unconditional love at nautilus teachings


my life story
is traceable
through my son.
each time i look into
his adult eyes
i can remember his kick
inside my belly
and my mother and i
smiling, crying and imagining
will it be a boy? a girl?
will they be artistic like me?
smart? funny?
all my mom and i knew was
this was the most
precious gift i could share with her…
when we were told my mom
only had 6 months to live
i did not process it correctly
i did not hear their truth
i did not accept or even
remotely understand i would
have to live my entire
adult life without my mom
one thing i did know was
i needed to have a baby

and a year later
nick was in my tummy
my mom was up and down
and in and out of remission
still working for the American Cancer Society
and my tiny brain believed
mom will not die now because
her daughter will have a child
mostly her daughter would need her even more now
to learn how to mother
how to love unconditionally
how to, how to, how to……
and Nick arrives
15 months after my mother was told she had 6 months to live….
he and i came home on Easter weekend 1986
my mom came over
and i cried
and Nick cried
and my mom
sent me to my room
“the baby is fine, now get some rest, let him cry…”

my mom taught me at this moment
to begin letting my son comfort himself
and as much as i yearned to run to him
i did not
because my mom taught me not too
she taught me the importance of
from birth the beginning of letting go
that i must love and guide him
give him faith
yet always teach him to stand on his own
to be confident
to rely upon himself
to work hard
and to love…
over the next 15 months my mom taught me much about mothering,
not enough,
but the beginning…
she got to see Nicks first steps
and hear Nicks first words
she got to hold him
as we sang Happy Birthday for the very last time to her
at the very table i now sit at
typing this
those precious times with my mother and my son
no matter how sick she was
began my life map of understanding
what was most important in life…
Nick lifted her up
made her giggle
and i believe
kept her breathing more days than predicted
because of love
and on that somber day
in 1987
6 days before she left us
as nick climbed up into her lap
and sat so still
holding his grandmothers hand
and sucking his thumb
as the three of us walked
down her beloved
Cinnamon Lane
the wind blowing
sun shining
as her tears flowed
and mine cascaded
upon her shoulders
Nicks tiny innocence
cradled my mother
in a healing warmth
and acceptance that
her daughter would be ok
because she now had
someone to love
to guide
to share life with…

27 years have passed
and this once
toe headed
little boy
is now about to take his
wedding vows
to one of the most beautiful souls i know…
oh, how i wish my mother was here
to see what an amazing young man he
has turned into…
strong, talented, handsome, giving, funny, loving
he is full of the grace and light of God…
my life map is full of his first this and first that
and i look forward to
adding new Nick paths
these including my new daughter in law
and one day their children…

but for now
as i sit and reminisce
about my life thus far
as i look into my sons eyes
and see them reflect love
for Jules
i am filled with gratitude
of such wonderful memories
of the gift his life has been to me…
and one day
when it is my time to take my last breath
i will know that
my mothers table
will then journey to his home
and the circle will be complete
grandmother, mother and son
a memory
through faith
and a life
unconditional love.