Monday, October 19, 2015

MONDAY'S MUSINGS—IN MY MOTHER'S EYES






In my mother’s eyes, I can do anything. I’m strong, courageous, smart, and determined.

Mom tells tales of an intrepid child who was bold and daring. That child rarely took no for an answer. Any problem or obstacle she faced was merely a puzzle she would study until she found the solution.  These traits were both good and bad depending upon the circumstances in which she used them. You see, this little girl boldly explored her world (outside her yard) and her neighborhood and when one considers her neighborhood was in the middle of Washington DC, it’s a wonder her mom survived her child’s frequent and unexpected explorations. To be fair to the parents, the house and yard, where Sia lived, was totally fenced in with a tall fence and gate a tricky latch (which she couldn’t reach) which would shut once you went through it. It was easy to get locked out of her yard. What was a girl to do? She sat on the top of the steps—her mother says there were 25 concrete steps from the back gate down into the alley—and looked at her world. And then…well, she saw a cat. And that was, as they say, that. Sia loved cats and all things four legged and furry.

At that point, great care was taken to be sure there was nothing around for Sia to use to unlatch the gate. But of course, it then became a puzzle to solve. It didn’t take long to find a mop sitting outside the back door and figure out how to use to reach up and unlatch the gate. The mop handle then was very handy and could be used to not only open the gate but block the gate from shutting. There were cats to visit you see and most times she could sneak back in the yard with no one the wiser.

The cat was a contributing factor for Sia’s nickname, Houdini or ‘Dini for short because once seen it couldn’t be forgotten and where there was one furry being surely there had to be more. There were people in the neighborhood Mom and Dad didn’t know but they knew Sia and she knew them especially if they had animals.

The school across the street knew Sia, as well, because she visited whenever her mother wasn’t looking or was involved with feeding or bathing the baby brother. She wanted to play with the kids on the playground or go into the classroom with them. After a few time of that sort of escape the mop was kept in the house in a closet.

Then there was the day Sia saw the school buses dropping off kids across the street and they were laughing and playing on the playground.  There was also a broom leaning against the wall in the kitchen…

Sia was able to spend a couple of blissful hours in the classroom learning about Washington DC and the stories behind Washington Monument, which she had visited with her parents the summer before. Sia had a great time drawing stories about her visit. About the time her hysterical mother, baby in her arms, was canvassing the neighbors the teacher realized she had an extra child in her classroom. 

The principal knew Sia, too, and was able to reunite mother and daughter. Ohhh, did Sia get into major trouble with her mom and then when her dad got home…ouch.

After that there was a lock put on the gate. Another puzzle but that’s a story for another day.

My mom
Since my diagnosis, I've been trying to visit my mom each week and we speak by phone several times a week. She lives an hour away from me. This past week my older sister and I visited mom who is living with my brother now. She shared adventures of young Sia and there was lots of laughter and good natured ribbing from my sibs. Times like this fortify my strength and fighting spirit and that’s always good. 

Mom told me she was very proud of my attitude and determination in this battle. She reminded me that I’ve always had “enormous inner strength.” That made me snort in derision.

“I appreciate hearing that mom, but I gotta tell ya, lately I’ve been feeling more like a weeny with all this."
She patted my hand and smiled. "You're entitled. But honey, I KNOW you. You're going to throw those shoulders back and lift that chin of yours and walk right through the weeny and fear. You're one of the strongest people I've ever known."   

In my mother’s eyes I’m still strong, courageous, smart, and determined.
  
Some days I believe her.

24 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great you're visiting your mom more and that she's reminding you of your inner strength. Sounds like you kept her busy as a kid.

Mason Canyon said...

Sia, your mom is so right. Over the years I've seen that inner strength in you from your writing and continue to see that inner strength in your now. It doesn't surprise me to learn you would figure out ways to get where you wanted to go as a child. That adventurer is still in you and determined to see so many more locked gates to open.

Kat Sheridan said...

Consider that you are embarking on another adventure. Let curiosity and your fearless nature lead you to the fuzzy, warm things and the sunny upsides. And like Houdini, you'll find your way out of whatever tight space you find yourself in.

Karen Walker said...

That last line, Sia. God, you're a good writer on top of everything else your mom says about you.

~Sia McKye~ said...

NATALIE--I was a terror. I scared my parents half to death more than once. I didn't mean to, I was just curious about things and wanted to see and do. That was me at preschool age and at that age I had no conception of danger really. I learned a lot by the time I reached 6 we had moved to the country and I was the big sister and keeping my 2 little brothers safe. Yes, my mom trotted all sorts of these stories out to remind me of what I was and encourage me.

Thank you MASON! I'm happy to report the adventurer is still alive and moving forward and looking at everything as a puzzle to solve. :-)

KAT--you make me smile and laugh so much. Yep, 'Dini is still ever present, ever curious and looking for the way out. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

KAREN--thank you! I'm always amazed at how people see me and then how I see myself.The last line encapsulates how I feel from day to day. Hugs!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No gate could keep you.
You are strong and with faith, you will get through this.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Oh, your mother must have had some heart-stopping moments. Trust her faith in you. Mothers know their children.

~Sia McKye~ said...

ALEX-- thank you! I'm doing my best!

SUSAN--She and Dad and more than a few heart-stopping moments. I think she was courageous for being able to handle me as a kid. My son, who also has an adventurous nature, wasn't half as scary to raise and what my mother went through. Or maybe I was ready for those heart stopping moments. :-) Yes, she does know me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia - you will add to the heart-warming stories that we all have of life with troubles, those we find on the net, and those around our families ... your mother is being a tower of strength for you - there's your sources ... and with your large family - their love and thoughts will guide you through, together with your hubby and son keeping you happy and cheerful at home ... take care and let us hear more ... with many thoughts - Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

What a great mom! I miss mine whenever I read that someone else's holds them in such high esteem. Mom's are the best.

And BTW, you should listen to what she's saying. She's right.

Liza said...

I just read this and your earlier post. I am wishing you strength and peacefulness. You can do this. The time will go fast and then it will be in the rear view mirror. I'm glad your family is with you to keep your spirits up.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Take your mother's words and belief to heart.

Bish Denham said...

Mothers, where would be without them? Not here. Somewhere else? May you pull what strength you need from her. I'm sending you lots of healing prayers and thoughts.

Jo said...

Moms know these things Sia so take heart. Grab your mop and go see the world.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hillary--My mom's strength is formidable but she also passed that strenth, by example, to her daughters. My sisters have been towers of strength in this situation. They're part of my team to keep me strong and on the right path with the right attitude. I can be me with them and they're great with hugs and sympathy but not at all hesitant to kick me into gear when needed.

Lee--As I've mentioned before, I'm often surprised at how people see me and that's never more apparent until I faced this. My mom is 79 and still going strong. She has never been one to hold back with needed criticisim or praise. I am blessed.

Liza--thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing all this in the rear view mirror. I am very fortunate to have my family.

Diane--I try to but there are days when it's hard.

Bish--I shudder to think where I would be now without my mother's strength and presense. She shaped the woman I am. Thank you healing vibes and prayers.

JO--you made me grin with that. Have mop, will travel. :-)

Hart Johnson said...

Love this story of your escape artist childhood! I'm very sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis but it does sound like you have the right attitude and I think attitude is SO MUCH of the battle when fighting it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

HART--I'm glad you enjoyed the tales. I'm just glad I didn't have a child with that much adventure. ;-)

Thank you, I agree, attitude is everything especially with cancer. I'm geared up and ready to fight hard!

Crystal Collier said...

Way to sped your time on something positive and building. It's tempting to wallow when we face physical difficulties, but the key is to shine and make every moment its best. You are strong, courageous, smart and determined. And you're showing the world that brave face.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Sia.... I love your attitude and strength! You will be this like all the other obstacles in your life. I'm happy you have your mom and close siblings.. They are so important to keep you on track. My mom had cancer and fought the battle an won! But her cigarette addiction took her at a very young age. I miss her often, but her strength runs through me and gets me through my trials...

Take care!!! Next time I am at the shrine of Mother Cabrini, I will pray for your healing... She was a healer and helped do many with cancer....

Hugs!

Michael

Yolanda Renee said...

You are so lucky to have such a close family. I will make all the difference in your healing. I think it's wonderful that your mother has such beautiful words for you! Hold them close, say them again and again, and keep sharing your journey, it will help so many others! Even if it makes them cry a little or a lot!
Blessing of health, happiness, and love sent your way!

Spacerguy said...

Try and become one with wisdom and gain strength from your mothers experience.

~Sia McKye~ said...

CRYSTAL--There are days I actually feel daring and courageous. I'm taking it a day at a time and it's never been my style to whine over a bad situation. Instead I forge ahead with a positive attitude and beat the situation into submission. :-)

MICHAEL--I've not heard of that shrine and thank you. I'll be the first to admit that the example my mother set gives me strength as does my family's support.

SPACERGUY--I'm doing my best to do just that. Thank you for stopping by.

YOLANDA--My family and their support are, indeed, priceless. I'm blessed with the support I've recieved from them and many friends. I do appreciate my mom's tales of the younger me and her perception of who I am. Thank you for the blessings sent!


mshatch said...

Wow, you were a brave kid! I was the biggest scaredy cat on the block.