Be Not Afraid…

18 Jul


Mothers often say they can intuit when something is wrong with their children; the bond between mothers and children is that strong. Perhaps because the roles between my mother and I became reversed when I was quite young, I too always knew when something was wrong with her. In my twenties, I’d sometimes experience a dark cloud of depression come over me from nowhere. I would feel possessed with the state; like it didn’t belong to me yet had somehow taken over my being. Twenty-four hours later I’d get a call from an ER or friend of my mother telling me she was in the hospital or jail for some kind of alcohol related incident. And then I’d realize that what I was feeling was what my mom was actually experiencing. Because the bond between mother and child is that strong.

My mom is gone now so I don’t have to worry anymore, nor do I find myself overcome with feeling states that aren’t my own. Although last night, as the anniversary of my mom’s death drew near, I tapped into a portal of despair. A view of life quite bleak; a feeling like “What’s the point?” Is that what my mom felt like when she contemplated taking her own life? I think so. I understand why she did it and I simply can’t blame her. While my mom frustrated me to no end, I think I understood her psyche and in that feel compassion. And when I look at the above photo taken of her when I was a baby, before depression and life took its toll, I feel her strength and love for me. 

My mom and I looked nothing alike. She had Bambi brown eyes and dark hair; I was a curly blond with green eyes. But when I look at this photo I see our facial structure is the same and I know our bodies were similar. In personality, we were as night and day different as our eye color and hair yet when I look closely, I see what I have inherited in patterns and behaviors – for good and for bad.  

Starting a diary at age eight, I began writing about my mom’s drinking before I could even spell liquor properly. The pen and paper helped raise me. At fifteen I wrote, (of both my parents), “I have forgotten the name of the stratospheric layer which becomes trapped between a warm layer and cold. This is how I feel though. Trapped between mom and dad. I often feel so alone.” 

I guess I’m not trapped anymore but I still sometimes feel acutely alone. Saturday morning I will go to mass at the church we attended when I was a child. And I will feel less alone. As I did when I came home from work today and discovered a box of roses on my doorstep sent by my best friend in the whole world to honor my mother. This same friend has the voice of a powerful angel and sang in my mother’s memorial service. The song that meant the most to me was called “Be Not Afraid.” The lyrics are below. Mom, may you now rest in peace, never having to fear again. 

You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety,
though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands,
and all will understand,
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters
in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amidst the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the pow’r of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you, through it all

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

Blessed are your poor,
for the Kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.

And if wicked men insult and hate you, all because of Me,
blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

2 Responses to “Be Not Afraid…”

  1. Brenda July 21, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    What a sweet and thoughtful friend for sending the roses! Praying that you have peace during this difficult time.

  2. lisesletters July 25, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you, Brenda! Blessings to you.

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