for their dance lessons. They were Girl Scouts and marched in parades. I read them books. And I taught them to read. I sang to them and I prayed with them. I have laughed, and drummed, and howled, and cried with my daughters.
I fell in love with each of them, from the day I knew they were growing inside me. I loved each one completely and each one gave back to me a bit of their DNA. Having my daughters taught me how to be a better woman. And bless their hearts - I did a bit of practicing on each of 'em!
In the Spring of 2010 I was given the privilege to see myself in a way that shed light on some of the times I failed my daughters. Someone treated me in such a way that I knew - I knew in my heart how my own daughters had felt when I had behaved the same way towards them. I was so ashamed I could not bear it. It broke my heart that the treasures I had been given to care for had had to endure what I had just experienced myself. No words could ever begin to express the remorse that I felt in that moment but, God knows my heart. He knows each circumstance, and I believe he still loves me and has forgiven me. I have asked my daughters to forgive me. I pray that God would forever keep me from behaving in such a way again.
My worst failure. I did not protect them. I let my guard down. I didn't mean to. I tried to be vigilant ... and I was. But, sometimes bad stuff slips in. I pray for my daughters, as I prayed for myself in those years of growing up, that they will will remain hopeful, faithful and that no matter the slight, no matter the harsh words or the anger, that their hearts will remain tender - vulnerable to love. Especially love. Because when all is said and done? The houses, the cars, the clothes, the furniture - it's all dust. What will last for eternity? The hearts, the souls, the Spirits of all the people we have relation with from day to day. It's the dear souls that God intersects into our lives - sometimes at the most inopportune moments - sometimes just in the nick-of-time - that matter. It's all that matters. Did we love them? Did we offer them a bite to eat? A pinch of salt. A sip of water? I hope I was and am that person. I know it's what I strove for. So I know how short I fell.
So the early morning tears of regret. The sadness of loss of connection with the daughters I love so much? It's unbearable. And God knows that. As He caught each tear this morning, he called their names and He blessed me with love. A beautiful mail from the oldest, and a saved-for-the-next-21-days voicemail from the youngest. And because God wanted me to know just how deep the love goes? He had my Grandson calling out to me (via voicemail), by my new name, YaiYai.
My girls made my heart full today, with their expressions of love. I thank my God for each remembrance of you, Dear Daughters. May God's face continue to shine upon you and his angels stand guard over you. May you continue to love others and may it come back to you ten-fold.