I know how crazy that sounds—I don’t believe in reincarnation, and even if I did, my mom would never come back as a dragonfly or an insect of any kind, for that matter. She’d come back as a mighty lioness or a beautiful dolphin or Sophia Loren. And I was angry with myself for even having this thought.
But I realized that I was simply desperate to feel that Mom is with me in some way, that she hovers somewhere close by watching over me, that she’s STILL HERE. Because despite what others say (i.e. “She’s with you, Janis. She’s within you, Janis”), and whether or not what they say is true, Mom is NOT HERE. I can’t give her a hug. I can’t hear her musical laugh. I can’t receive from her the advice and wisdom I need. I can’t make her smile or listen to her sing a bawdy British drinking song or shake up a martini for her to enjoy. I can’t hold her hand and watch Bones with her.
And, quite frankly, that sucks.
My son, who is ten, often tells me that he will love me and need me forever. (And, furthermore, he says he is never moving out—gulp!) And I know that he means what he says. Because we do love and need our moms forever. I need my mom now, probably more than I ever did, as I try to navigate middle age and motherhood and menopause. I am constantly questioning my choices and worrying about my decisions and ruing my hormone-challenged, ever-changing (and not for the better) body.
If Mom were here, I know what she would say. She’d say, “Janis, you are wonderful. You’re doing a terrific job. I’m so proud of you.”
And maybe knowing what Mom would say to me is the way in which she IS HERE. And although it’s not enough, it’ll have to do for now.
Until the next dragonfly comes along.