This series started because of a nod and nudge from a friend, and truthfully, from inside.
It has felt good to get the nuts and bolts out, and let some tears go, raise my fist a bit internally, and soak up the prayers. I think in some way, it may be time to let some of this go. Not jump shark or totally bail, but to lay it at the foot of the cross and let it rest there.
So I’ll try to answer a few common questions, open the ‘floor’ up to your questions, and then say thank you. I will sit in front of the tomb, and wait. (she’s not here… she is alive… she is risen… she is at peace… this is what I hear more often now-a-days.)
So do you know what happened?
No. I don’t. I know that she loved her kids fiercely, I know that she did not ‘mean’ to leave. I know that she loves her kids now – from beyond – and I know that this is what we all were supposed to experience. I have resigned myself to live in the beauty of gray. The unknowing. The mystery. Its not solid pat answers. But you are kidding yourself if you think you really “know” anything anymore. Its easier this way, not knowing. You get to make shit up.
What about her husband?
He is happily remarried to a beautiful and wonderful woman. He is a Christian. He has moved on. I give this up to prayer. I don’t know how else to share an existence in the same family with him. I have forgiven him, for all he has done to me personally, and to my mother. He is the father of my siblings that I love more than anything, and so I must find a way to be in this world with him. God intervenes on my behalf a lot.
“It must bring you peace, knowing at least.” or “It must help you move on now, knowing.”
Well, yes. I know she is dead. Its not what I was hoping for. I would not call what I have peace. It brings me profound grief on some days. Other days, it is a deep source of comfort. It just IS. Its a fact, I can now hang my hat on. She is gone. She is not a missing person. I am one of the lucky ones who do get to say this, as I know so many who do not. People go missing all the time. Some stories make the news. Some don’t. Of course I can move on now, I had to start ‘moving on’ years ago. Now i just don’t have some far off hope of her moving in with me when we find her or something.
So there you have it. The story of Ma, as told through her first-born child and #1 fan.
Anne Elizabeth White
Born March 21, 1945
Missing February 6, 1999
Found deceased May 9, 2005
Teacher, childrens story-teller, dancer, actress, mom, daughter, sister, best friend.
Happy Birthday ma. I love you.
(the words are from her classroom, laminated wisdom that used to hang all around her classroom)