Archive for the ‘Mom’ Category

August 15, 2015   1 comment

I realize that there was a time when I wrote on this blog very often and then stopped.  I would come back and promise to write, but never really picked it back up.  I wanted to, but I never had the motivation.  I’ve started several other blogs under several other email address, different identities that tap into other sides of my personality, but I just can’t seem to get the ball rolling.  My brain is faulty I guess, I don’t know.  But i loved this blog at one time and I miss the sense of it being my “home base” so I want to write this out so if I am not able to come back again any time soon there is at least some sense as to why.

So much as happened to me in the last few years.  In 2004 my father died.  In 2007 my partner of 8 years died.  In 2012 my mother died.  All of those things are probably written about in here.  But they all also changed me and left me wanting for more.  Then my absolute faith in God was challenged and I have spent the last 4 years or so basically living my life as an atheist.  If you knew me, you would know just how intense and bizarre that was for me.  Then, last week, I just sat down on the edge of the tub of my bathroom and started talking to him again.  Him being God.  For the first time in four years.  We just talked.  And it was amazing.  It was like nothing I have ever felt before.

But you don’t have to worry about me becoming some kind of religious nut.  The relationship I have with God is really different than most people in that it’s a strong committed relationship, but it’s also very relaxed and open.  There are no rules really.  I don’t have to do this or that to make him happy.  We’re friends and he loves me just like I love him.  We just talk.  And share our stories.  And from time to time, I take  his advice.

But I do want to tell the story of my life.  And that’s going to take a certain turn.  It’s going to include my mental illness which means you’re going to hear about the fact that I have been hearing voices nearly all of my life.  And one of those voices has been Gods.  I can’t be sure if that’s real or not.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Just let me tell you my story and you listen and figure out what you want.

Anyway, I’m going to sum this up now with a clear “Thank you”.  I have enjoyed writing on this blog for the batch of you who read this.  And when I get around to it, it will mean a lot to me knowing I can count on your all to be intelligent, kind readers.

Take care for now,

Jen

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Make Good Decisions   Leave a comment

I just posted a poem about being alone and how time is the only thing that will be there for me in the end.  I just wrote it, but I don’t believe it.  I know better.  I get overwhelmed so easily.  I am depressed and anxious and on the verge of losing my mind, so it’s not hard for me to feel and expect the worst in life.  Just last night I was sure that I had lost my dearest friend for no reason.  Seriously, no reason whatsoever, she was simply at work and couldn’t return a call for a few hours and I bugged the fuck out thinking she must hate me and never wanted to talk to me again.  Of course, as soon as she as able she spent an hour talking me down off the ledge reassuring me and making me realize that I am one of the most blessed, lucky and sincerely loved people in the world.  I not only have her love and loyal friendship, but that of several other people and I need to remember that.  (She pretty much threatened me that I need to remember that in her not so subtle, yet utterly adorable manner).  And that’s what I’m planning on doing because when I get the way I was last night I find myself begging the non commutative spirit of my dead mother for permission to take my own life and that’s just downright not allowed.  I can’t let myself get to that point.  There are way too many reasons to live.  There are way too many beautiful, precious and wonderful people in my life that would miss me, who would question their part and their place and who might feel not only sadness, but guilt and anger and I don’t need to bring more of those negative emotions into the world.  Enough of them have been given to me; I don’t need to give them to those I love.  And I won’t.  It’s a long road ahead.  I will learn to say that last sentence with a smile on my face and celebrate it and not as though it is a punishment.

Make good decisions.

Storytellers   Leave a comment

 

 

I grew up hearing people say to my mother that she should write a book.  It’s true, to hear her tell her life out in story form made her sound like some sort of wild and crazy character who had not only herself been interesting, but had also been invested and involved with other such colorful people and plots.  But as I’ve gotten older and I’ve met my fair share of people and as I myself have had many experiences, I realize that nearly everyone should write a book if all that matters is the story involved.  We all have something interesting to say.  What makes it worth telling isn’t the story, it’s the storyteller.

It’s a rare breed of animal that can captivate you with a tale.  Someone who makes you want to sit, mouth hanging open, eyes wide with wonder, ears pricked in awe and heart pounding with suspense.  It’s not the story; it’s the person telling the story.  Think about it.  Think about how many times someone has told you about something as simple as a trip to the store and it was a revelation.  We need to cherish our storytellers.  We need to prop them up and ask them, beg them if necessary, to tell us their tales because they are the essence of what it means to be human.

But my guess is it won’t take much to get them to start talking.  After all, a true storyteller is always merely awaiting her audience.

Seek these people out.  Live and learn and pass along the passion of this amazing art.

Jen Czahur

1st Mother’s Day without Mom   Leave a comment

 

It’s Mother’s Day.  I know that I should be missing my mom, that I shouldn’t be able to stay composed what with this being the first time I have to spend this holiday without her, but I promise you that I am truly OK.  My mother was a pure delight of a human being.  She was laughter and dignity and charm and compassion.  She could take care of you no matter what condition you were in and always leave you feeling as though you were the most important person in the world and at no time did she ever make you feel as though you were putting her out.  Her love and care were effortless, she was able to comfort you without putting someone else down, she was able to build you up without setting someone else to take the fall.  She could spot a liar from a mile away, but she wouldn’t always call you on it because she knew sometimes it was just what you needed.  She was nobodies fool, but from time to time, she would let you get away with murder.

My mother had a strong faith, she talked about God and Jesus all of the time.  So often that it was easy to forget everything you had ever heard about them from anywhere else and find yourself starting to have a relationship with them through her.  But she didn’t use this to her advantage like most people would have.  She wasn’t interested in controlling anybody or gaining an upper hand.  She just wanted everyone to be able to have the same peace, the same satisfaction that she was afforded by sheer virtue of her closeness and trust in what she believed.  Her faith was so simple and pure that when we discussed it later on in life and came to points where we disagreed about religion and even the existence of god, she was very comfortable letting me have my own mind provided I allowed her to have hers.  She didn’t need to dominate my lack of faith.  She just didn’t want me attacking her need for it.  And I respected my mother’s beautiful relationship with her religion so much and was so grateful for all of the comfort and strength her faith and concepts of god had provided her over the decades that I never wanted to debase those ideals now at the end of her life when she was so frail and ill and they could stand to serve her most.  It was a deal I was more than happy to strike.  I found no greater joy than in merely accepting my mother for whom and what she was and in being accepted for the same by her.

My mother and I always had a close, odd relationship.  It evolved like everything does.  We were very dependant on one another the last handful of years even when I lived in Georgia.  I would make calls to her several times a week crying about how sad I was in what I could only classify as the “completely backwards, backwoods south”.  She always urged me to come home, which might sound like a typical mother but it wasn’t my mother, not typically.  And when she needed money or advice, she would call me, her youngest.  And when she was ill, she called me.  And I came home to care for her because my heart was always with her and in her illness I was dying and being reborn.

But the last two years of our time together were two of the best years of my life.  Yes, my mother was dying.  And yes, I was basically jobless, near homeless, suffering from a manic episode that would not pass, in and out of mental health treatment, dealing with many other family crisis-type issues and flat out broke, but I was there for my mom when she was sick, when she was scared, when no one else could figure out how to be.  I was the one she called and I was able, while going through all else, to be there for her.  We would stay up all night talking and laughing.  We got to discuss things that I’ve always wanted to, we got to gossip, we go to philosophize, we got to hold each other while we cried, I got to spoil her rotten on whatever food she wanted to eat and all the ice cream and back rubs she could ever want.  It was like heaven for me because for a while there my mom got to finally be the center of the universe and in my mind that was what she always deserved.  It took old age, 4th stage cancer and an overall tiredness to allow her to let me give it to her, but finally I was able to show her just how special she was to me.

I wasn’t perfect at it.  I would go a few weeks here and there where my own mental illness symptoms would flair up and she would have to take a back seat to my raging.  But in a way, that was a certain kind of blessing.  I needed some of my mom that I hadn’t been able to get up till that point.  And having me on my best behavior 85% of the time gave my mom a clear comparison to see just how hard being bi-polar really is and she could finally sympathize with my struggles.  It broke down walls for us so that I could explain what my life was like and so she could ask questions and get more involved.  My mother passed on knowing all about therapy, medication, symptoms and other treatments.  And that’s really important to me because now when things get hard on me it helps me to know that my mom understood and would want me to seek help and take care of my problems and not just hide or deny or pray it away.  She was proud of me for all that I dealt with and she loved me for exactly who I am.

Last summer, my mother and I were up in the middle of the night talking.  She was sick, coughing a lot and having a hard time catching her breath.  She was a few weeks away from going into the hospital for the last time.  She was telling me, between struggling gasps, about how when she was pregnant with me a lot of people thought she was too old to have another child and how maybe, just to keep the peace, she should have an abortion.  I already knew all about that, but I figured she needed to say it for some reason so I just listened.  She stopped talking for a few minutes and her expression changed.  I can’t really describe the look on her face.  It just warmed my heart in a way nothing else ever has.  She looked at me for what felt like forever, only now I know it wasn’t forever and a part of me wishes that it could’ve been.  She smiled at me and then said, “Can you just imagine if I did what they said where I would be now?”

You hear something your whole life and it goes from being too complex to comprehend, to too painful that first time you get it, to too numbing because you’ve just had to find a way to make it not matter anymore.  I’ve known my whole life that I was the kind of pregnancy that made my really Catholic mother contemplate an abortion and on many levels in many ways I have had to wrestle with that knowledge.

But with that one shared moment, all the pain washed away and I was reborn.  I still have a lot of struggle in me.  But my mother adores me and trusts me and knows that all the pain and sacrifice was more than worth it because she raised the kind of daughter who would always be there for her mother.  And that is because she was always there for me.

So today is Mother’s Day.  And I assure you I do not miss my mother today.  Not because I do not love her dearly, but because she is more apart of me today then she was the first 37 years of my life.  She is in my heart, on my mind and all around me.  And in her love, I have all the faith in the world.

Jen Czahur

Grow   2 comments

I slid off my star
Rushed down on a bit of an incline
Jagged and with speeds
I never before encountered

I suppose
Along with the distance
And the scenery
I jetted through memories, goals, ideas

I suppose
Everything was sliced
Down the line
By my incredibly dangerous
And surprisingly swift
Poorly scheduled
Decline

But you never broke your stride

The way you have managed
All of your years
Independent and fearless

That does not suit me now
Just like it never quite
Suited me then

But you were the one
Picking out my clothes
Brushing my hair back
And encouraging me to smile

Even when dresses felt like prisons
Hairbrushes skillfully attacked like ancient weaponry
And smiles corrupted whatever was good in me

Like lies

The lead-based paint
Of my emotionally misspent youth

I have still managed to grow

Not tall and proud
Nor strong and determined

The trunk of this tree is diseased
And its roots cut deep
The weather attacking and me just not able to protect

But I grew in circumference
Touching communities far beyond
The shade my branches could provide

I’ve supplied fruit to children
That would find no shelter beneath me

I have been the Underground Railroad
For complex systems of rain water
Finding its way from meandering clouds
To complacent puddles
And then back again

Lending more than a mere hand
To the dynasty of intellectual landscapes
And never once being adorned
For any of the trivial, yet inspiring
Pageants, festivals or holy days

Because I am damaged in the traditions they study
And a goddess in ways they have never attempted
To recognize

They will not understand
The way I sing this song of praise to you

But I never sang for them at all
It has been you, my muse
My sweet, delicate promise
Of what faith could embody

That takes my hand
Settles my spirit
And offers me finally
A chance at peace

 

 

Jen Czahur

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