Friday In The Garden


I've had these sunflowers a week and they're still beautiful. The sun is shining today. But at night I end up having to turn the heater on still. Strange weather. 


My day started by having to go get fasting blood taken. Typical stuff. The dogs aren't accustomed to me being gone two days in a row. Then I ended up having to go out again. 

Then I came out of a store and someone had hit me in the parking lot and dinged up my front fender. Of course they were long gone. 

The jail birds have flown the coop twice today. Well, Abi ran out the door around my boot twice. Charlie once. I was lucky the second time because Abi shot off like a rocket and Charlie my next door neighbor was outside. He saw me struggling with boxes. And so Charlie ended up catching Charlie Ross.


I know some people find irises rather plain Janes, but I adore them. They look to me like they're wearing ball gowns and going out to party. Delicate and curvy and brilliantly shaded in the deepest of purples.

I love my patio space. I love planting flowers and looking out the window at them. I love standing at the patio door at night and gazing at them as darkness falls. This little piece of heaven out there is just right for me. It makes me smile. 

I feel like I've been smiling a lot more lately. Not sure if it's just the "finally got moved in" feeling you get at the end of a long packing and sorting and pitching things relocation. Or it's just being in a different house. (Sometimes I felt like the little blue house was, well, haunted or something. Had strange vibes.) Bad luck seemed to ensue there. Bad blood. Just somehow bad. 

(Daisies ready to burst forth.)
I had to go over there today because some boxes from Walmart somehow ended up being delivered there. My daughter was there. I was apprehensive all the way over. But we had a nice chat. 

I don't know how to describe my feelings about that. A myriad of emotions swept over me. I wanted so badly to shove this "need to act like near strangers" thing out of the way, and just let my feelings for her out. She is my daughter and I love her. And I don't know what's going on. But still, whatever it is, I am her mother and I just want this bad blood gone and I want to hug her thin shoulders.

And that makes me so sad because of the things we are missing out on. And the time we are losing that we will never ever get back. 

I just don't know how things got so out of control and ended up like this. But I am one of those people that just wants to get the tools out and fix it. 

And so I sit here crying and looking out my window at the patio because I was near, but yet so far. 


I wanted all the stuff to just go away and hear her laugh. She has a wonderful laugh. And I haven't heard it in a very long time. I haven't seen her smile. I haven't seen her happy. And that makes me unhappy too.

I talked about it with my doctor yesterday. And she kept telling me: "You're in a different place and you need to let it go.  You can't change it. All you can do is let it go."

But how do you let go a little cherub of a child with curly reddish blond hair that always managed to say something delightfully funny? How do you erase memories and worst of all, perhaps never get the chance to make new ones? 

I feel like I will just cry forever over this. "You have to let it go," she kept repeating. "But why?" I wanted to ask her. What is so wrong that she can't just sit down and let it spill and we could get it out of the way and move on? But move on together. 


When I moved here, I envisioned something so very different.  It didn't occur to me that that would not happen. It never occurred to me that I'd fall and it would be life-altering. Or that she'd put up this wall and find such fault with me she'd never take it down. 

I don't like oblique references and silence between people who should love one another, and a vault that you have to put all your feelings and memories into and lock them up in a dark place.


I didn't have to knock on the door where she was inside working alone. I just couldn't stop myself from doing so. I just wanted to see her. 

The curly reddish blond hair is gone and her face is taut with something I can't decipher.

But I just wanted to see her.

And then after a brief but amicable chat she went back inside and I started to drive away. After just a block or so, I turned around and went back. I'd thought up something else important enough for an excuse to go back. I knocked on the door and she came to answer it. So strange. It use to be me in there and her out here. 

I gave her the bit of information that I didn't need to go back to tell her. I couldn't help myself. I had to look at her again before I put that glimpse of her back in the dark vault and locked it shut.

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88 comments

  1. Oh Brenda. I lost my mom this last year. She was so young and I am too young to be without her. It isn't fair. I don't know the circumstances but you always need your mom. I will pray for you two. My mom and I only argued over 1 main subject, my brother, who met his death just 2 short months ago. My heart aches everyday for both of them. You reached out and that is what's important. You can't forget something you created.... I'm sure she reads your blog....I would!!!

    Many Hugs,

    Valerie
    Cottage Making Mommy
    www.lovingmyheartandhome.blogspot.com

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    1. No, she doesn't like to read. She doesn't read it.

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  2. Brenda...it's easy for outsiders to say 'let it go'...you don't have to let it go if you don't want too...if you feel like telling your daughter that you love and miss her I think that would be wonderful!!! It could change everything! I don't know the history with what is causing the silence between yall...but what if those three little words changed the whole outcome? I lost my mom in 2004 to breast cancer...on May 18, 2009 I was diagnosed with stage III-B Invasive lobular carcinoma (breast cancer)...I know first hand how short life is...don't hesitate if you want her to know how you feel! I say go for it! I will be praying about this! I love your blog and I love you! Doesn't it feel awesome to hear that? I mean it! =)

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    1. I have done that. She doesn't respond. I have written to her, told her that I love her. She doesn't respond. I'm not even sure what happened. She says we just don't get along and she wants only minimal contact. Minimal contact. We are three grown women, me, my two daughters, that just don't get along. I have issues I'm fully aware of, and I apologize and I tell them I love them. I don't know what else to do.

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    2. Well..then you have done all you can do...I have a better understanding of why you moved now! I'm praying that one day it will all be worked out...until then...keep blogging, gardening and being you! Much love to you my friend!

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    3. I realize I'm new here, but I just needed to say - It hurts. There are no words to explain the pain of a mother and daughter riff. My mother hasn't spoken to me in 3 years. I have begged, I have prayed-will never stop doing this, I have volunteered to accept blame for things I haven't done. Why? Because she is my MaMa. But I have finally gotten to a place where my door is open and will never close, but I have no control over some one else's journeyso I'm in a place of acceptance. I've decided that perhaps this is a journey she needs to take alone. I am an only child and my dad is gone, so other than my daughter and my grandchildren I too am alone without her, but it must be the way it was meant to be. I love her, but sometimes you just have to love folks from a distance. Sad, hurtful, yet true. Do what helps you sleep at night.

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  3. when your doctor told you "to let go" she should have added "and let God". my father and I (all of his children) had a rocky relationship. after my mom passed away my thought was- how am I going to have a "normal" relationship with my father? well, after many, many prayers our relationship changed. God answered my prayers and allowed me to get to see my dad in a whole new light. we had two great years as father and daughter and I am forever thankful for them. keep praying and I will too.....soon enough you will have the mother /daughter relationship that's best for you.

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    1. I don't know. Maybe this is what's best for us. Maybe I'm just too emotional to realize it.

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  4. I know your feelings well..

    so very sorry Brenda , truly I am..There's no way to put into words the pain in a Mothers heart about a child, still alive, and yet Lost to her.
    writing you an email.

    Sonny

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  5. Oh Dear Brenda, my heart goes out to you. And no one can bring tears to my eyes like you can. If the deepest part of your heart says go for it, I say reach out to your daughters. Only your heart can guide you as to what you should do. Whatever you choose to do, please know that my heart goes with you. Thinking of you...

    Love from Gayle

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    1. I did try. A long email a few weeks ago. She just doesn't want me in her life. I have to respect that.

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  6. I lost my mother last August to lung cancer. Can you send a letter to her..or this pistol..saying just what you told us? It is beautiful. It is real, it is love, and life. Do not let it go. It is not an IT. This is your daughter.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your mother. Not even a year yet. I have sent her a letter. She's going through something. She's unhappy. She won't let me in.

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  7. I meant post, not pistol..this iPad is maddening.

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  8. I can so relate to someone saying to me, just let it go! Whatever does that mean anyways, how do I let it go, why should I or why do I have to? I don't let it go, but I strive for letting it "settled" down, down down. To a place where I know it is there, but not forgotten, but not remember either. but it's down there safely, and when I need to I will pull it back up. I hope you can find your "settling" place, and hopefully someone day you will bring it back up and it can be settled.

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    1. I thought I was "settled" but all it takes is for me to see her or hear her, and I'm unsettled all over again. I'll be fine. I'm happy here. I'm just still a mother. Maybe not a good one. Maybe not good enough.

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  9. I am wondering if what the doctor meant by "let it go" is "accept her as she is"...you don't need to ever give up on the relationship. I had to accept someone as they are and not be hurt by them all the time, just for my own sanity. I found we were able to move on and we have a better relationship now. I hope you and your daughter can come together again...xo

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    1. Yes, that's what she meant. She said I was just going over it and over it and nothing was changing but me making myself miserable over it. Mental health is the compelling voice of my doctor. She just doesn't want to see me tumbling down. And I'm not. I'm doing much better really. Maybe someday.

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  10. Hauntingly sad post Brenda. I pray for you and your daughter and somehow the healing will happen. I am so glad you are in a different home now and I sense more peace for you there. It is hard to let it go and it's sometimes the why should I?? I think it's important not to let it take over your life, but never give up on your child.
    Wishing you Peace,
    Linda

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    1. That's what she meant, not let it eclipse happiness.

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  11. you tried - maybe let it rest awhile and try again it is all you can do - we never stop loving our children no matter what the rift is between us

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  12. My heart breaks for you Brenda, Is this why you moved, t think this might help though, I am praying that this between your daughters can be mended, my Mom made some mistakes in her past and I was mad at her for a little while but I worked it out she is 85 now and I can't stand the thought that she might not be here one day just to talk to her put my head in her lap and her tell me everything well be okay, life is so short you should be enjoying life with your girls and grand's, love you Brenda wish there was something I could do for you.

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    1. Yes, this is why I moved. I needed to be out of her house so I could find some form of peace.

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  13. I am going thru this with my daughter in law, my son, and my sister. I moved up here to be with my family. But they changed when I got moved in and settled. My sister hasn't given me the time of day in many many years but she lives back where I came from. It is so hard. IT IS SO HARD. They give me the boot, ignore me... I do and do. Keep my grandson when they ask because it is the only time I get to see him. Offer this and that. I try but she is not giving an inch. All the manicures, pedicures, groceries..... things I have done for her...... now I am nothing more than a .... well cant think of anything to compare. My son is distant. He helps me when I need things done and broke down. I am grateful for that. I just be nice and go on my way. I turn the other cheek so many times..... so many times. My parents are gone. My daughter lives 4 hours away. I hope someday your relationship with your daughter can mend. I really do. Some people are so stubborn. Life is too short. I am so sorry and I feel your pain. love the pictures today. Kendra

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    1. Remember, I told you it probably wasn't a good idea. But I understood why you had to move there. You have to stop giving if it is never reciprocated. That is what is heartbreaking and you deserve better than that.

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    2. I have it the other way around. My mother-in-law is a hoarder. She moved to a retirement community close to us. I had hopef now that she lives close by she would be more interested in our kids. Nothing: so many times I called for field day, graduations, bdays - nothing. Only interested if I can stop by and do things for her. We would go and visit her 10 hours away from here... I would have to prepare dinner, making the beds etc after ten hours drive... After all that trying and be helpful I came to the conclusion she cannot give... there is nothing there. So I am distancing myself from her. I am getting exhaused... Brenda, as sad it is, give her her space... you are only exhausting yourself emotionally. I think we cannot force people to be in our life, even if it is family. You webt thru tough times now surround yourself with people who appreciate you, are good for you... you have to heal too!!!

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  14. What a heart-wrenching post to read. Brenda. We lost 10 years with our oldest son this way. The door did not even crack open until something brought him to his knees. It has been almost 3 years now and we have made up for some lost time-but there are relations with the grandchildren that will probably never be mended-we missed their childhood. So sad.

    Have you tried writing your daughter an honest letter? Sometimes that is easier than trying to talk-you can rearrange the words without your voice giving you away....and say what you mean rather than getting emotional about it. Your daughter needs YOU , too...she just doesn't realize it right at this point in her life. xo Diana

    ps. GREAT pictures!!!!

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    1. Yes, I've written her several letters. I think she is very unhappy in other parts of her life, and she doesn't know what to do. And living in unhappiness is draining. She told me not too awful long ago that she just can't feel anymore.

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  15. I can feel your pain through your post...I am so sorry you're going through this with your daughter. It's so sad. I have an estranged relationship with my sister, but it's nothing compared to the relationship between a mother and her child. On a happier note, I'm so glad you love your patio and plants and that you are smiling more in your new place.

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    1. From my writing about this, I get so many emails from others going through a very similar situation. And it is good to talk about it with others who know what you feel and mean. At least I have not lost my child completely, as you did. I can't imagine what kind of pain that is, Melanie. I know you miss him very much and always will.

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  16. Maybe your daughters are not happy because they see their mother isn't happy...maybe they are blaming themselves for your life being alone and not being able to help you more??? words that come from the heart are never wasted...I wonder if you knew your daughter did read your blog would you of said the same words? sometimes its easier to say how you feel when you know the person you are meaning it for won't read it anyway....good therapy for you but isn't beneficial for your daughter...heartfelt emotion is always better coming across in words than in a letter...I will pray for you and your daughters..Take care Brenda!! Love you!! xoxo Carol

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    1. I have let them know I love them very much. I am feeling so much happier now since I moved. It was so liberating. Something is wrong, but she is pushing me away. She doesn't want me to interfere with whatever it is. Yes, I would have said exactly the same things. I don't regret a word. Because if she read it, she would know that I love and miss her. Something is causing her to hold it all in.

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  17. I hope that someday things will change and you will have a happier relationship with your daughter. It is possible that it's more to do with her life than anything to do with you ... maybe just give it some time and space. Then try again. Time changes many things. Don't be too hard on yourself, it sounds like you've done what you can for now.

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    1. That's what my doctor was saying: Don't beat yourself up continually. It will rob you of future happiness.

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  18. Brenda . . . I am the mother of one son, whom I have loved with all of my heart. Son is married with two darling little girls. My husband (his father) and I have painfully had to learn to "back off" and invest only as much as he invests with us. Yesterday I read a phrase that described it well . . . "Sometimes you have to give up on someone, not because you don't care, but because they don't." That about describes it. I "divest" because I need to be thankful for what I have in my life and I can't spend my remaining years grieving and longing for what I don't have. Breaks my heart, but it's the way it is.

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    1. I shall remember that bit of sage wisdom. It is so full of truth and learning to accept.

      "Sometimes you have to give up on someone, not because you don't care, but because they don't."

      That sums it up succinctly and accurately, doesn't it?

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  19. Could your daughter be suffering from depression and in need of medication?

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    1. She saw a therapist for a short time, was put on medication. But she went off of it about six months ago. Yes, I think you're right. Depression and/or something else. I explained to her over and over that it isn't someone's fault to be depressed or feel like something is wrong. Our genetic pool is full of it. I have been on anti depressants since I was 26, such a long time ago. I have accepted that with it I will float along fairly well. And without it I will eventually plummet to a dark place. I am very supportive of the need for medication and/or therapy. Her father is against it. But yet he is one of the most depressed people I have ever known.

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  20. Brenda, I can understand your feelings. I don't have the relationship I should with my daughter, either, but we do talk and I see her. I'm probably just the babysitter in her eyes but I know one day she will open her eyes. I don't know if you pray, or not, but God can heal every broken heart, relationship, and hurt. Cry out to Him, pray for you daughter, and then give her over to Him. The best thing we can do for our children...and ourselves...is to pray for them and ourselves. I would have to say, your daughter has problems not related to you but since you are Mom, you get the backlash. Very unfortunate but it seems that is how it happens. I know just as well when my daughter is having a bad day. Her and I will butt heads over the smallest thing. When she isn't stressed, we are able to stay in the same room with each other, for a bit. Brenda, I will be praying for you and your daughter.

    Grace & Peace,
    Pam

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    1. Sounds pretty accurate. You were so kind to help me move. Please call and come over so we can have some girl time. Don't know how I'll ever repay you for your son's broad shoulders!

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    2. I truly enjoyed meeting you and helping out. My son has a servant's heart. No repayment necessary. He is a heck of a man, if I do say so myself! ;-) I am such a home body, I don't go anywhere, much, but I am so looking forward to visiting with you. Love what you have done with the place! Mine doesn't look no where near that way and I've been here seven years! Took me three years to put anything on the walls! I was waiting for it to become "home" but finally decided it would never feel like that, so I put a few pictures on the wall and slowly, little by little, it began to feel comfortable if not like home. I love my little cottage now but there is still so much to do. UGH!

      Grace & Peace,

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  21. This is a very sad situation and certainly it never turned out the way you thought it would when you moved there. It's so hard to comprehend what makes them so angry and change so much. You know in your heart of hearts, Brenda, you've done all you can to mend the relationship. Maybe one day she will change and things will be different. I think you did the best thing for yourself by moving. We can all hear it via the internet how much you are enjoying your new space and your patio. I remember your beautiful patio you had in Texas, and something tells me this one is going to surpass that one by a long shot! Can't wait to see more pictures. Wait for a year, it will be amazing when everything has settled in and grown, grown, grown!

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    1. Oh, I felt such joy out there planting yesterday. I lose myself in the tucking in of roots and making sure they're watered. It's funny, Annette, I never plan to write about this. I truly sat down and began to write a gardening post. And then it somehow morphed into something else. I think I am just pretty transparent about my feelings and they come out no matter of my original intentions. I guess that's just who I am and I have to accept that I can't stand behind a pretty vignette. I am just too real. And for a lot of folks, that may be too much reality.

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  22. My thoughts are very similar to what Navigating Northward said. From what I've read here, it sounds like your daughter is very troubled and it more than likely is something she has got to figure out on her own. I do know some people just close themselves off from even their loved ones when they are unhappy. I would just let her know from time to time that she is loved and you are there for her whenever she feels like visiting and then just give her that time. Hopefully it won't be too long. I know as a mother you want to fix it right now because you love her so much, but she sounds like a person who withdraws and maybe doesn't want advice if there is a problem because she'll hear something she is not wanting to hear. Just a thought. She knows you love her, hopefully she'll soon realize she needs you in her life, too, as you need her. In the meantime, keep on keeping on being happy in your new home with the pupsters. I'll bet your patio is looking better than mine! You're a fast worker and I'm slow as a turtle. :) I hope to get some planting of pots done tomorrow. It's supposed to be warmer. The weather has been too chilly or wet the last few days for me to want to work outside! Take care and have a nice weekend! ~Cheryl

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    1. I wish I could be slow as a turtle and I wouldn't have so many aches and pains! Your words are very true. And they give me hope.

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  23. Brenda so sad to read this post. I hsve read your blog for a long time and was hoping your move would help your situation with your daughter. I didn't realize you didnt see your other daughter. Maybe they influence each other on the situation with you ? If not, maybe the other daughter can help work this out? Like others have said, maybe this has nothing to do with you but rather other issues in her life that have nothing to do with you. Turn your burdens over to God who can work miracles. Every morning I read Jesus Calling which gives me so much peace for the day. Prayers and hugs to you.
    Karen in Texas

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    1. The other daughter lives out of town, and yes, is highly influenced by her older sister. I know I too am at fault. I admit that over and over again. I don't even care if there is an apology in there anymore. I just want some sort of relationship, whatever that is. You know, as a mother you blame yourself. And I especially do because I didn't have a mother and figure I did so much wrong that can't be fixed. I know I too can say nasty things. I just wish we could get past it and move on.

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  24. Brenda, as I was reading what your doctor was telling you, I was saying, "No! No! Don't let it go!" I see in the comments that you have tried writing her. Maybe just continue to write to her now and then to keep letting you know you love her. Open the door to letting her tell you why she has put distance between you. I feel that there is always the chance that something within her can change...you just never know what will cause it, or when, but she needs to know that you are there with open arms when she is ready. I have cousins who did not speak to their daughter for years. They are so close now. It can happen Brenda, it really can. Don't lost hope. I'm glad your new home is bringing you some happiness.

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    1. She was telling me to let it go now so I could be happy and enjoy my new home and not just cry daily over it. Her job is to look out for my mental health. She is just trying to keep me from falling back into that deep black hole. And you need support systems for that. I have Judy, bless her soul, who when she came to my door over two years ago to meet me, had no idea what she was in for!

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  25. What a sad post. My heart bleeds for you both. I agree with Mary. It could be your daughter is depressed. I had a fall out with my brother over something very trivial and it took my dad's death for my brother to realise how precious family is. I hope your daughter can work through her unhappiness and depression and come back to the fold.

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    1. I think she has to resolve the reason why she is so unhappy, which really has nothing to do with me. Then maybe she can see the forest for the trees. Problem is, she can't seem to find a way out of it. And so she feels mired down in something that she wakes up to every day. And can't find an answer for. And that has made her pull her feelings back from everyone. Not just me.

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  26. Hi Brenda...skimming through comments and your replies I see that you have written and reached out already. Don't have it 'all or nothing' as in...perhaps in a few weeks just send a note inviting her and the kids over for a lunch. Or she could drop the kids and come back in a hour or so. If she doesn't respond or turns it down, wait a month and ask again. Perhaps she'll turn you down for months on end and then one month something will be different in her life / mood / thoughts/ heart....and she'll accept.

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  27. I'm no expert, so for what it's worth, what I have found would back up your counselor's advice.
    If there is to be a relationship in your future, it may only happen if you let what you want go and accept what comes to you.
    If there is not to be a relationship in your future, you will be healthier if you let it go, rather than being stuck in your quagmire.
    AND letting it go is a process. It is not a comfortable process. It is a worthwhile process.

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    1. Yes, that is pretty much what she was telling me. That I have no power over something, and thus I have to let it go to be happy in my every day life. We never know how much time we have on earth. We shouldn't waste it on being sad over something we can't change. What is the old saying about knowing what you can change and what you can't, and having the wisdom to know the difference?

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  28. Your post is heart wrenching, Brenda. Your pain comes through the words so clearly. My husband experienced what you have written with one of his adult children, and nothing he did or said could bridge the chasm between them. Nothing. He chose to love this angry child in spite of all the hateful, cruel words that were spoken and written to him, and to never close the door on their relationship. We prayed daily -- sometimes 3x daily -- for this child and asked God to heal the relationship. For 3 years we cried and questioned and wondered how this happened, but always we left it in God's hands and left the door open. Just recently things have started to change. This child is reaching out with very, very brief phone calls, and we are responding in love. Not rushing in; just giving this child lots and lots of space and assurance of our love. The relationship between parent and child is fragile, and when something like what you are going through happens we are full of doubt and questions about our parenting skills. And we grieve and cry desperate tears. Some times, Brenda, it is not anything we did or didn't do. It's something that child is going through that's not about us at all, however we get the brunt of their unhappiness. I'm so glad you have your pretty garden to enjoy and make you smile. Enjoy it. Breathe in the beauty of each day and find joy in your sweet pupsters and making your new place a home. Perhaps the best thing you can do for your daughter and your relationship with her is simply to be content with your own life and live joyfully. I'll keep you and your daughter in my prayers. Gentle hugs ~ Nancy

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    1. You sound so wise. I don't know, but when someone is going through something that is hard, they tend to blame their mother. For their mother says she wants to help, and thus it weakens the hardness just a bit, for it is your mother. And she can't have that right now. I have offered help in a multitude of ways. She just moves farther away. Like she is afraid I will pull out the stick that is holding up her entire house with my saying loving things she just can't bear to hear right now. I just want her to be okay.

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  29. I am so sorry.
    It sounds like your girl is in a bad place right now. Hopefully things will be better one day.
    I'm glad that you were able to get a fresh start. Your new place looks lovely, and I know you will enjoy the patio.
    I have been reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, and it has helped me be more thankful for the blessings that I do have. I had been focusing too much on everything that I have lost.

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    1. For half of my life, I looked at the glass as half full. Then I started digging my hands in the dirt and watching things grow underneath my care, and I felt one with nature. It truly is my therapy. My doctor asked how I felt percentage-wise, and I said 90%. I think that was a surprise, for I've never said that. I know my writing this doesn't sound 90%, but I have to let my feelings flow through my words, and then I can see them and grasp them and put them in perspective. I can let myself feel because I know I will be okay. Does that make sense?

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  30. This generation is different for some reason, not all but I thought as I grew older I would get a little more respect but it seems it is all about them. Probably doesn't make sense but my DIL she doesn't speak to her sister or her mother for years, I don't understand that. She didn't speak to me for years and then I wrote a letter and now she is polite. One thing I have learned, be independent and try not to rely on other people unless necessary. I am so glad you had some help with your move. Enjoy your garden and the small things in life, family can get so complicated. Friends are there but since I moved from NY - friends are not the same here. The sun is shining today and I am very happy.

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    1. Well, even though the friends are not the same, you can still say the sun is shining today and I am very happy. That takes fortitude. It was when it looked like I needed them that they pushed away. I think that is somehow part of this generation. The "I don't want to have to take care of you, and if we're estranged, I won't be asked" generation. I know this sounds old-fashioned, but I think all the video games and such they are given at a young age make them think like robots. Nothing on that screen is real, and thus what is reality?

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  31. Brenda, You have two daughters. Are they both at odds with you? It sounds to me that the one daughter that owns the house is having huge problems with depression. Is her marriage in trouble? That's my first thought. Is the other daughter having issues in defense of her sister? Or does she have a "valid" complaint?
    Here is a tough thing that I feel I must say, and all I ask is for you not to just reject the idea immediately, but to slowly and thoughtfully consider it. Your ex-husband. He is still a parent to these two girls. As you are. That is something that will forever join the two of you....no matter the animosity you feel toward each other. Ask him if he knows or is aware of the pain his daughter is in. He may know or he may not, but is also cut out of her life. And I am sorry, but if t his is the case it is time for an intervention before this child does something to herself and or others.
    I will keep you in my prayers Brenda. I pray that God will reveal to you the answers you are searching for..

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    1. Actually he is not their father. I will freely admit that I have issues that are hard for my children. And when that comes up, I apologize. The younger daughter, she does tend to side with the older one. Yet it is my inability to not always say the brutal truth that primarily has sent her away. You say things and you can't take them back. I felt it was selfish to have her baby and then go back to work. I am against that. I have seen too much in my days of researching and writing articles, and I believe a child should be able to at least talk before being subjected to the care of strangers. I feel that if you want a child, give them your all and have your career based at home until they are a little older. We butted heads on this and some other things. Because I do tend to say exactly what I'm thinking. And not edit. I read once that mothers and daughters should primarily communicate by email, for their relationships are fraught with tension to start with.

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  32. Hi Brenda, I have been reading your blog for about a month now. I love your sincerity and your honestly in your emotions. If you were my neighbor, I would love you to pieces! We have a situation in our family that is very similar....we have a sister that doesn't see us or communicate except once a year....then indifferent to all the family. We do not know what caused this drift or what is going on. She doesn't see or talk to my Mother and she is 91 and hurts her terribly. We can't figure her out or what happened. We just love her and be kind to her when we see her and try not to ask many questions. We don't even know her address! I agree that like your daughter, she has some deep issues that she is not discussing. We pray someday that she opens up to us and comes back to the family but until then...it is what it is.
    Hugs to you and glad you are finding some peace in your new home. Debbie

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    1. I think that people who are hurting know that their primary family evokes the most emotions in them, good and bad. And they put up this wall, a wall they think that family might be able to penetrate due to history alone. And if that is what makes them feel safe during their troubles, then I guess we have to look at that wall.

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    2. Thank you! Your words are so true! I pray those walls come down someday for both of us. :)

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  33. I am sorry to hear of this trouble, Brenda. Have you tried having a confidential one-on-one conversation with your son-in-law to find what the cause of the problem is? It is very sad when our children do not love and respect us as we wish they would. My relationship with my own daughter is tolerable at best. We are two very different people with different values and ways of looking at the world, so even though we get along most of the time we stay somewhat distant to keep the peace (and we live in the same house because she is still in school and I am supporting her and the grandson). When we have had arguments it really tears me up inside. Yes, we usually are both at fault, too. Usually we just don't talk to each other for awhile and things cool down. Maybe if you just offer to babysit every now and then and leave it at that. Just as everyone else has already stated, it may be she has her own demons and nothing to do with you. Most of us do not have the Norman Rockwell family that we imagine we should. My husband has two estranged adult children that have not had contact with him in over 18 years. We don't even know the reason why but think that the xwife poisoned their minds since they were children. He has accepted it but still loves them from afar. In the meanwhile just go on with your life and your friends, perhaps one day it will change. Moving was probably the best thing you could do. I am glad you are enjoying your patio, I am anxious to see all the things you do with it. Nature really is healing, isn't she?

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    1. Yes, I had a one on one conversation at my other house with my son-in-law last fall. He is torn up too, or was at that time. Therein seems to lie the primary problem. And I won't go into that. I don't see how you live in the same house! Pat yourself on the back!

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    2. I wanted to add, I love him to pieces. He is a wonderful man and loving man.

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  34. P.S. By the way, I agree, the Mother always gets the blame. I know I sure do! haha

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  35. Sometimes all you can do is be patient and wait it out. And be ready to welcome her on anytime she indicates a change of heart, a desire to rekindle the relationship you once had. Been there with both my sons and waited it out. It was an extremely painful time for me but well worth it in the long run. And I was blessed with a wonderful loving relationship with my son who passed away last June and am enjoying a wonderful close relationship with his younger brother now. Being a parent is hard -- often very hard; just be there when she needs you for any reason -- it will be worth it.

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    1. I'm so sorry you lost your son! My goodness, not even a year ago. At least you found peace and love with him at the end. At least you have those memories.

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  36. I totally get how you feel. You were doing so well. All it takes is that encounter to stir the emotions. She does love you but she can't show it right now. Same with you younger daughter. Voicing you opinion over the baby was a pretty common argument. You blame yourself too much. You have done everything you can. Maybe just every so often send them both a card that says " I'm here if you need me." Don't apologise any more. Maybe that feeds into their blaming you. Make a new start. You have made changes and going forward. Maybe they will eventually the light bulb will go on and they will change. You didn't mention the grandchildren. I know that must hurt even worse. My advice is to keep doing things that make you smile. You also are a comfort to many others and we aren't shutting doors in your face. Send that card once in awhile ......maybe for Mother's day. Hugs

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  37. Praying for you and your daughter: for healing, peace in the waiting, His holding your heart, little places where you can see His fingerprints, and hope.

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  38. Wow, powerful entry! I am not going to read any other comments till I make mine. I am so sad that your daughter won't look into your heart. She must be hurting as badly as you are, she must regret her coldness to her Mother. I am joyful that you are smiling! I feel and see the love you are experiencing in your new home. You sound free, young, busy, encouraged about the now and the future. I pray for resolution in the family.

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  39. Hi Brenda. It sounds like you have done all the right things -- you've reached out in writing and in person, you've had a talk with your son-in-law, and you've done the huge step of moving out of the little blue house and have given your daughter lots of space. I think it will end up being positive for your relationship that you moved to another place in town rather than making a move back to Texas. Since you are still in town, there will be more opportunity for you and your daughter to slowly develop a more amicable relationship. I hope and pray that's the case. In the meantime, you are developing a lovely, peaceful home in which to find comfort.

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  40. I have been estranged from my identical twin sister for six years. Frankly, I just couldn't take it anymore, and for my own mental health, I backed off. I know that this is very different from a child. But in my case, I do feel so much more peace and much less anxiety in my life, so I know that I made the right decision. I don't know if there can ever be a reconciliation. We all feel that family should be the ones we cling to, but blood relations don't necessarily make this a given. That's why it is often said, "Friends are the relatives that you choose."

    I don't believe that others should be allowed to steal our joy, even our beloved children. We must live the lives that God has planned for us. Since I was 19, I have walked by faith in Jesus, not by sight. His love has helped to fill all those empty places in my heart that I have experienced as a mere mortal! Be kind and loving to your daughter, but live your life with dignity, emotional objectivity (inasmuch as possible!) and purpose. Learn to practice peace and joy. Be kind to yourself and trust the rest to God. There's power in that, Brenda!

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  41. My heart goes out to Brenda. As I read over your post my first thought was your daughter is more than likely having problems that are just too overwhelming for her right now. Maybe there are problems in her marriage? It is good that you are writing to her, tell her that you will always be available to her no matter what. Knit a sweater for your sweet granddaughter and in your next letter mention that to your daughter. And whenever she is ready to pick it up, it will be there. You'll be surprised how secure that feeling will be to both of you. A connection. Big hug, Diane

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  42. Brenda,

    Your post started out so positive...you are in a good place physically and for the most part mentally, and then you went back to the blue house and your daughter and it all went downhill from there. You were faced with "yesterday" when you were there. The old house that isn't your home anymore and your daughter, who doesn't want a relationship anymore. Of course that hurts like hell. Now imagine it is a year from now...you are settled in, know your neighbors, have spent 4 seasons gardening, decorating, celebrating holidays, hanging with Judy, and out of nowhere, you have to make a trip to the blue house. Your daughter is there. Can you see it with a different focus? Do you feel a little lighter? Does she look as if she's happy to see you, maybe missed you? What I'm trying to say is that so many things take time to work out. We are inpatient people. We can ruin a relationship in the blink of any eye yet it can take years to repair.

    So while the doctor may say one thing, I think time will help you and your daughter both. You can't make her change her mind, she has to get herself to a better place in her life to start accepting love and family again. And you have a new life and adventures ahead of you...don't forget that!! :)

    XO,
    Jane

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  43. Brenda,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I have been going through the same thing with two of my sons. Only someone who knows the heart ache can understand. Their father is mentally ill and he has taken them away from me. I was a good mother to my children and I had no idea this could happen. They are 30 and 22 now so they can choose to have a relationship with me, but they don't.
    People who haven't been there can not understand and they can not tell you to "let it go". I understand the concept behind that, but so far not one person has been able to tell me HOW to let it go.
    It sounds like you have done every single thing you can and you can take some comfort in that. Basically, you've suffered the death of your relationship with them and don't let anyone tell you to get over it or "let it go" until you are done grieving.
    If you need to grieve you can email me or call me. I will listen and not minimize what you are going through. Don't misunderstand me, we need to forgive and to move on, but at our own pace. Take care of yourself. You have a lot of people who love you even if we don't live there and we can only hug you virtually.
    Clara from Redeemed Junk and Stuff

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  44. I have read the posts here and it seems you have gotten some sage advice. I wish I had a magic wand and I would wave it. . . . .praying for you!

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  45. Hi Brenda - I was away for a week or two and so sorry about everything you are going through! I think 100% that you did the right thing by moving. Some folks who are depressed can not turn things around when they give up their meds. A cousin of ours came back from Afghanistan and the VA told him to stay on his meds - but he just wouldn't take them. It's tough b/c you want them to be happy, but you can not force them to happiness. Stay strong in yourself and hopefully your girls will come around. I read the comments to the post and I think that sometimes - in time - the estranged family members do come around. Lotsa love your way oxox

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  46. Heartbreaking! I'm so sorry to hear that something is keeping you and your daughter from being close. I never understand when loved ones don't want to work things out...especially a mother and daughter if you were close before. I have a sister in law that isn't interested in working things out and that's hard enough. I'd be devastated if it was my daughter. I don't understand when people say to "let it go" either. That seems like crazy advice. How can you let go of someone that means the world to you?! Hang in there! I hope things work out. I'll keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers. In the meantime, keep busy doing things you love....like taking such beautiful flower photos. Hugs! :-)

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  47. My guess is when people suggest "Let it go" they are thinking of the fact that you can't change your daughter (or anyone else), you can only change your own reaction to a particular situation. Thus said, it's easy advice to give, much harder to put in practice. When I was an adult and lived in the same town as my mother we never were estranged or had any real conflict, yet she never seemed very interested in me or my children either. It made me sad, and even more so when she died before age 60, ending the possibility we would ever relate to each other more or be close. There may be very complicated reasons your daughter has pulled away, stuff going on it's hard for her to even articulate, but that's not to say there is no hope things won't change for the better at some point.

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  48. Hi Brenda. It does sound like your daughter may be suffering from depression. I have experience with that myself as I know you do too. As a daughter, believe me, sometimes the last thing you want is opinions, advice, judgment from your mother. Maybe if you let her know (and maybe you already have) that you are there to just listen if she ever feels like talking. And then buy a big roll of duct tape for your mouth (because that is what I would have to do, so hard to not give advice to our kids) if she does come around. That may be what she wants more than anything, just a soft, loving shoulder to cry on. You are a wonderful person and I would love to see you have a close relationship with your daughters and grandchildren and I know that is what you want too. Anyway, just thought I would throw in my two cents in case you haven't already received enough advice! : )

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  49. Brenda...

    Just read this post... I think I might know some of what you feel... I have two children, a son who is 35 and a daughter who is 33... Her dad an I made a mutual decision to end our marriage after 28 years, that was ten years ago... He and I still get along, speak sometimes and are both remarried to other people... My son lives 2 states away and he and I are close... My daughter and I live about a half hour apart, me in Washington, her in Oregon... She and I have always been mother and daughter and best friends... That is until about 2 years ago when there seemed to be no longer any space in her life for me... I know she is busy,with work , her home, her spouse and friends... But I never thought in my wildest dreams that there wouldn't be a tiny place for me... I have tried talking with her several times, writing emails and sending cards... The last time I contacted her was January 4th of this year, I just couldn't let it go any longer... She says she doesn't know why she feels different about me or how this happened... She says she needs time and space and asked me to respect that...I lost my Mom when she was 38 and I was 21 to a brain tumor... I would do anything to have just one more day with her... I grieve for all the days my daughter and I have lost... But I have done what she asked, no contact... My 59th birthday was the end of March, no birthday card, phone call or even email... And now Mother's day is coming up and I think for sure my heart will surely shatter into a million pieces... But it won't because my son will call and make me smile... But then I will sit here and hope for her to call and the sadness will drift back in... I also have had people including my doctor tell me that I need to let it go... But I'm not sure how to let my daughter who was created in love, carried for 9 months in my body, that I labored to deliver just go... I honestly don't know how to do that... So I like you will take care of my furry children and go on... Thank you for letting me ramble... I wish you lived closer... I have a feeling I would enjoy spending time with you...

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you! However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply via email to your questions or comments.

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