Last week was packed with firsts – the launch of this blog, my debut as an author, and a live Internet interview on the Alise Cortez’s “Working on Purpose” radio show.
Needless to say, that week of preparation left me a bit moody. Having my husband, Mike keep his cool while maintaining a sense of normalcy in the household, not only helped me immensely, but gave our kids a break from walking on the metaphorical eggshells that covered every square inch of our home.
A few hours before the interview, I realized that to be successful, I needed to put myself in The Zone. I quickly started taping up numerous old photos of Mom and me on the wall above my dresser. Still, something was missing. All of a sudden, I began to channel Christopher Walken “I need more cowbell”. Out came Mom’s favorite lounge shirt , a multitude of Holy candles in full flame, Mom’s beloved rosary, my old traditional pictures of Jesus and Mary and a larger-than-life framed portrait of Mom. In a matter of minutes, I had managed to erect my own personal shrine. I was set. Then IT happened.
There came a loud knock on the door of my psyche. It was the usual suspects; Doubt, Anxiety and Fear. Uninvited guests that never fail to stop by during my quiet times of vulnerability. Lagging a few minutes behind was Grief. Distraught, I cried out, “Mom! If you were still here, I wouldn’t have to be doing all this! I’d rather be shopping with you, or hanging out on the couch watching HGTV marathons of House Hunters and Design Star, eating Rocky Road! Tears pooled in my eyes, my heart heavy with ache, I whispered, “God, I miss you Mom.” Stillness surrounded me.
“This is the way it has to be, Honey. You’ll be fine.”
I immediately recognized the familiar maternal tone, the rhythm that always defined her reassuring words. The voice in my mind’s ear was Mom. I could feel her presence, sense her protection. Many, many times, she’d promise me that with prayer all would be fine. It was her mantra when a childhood friend betrayed me, when I didn’t make the cheerleading squad my sophomore year, and when I miscarried for the first time.
After thanking Mom for always being there when I needed her, I knelt down and thanked God for taking good care of both of us and for keeping His promise that she’d always be nearby.
My now composed self knew Mom was right. I was more than fine. I was ready!
CLICK HERE to listen to my interview with Alise Cortez.