Thursday, November 12, 2009

Altering Affection

Someone once said we all grieve differently. We all feel differently. And until the other day I didn't realize we all love differently.

I had one of the biggest epiphanies of my life.

For the past nine years I have beat myself up regretting that I didn't show love to my mother enough. I was so angry at myself for not hanging on her, not telling her more, not showering her with love every single day. Until the other day I realized something. People have always told me that my mother and I were so funny together. They said we just showed love. We laughed and we had fun. You see, I am so frozen still at times that I don't remember some of those times. People may think with such a blow like that you grieve all at once, but though it might seem like a lifetime ago... it is also still like yesterday. The ice melts a little at a time. Maybe never melting because it is your own way of protecting yourself. Here is where I come into my epiphany...

I noticed that Nick and I love to joke around... We are not touchy feely and we do not hang on one another. Now we both have our moments, but overall we are just not that way. I have never been that way. I enjoy hugging and touching at certain times, but somehow I am weirdly just not very touchy. And sometimes he will jokingly put his arms around me and cuddle me and I throw him off, but in a laughing matter... It's funny at the time... I had a flashback of me doing this to my mother. When Nick and I are truly annoyed with one another we don't joke and if he hugged me and I threw him off of me in that time he would genuinely be hurt... I realized I joke and do these things by showing my affection. My affection is truly shown with laughter and love and good hearted jabs. Brenda laughs that Dad and I slap and hit and say it is a "love pat." To me... it is! My Dad and Mom are/ were both touchy and huggy, but I think it is something Dad had to learn the way I have had to... You go through so much and realize the love in human touch. I have become much more touchy as I have gotten older. People laugh at my tight hugs... but, I know what it means to give a hug that MEANS something instead of just a squeeze. When I show love in that way I truly mean it.

I showed my mother love in my own way. I know she was my hero. I remember doing things here and there that showed her my love. I remember one Christmas when I could actually buy things with my money I bought her this Gap sweatshirt and I was thrilled just to see her smile. I spent all the money I had on it! I made her videos and cried when she was sick on the couch with her stomach problems. I truly truly deeply loved her and I think somehow she knew that. I do not in any way condone my behavior that I didn't tell her more and that I didn't take more pictures with her or spend more time when I should have as a selfish teenager, but I do know I showed her love. I didn't realize my fun way of running down the hall shouting, "Mumsies, where are you?," and grabbing her in a bear hug laughing were my way of wrapping my arms around her telling her she was the best mother in the world.

I realize if I was in a relationship where the man loved on me constantly, gave me roses every day, bought me present after present... and yes, I have dated some of those... I walk all over them. I like that Nick pops up out of the blue with gifts, gives me roses out of his garden on a random day, holds my hand when he is really excited, gives me presents that he thinks I will really enjoy (ummm like Aloe Vera lotion for after sun exposure... sure sure, men don't know gifts!)... Seriously, he will surprise me with dinner or send me a funny text... but, it isn't all of the time and he likes to surprise me. I do the same thing trying to show my affection. My burned meal where I threw crazy ingredients together is my heart and soul. My mowing Nick's lawn in the 100 degree heat is my blood and guts. We all show love in different ways.

My best friend, Chandra and I are both like this. We are soul sisters and I love her more than just about any of my friends. We don't hug much. We laugh about it. It is always as if no time has passed when we see one another and we forget to hug. Yet the night Mom died she was there with her arms around me all night. When she went through some tough times I was right there at 2 AM letting her cry in my arms. We try to be pretty tough and we show love in the same way, but we both know. We just know.

So I realize after nightmares of nine years of Mom being angry at me... the other night she was leaving me to party... my mother never drank... I figured out it was my guilt. Of course... I knew that. But, I realized it was what I thought I had done to her. I wanted my friends more than her. But, I was selfish and I was so young. One day I hope to totally forgive myself. You would think time would heal it all, but there are things we have to learn as we mature and we may never truly understand them. For now I know I did show her love. In my own way. Now I know to show love as much as I can with hugs and words and actions... but, I'm still not as soft and comforting as some are with their love. Maybe that's just me...

Just know if I joke with you; If I slap you on the arm with laughter; If I make you a corny video montage of our friendship; If I conjure up crazy comebacks to your Facebook statuses; If I put my arm around you quickly; If I spend hours thinking of you a birthday card; If I tell you about my bridesmaid and pallbearer list; If I bake you doughy cookies and eveb if I just don't say the words enough... I love you.


Paige said...

Your mom knew without a doubt your love for her. Mom's just know. Don't feel guilty for one second about the person you are and how you show love. I am the same way. I hate physical affection and Zach loves it so it's something I have to compromise on. Everything about you that makes you Julie is great, your mom knew it and everyone else knows it too. :)

Di said...

Julie Bulie I LOVE YOU!

Laura said...

:) That's awesome. I personally am physically affectionate towards the people I love, but I also slap Aaron around a lot. He likes it. LOL :)

Meegan said...

This is a beautiful post. I love it. And I totally understand it. Hope you are doing great !!