Friday, August 19, 2011

a time for everything

Friday, August 19, 2011


I've never been a big reader of Ecclesiastes, even though I'm very well-versed when it comes to the Bible.  I know it's full of wise sayings, but its position there, tightly ensconced between the even wiser Proverbs and the passionate lamentations of Isaiah and Jeremiah has occasionally had the unfortunate consequence of losing my attention.

The one passage that I have always remembered from Ecclesiastes is probably the most oft-quoted.  Nevertheless, there is hardly anything more appropriate for the tumultuous and surreal surges of feeling that I have experienced during my almost two-month hiatus from blogging.

I steer clear from getting too personal on my blog, preferring instead to write about food and fluff, but as it is a record of sorts, I wanted to mark the time before I begin to write again in my normal flow and rhythm.  For now, I write as a mother, and also as a woman who has lost her own mother.  That the two events, a birth and a death, occurred within 10 days of each other still seems impossible to comprehend.

I take comfort, however, in these words, for they are too true.  I take comfort in the fact that my mother was able to meet my son, arriving on the very day he was born, a virtual miracle given her condition.  I take comfort in the knowledge that my mother has been eased of the burden of her illness and sadness, and must now blissfully enjoy a reunion in heaven that she has longed for.  I take comfort in the fact that I know I will see her again, and that she can look down and relish the sight of my little baby A.  I take comfort in the sight of my baby's incredibly beautiful, perfect little face, for he has brought me so much joy in the midst of sorrow.  And sometimes, that is as it should be, a natural part of life.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Almost three years ago, I wrote about a book my mom recommended, One True Thing, which is about a young woman's relationship with her mother.  It's a terribly sad, terribly good book, and it subject matter is even more resonant for me now.  I thumbed through it recently, and as I always have when rereading, turned to the passage when Ellen, the protagonist, is asked whether she loved her mother.

"The easy answer is yes.  But it's too easy just to say that when you're talking about your mother. It's so much more than love-it's, it's everything, isn't it?"  as though somehow they would all nod.  "When someone asks you where you came from, the answer is your mother."

When someone asks you where you came from, the answer is  your mother.


Jamie said...

Perfectly put, hugs your way!

J&Co. said...

Yes. :)