When I found out about the last lymphoma relapse in the fall of 2014, after I moved through the grief and shock, I wondered on an energetic level why cancer would return to my life after such a long remission. I asked a trusted friend for guidance and she asked me what untold stories I had inside. I knew right away that the biggest untold story in my life is about my relationship with my mom, who has been absent from my life since I was very young. It is time to share the story.
After my friend asked me that question, I decided with utter confidence to contact my mom at the last known email address that I had for her to find out once and for all the real story of how and why she left me. I told her there was nothing she could say that would scare me. My mom’s husband replied quickly to my email and said my questions were a shock but that a letter would arrive soon. I was deeply happy to know the email address was valid and the communication process had begun. I felt like a little girl as I checked my mailbox every day. The letter arrived and my mom explained everything to me with sincere and plain honesty. It was a very sad story and I finally learned that she always did love me and that not raising me and being estranged from me broke her spirit in terrible ways for most of her life. At the end of her letter, she asked if I thought I would ever come to a place of forgiveness. Instantly, I emailed to tell her that I completely forgave her. It was the lightest, easiest and most free decision for me to make. It was an utter relief to know the truth finally and I knew it was time for both of us to heal.
Shortly afterwards, on November 6th (a full moon), I met with a shaman for energy healing work to restore the buried and hurt parts of me from losing my mom as a young girl. When I was originally diagnosed with lymphoma, my intuition at that time that told me there was a connection between that parent/child relationship and my health. I worked with a hypnotherapist and healed my relationship with my father, from whom I had been estranged for a year before he died. I trusted myself this time too and I knew it was time to heal my other parent/child relationship in order to release all this deep, emotional pain that had been stored in my body for my entire life.
My work with the shaman actually ended up centering largely on how my mind works tirelessly to keep my heart safe from pain and this has actually enabled me to survive many things. However, my brain needs to work with my heart and soul now. We came up with a plan for me to claim space for my heart and my emotions so they don’t get brushed aside where they can do me harm. My biggest fear going in to the meeting was that I would cry in front of her. I can cry fairly easily when frustrated but it’s very difficult for me to release tears of deep sadness. Guess what? I started weeping at the door while she was smudging me. It was the start to a vulnerable, powerful and very emotional journey.
After I left Nissa’s house, the beautiful shaman, I took a lot of time to get home. I stopped in the St. Johns neighborhood, a place I’ve driven by and through many times but never stopped. I followed my heart to a boutique, a vintage shop and an awesome camera shop. When I got home, there was an email from my mom with this photo that she had kept all this time. I had never seen it before. It is the sweetest gift.
I never expected to find myself in this place where I am now. It’s a peaceful place of curiosity. My mom and I are continuing to exchange letters and emails. All the anger of my childhood and indifference in my adulthood towards my mom has evaporated. We've been getting to know each other ever since. It’s remarkable.
NOTE: this post was written in December 2014. At that time, it had taken me 40 years to find the courage to ask my mom how she could leave me and a month to find the courage to share our story on my blog. Vulnerability is hard work but I’m learning time and time again that it’s worth it. My name is Jess and I’m not a motherless daughter anymore.