Six years ago I registered for this blog site – 6 years! My very first post involved lessons learned from Mom – you can read it here.
Man, I miss her. She was my “go-to” person on so much but especially politics. Oh the conversations we’d be having right now! She’d snort, I’d laugh and the two of us would conspire like school girls. I remember her whispering to me once that “none of the other kids read like you and I do” – now some siblings do read, a lot. But the way she said it makes me grin because I know she saw herself in me. I couldn’t be more proud of the similarity.
This is the same woman who gifted me (and my sister) a scandalous book about grey ties. She had no intentions of reading it but told me, “You can handle it.” I know she did it to scandalize us… and it worked. The two of us horrified our (grown) kids by leaving it out on end tables. The looks my boys shot my way were worth it. That was her point, to stir things up and to remind us we always have a choice. God, I love her.
I’m lucky to have had someone so feisty as my role model. Someone who didn’t let her gender define her. Someone who slung her purse over her shoulder and leaned in as she marched forward, even when she didn’t know the script. We talked about this often, how as women we do more – we’re expected to – be more, accomplish more just to earn a seat at the table. We often talked about “not having the playbook” and her response was always the same, “you’ll figure it out, kid.” And I did.
So I think I’ve finally hit on out why conversations around me of late have left me bored: It’s the lack of layers. The surface talk. Not having her intelligent interjections to both jar and delight me.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King
What conversations do you miss having?