I went to my Mom's memorial service. She was 88, very frail, but after the doctor explained about hospice and failing organs, my mom is her voice that had been seriously affected by a stroke 12 years ago said 'Life is Good'. My mom was a exCatholic who served her family fish or macaroni and cheese every Friday night. She would have made no sense of Unitarian Universalism. Life is hard and you just gget up and do it again. Maybe is being part of the generation that grew up during the Depression. Young kids who had the rug pulled out from under them; who went from comfortable middle class to working poor. Maybe it was not worth the risk of being open and honest.
I shared Elizabeth Tarbox writing 'Expect Life' with a group of friends while reflecting on my mom. Some thought I was describing my mother's life. For all I know, perhaps that is the life she would have had if she had been nurtured and cared for. But that was not the case. But I see Elizabeth and my mother both as survivors. One was more reflective than the other.
It has taken me a long time to recognize that my mother gave me what love she was able to give. Elizabeth Tarbox would have been wiser. She said in 'Sufficiency':
But love, O God, there is no limit to my longing for love. Love is so elusive and so prescious and doesn't follow any rules. I can't make people love me.
Here's what I can do. I can be open to the possibility of love. I can recognize love when it's offered. I can be vulnerable, knowing that those who dare not risk giving are unable to receive. I can admit that being loved is an exercise in letting go, in surrendering control, in being humbly grateful for hat is given.
I can accept love and let even the smallest amount of it grow in me and shine out of me. I can say at last. 'The love you give me is very good, and it is enough".