Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Missing Pieces

This Mother's Day weekend our little trio took a whirlwind trip to the beautiful Oregon Coast.  There's just something about the ocean. Something cleansing, something that somehow sweeps the cobwebs from my heart and inspires me.

We played on the beach, watched Cora point out the birds and dogs, roll around in (and periodically taste) the sand, and then grab our hands and "run" straight for the water again and again.  We laughed and played and had a great time.

This morning I took a solo walk on the beach, the air crisp and the wind blowing, the clouds filling the sky in a way that felt just like home.

Alone is not something I get to do much of, and it's something that feeds me.  It's something I have always needed, and something that I was afraid would change too much after I became a mother.   I walked the sand toward the craggy rocks, breathing the cool salt air, setting goals to work more "me" time into my life, and thinking of how much becoming a mother has transformed me.

A few weeks ago while watching a drama on TV, a scene where a mother's adult son passed away had me in almost a panic.  I could feel her anguish.  I could see Cora on that table, and the pain was unbearable. In that moment, for just a few seconds, I thought that if I could do it all over again there was no way I could handle it.  I felt that being a mother opened up way too much possibility for anguish; that the mere idea of losing Cora hurt so much that never becoming a mother sounded like a better alternative to that possibility.

According to my husband, Don Juan, sorceror and mentor to Carlos Castenada told of "seeing" peoples' souls.  He talked of being able to immediately identify parents, because they were inevitably missing parts of their selves; holes in their centers that their children had removed.

And it rings so true.  Apart from how much motherhood has redefined my days and my values and my perspectives, it is truly like Cora has taken a piece of my soul, one that I couldn't get back if I tried.  Losing a part of oneself like that is terrifying, yet is still the most exquisitely beautiful thing I have ever done. And so it is for us, as mothers. We live our lives, so changed... tethered to the souls that are parts of us, that have taken pieces of our selves, whether these lives are with us or not.

It's with those thoughts that I snuggled Cora in my arms tonight, and read her book after book after book.  Sometimes the days are hard, the struggles frustrating, the experience lonely.  But oh how I love this little child who has stolen my heart.


  1. Love this amazing!

  2. Such a beautiful post. Loved it!

  3. You've definitely captured a piece of my heart, too, Leah. Thanks for writing such a great post. You've described the parent-child linkage quite beautifully ;-)

  4. This is exactly how I feel. I often think of losing Gary, and wonder if I could handle it, and spin into a panic and flood of tears for something that just isn't. I amaze myself at the ability I have to turn my world around with a bad thought. But I think as you put it so eloquently, that our lives ARE changed because their souls are tethered forever...regardless if they are with us in this present world. Yes, it would have been easier on my heart to have never ventured into this thing called motherhood...but my life would have been so empty, and I never would know "true" love.

  5. Beautiful pictures and words.

  6. Your words are so beautiful and so true for us mothers. Colin and Ben are my heart:)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!