Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Good Sign

Not being able to pop up north and check on my mom is difficult. Knowing that our new school schedules make extracurricular travel a pleasure of the past is sad. I never went in to great detail about my mother's accident last June, because it was too personal and too traumatic. Her recovery has been slow, steady, but slow. And it is still painful. Fortunately she is about to begin physical therapy, and I am focusing my prayers on that being a key component to her continued healing and relief.

Early on, as we were learning the full magnitude of what happened to her, I was deeply saddened by the prospect of her having to let go of her jewelry making, her art and expression, her bread and butter. It reaffirmed my appreciation for every piece of jewelry she has ever made for me and I cried thinking, what if these are the last ones? I cried thinking of how much she would have to endure on her road to recovery and knowing that it would be a long, long time before she could return to the corner of the house by the big windows, where her beads and tools sat waiting.

The accident happened the day after her birthday, and a week before she was to start her new job (the one with a regular paycheck and health benefits.) She couldn't take the job. For her birthday we had sent a new set of tools in their own carrying case, and the just opened box sat on her table, waiting. Her beads, and wire, the galleries she made necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings for would have to wait too. And while our immediate concern was for her to recover, to be okay, I was aware that until she could return to her interests and do the skilled work she is so good at, that her recovery would be slower, and sadder.

I believe in passion. I believe that to follow your passion, to do the work that gives you satisfaction is a tremendous gift. I define success in terms of being able to get by in the world by doing what gives you joy and feels like play more than work or toil. Success is doubled when you can share your interests and skills, pass them along, enthuse others. I guess that why it has been so wonderful to see my mom pursue her interests, and hone her skills. She is such a talented and successful artist, such a good role model. She has devoted so much of herself to learning about jewelry making, and to her area artists' association, I have marveled at her dedication. I did not want her to lose any of it... not the creative outlet, the income, the friendships and business advancements, the pleasure of achieving her goals.

After sighing with relief that she lived, that she could walk, and believe me our gratitude is profound, I felt like the next thing to hope for would be to see her string beads together again; to know that she could look down at her hands and employ her tools to twist silver and gold, to attach pearls, entwine stones and make her art.

Her injuries were serious. Very. Recently,sad news about a woman, a friend my brothers know, reminded me that we came very closely to losing more than my mom's art and skills. The reminder chills me. Pain and loss, the familiar ache of grief, worry... those things are such brutal reminders of how brief our time can be, how difficult the journey can be. My heart goes out to Barbara's family, her sister, her friends.

Life is precious... and quality of life matters too, and that is why I was so pleased to hear from my mom that she is "futzing,"as she puts it. She's making things she wants to make, easing her way back, by assembling a few things for her own pleasure. Not worrying about galleries or sales, just satisfying her own light.

It's so great, not just because she wants me to choose a bracelet for myself! I think I have been holding my breath, waiting for this day to come, waiting to see that she can return to her corner studio and play again.

I hope this is the beginning of more healing and light, or a continuation... I realize we cannot always recognize or appreciate that we are on a good path, that our route will take us to where we need to go. I'll take this futzing as a very good sign that my mom really is healing... an answer to my prayers.


Janece said...

So happy for the good sign and the futzing! :) She does beautiful work (first time I've seen it!) - and I know she's going to be knee-deep in her tools and beads soon. I'll continue to pray for her ongoing healing.

Love to you and your beautiful mom!

Laura Jane said...

Here's to a futzing-led recovery!

My best wishes to her and to you too


Tiglizzyclone said...

I really do hope your mother continues to get better. I will add her to my prayers.

Tilly said...

So pleased to hear your mum is on the road to recovery. Her work is so beautiful -wow!

judy in ky said...

I think it's wonderful that she is "futzing around" again. "Futzing around" is what life is all about, if you are lucky enough to find your passion.
Your love for your mom comes through quite beautifully in your post.

village mama said...

Your photography always makes my soul smile.

I miss reading you regularly.

I still owe you a subscription to F&W , and will continue to bug you for your snail mail -- but I know, the MOVE...

Abrazos. xo

Sabine said...

I hope your mother will be able to make her beautiful jewelry soon...She looks like a strong lady!

Jennifer said...

I remember clearly our email conversations on this very subject, and it fills me with joy to hear that your mom is working her way back to hear jewelry, her art. Joy. And hope. How we feel about the future colors everything....