Mother’s Contagious Love”. By Henry Regehr
Despite her chronic anxiety and depression, Mother’s love for her children shone through the dark clouds. She was not allowed to express it in words or in hugs, but we always knew that she understood our childhood distress and longing.
In her old age she still lived with the disabling mood disorder, but it was our opportunity to reflect to her the love that had filtered through the fear and sadness to her children.
On one of my regular visits to my parents she was in deep distress and went to her room to be alone with her pain. My father, at a loss to help her, asked me to sit with her. I took her hand and sat, quietly, while she lay, eyes closed, tears flowing. I remembered what she had shown me so long ago. We were both crying by now, but slowly I was able to tell her how I had passed her love on to people I met from day to day. Each time, I said to her, that I was able to demonstrate loving kindness to my family and to the people who I met, it was an expression of the love she had shown to her children so many years ago. Her love had grown wings, had spread to her children, and was passed on to the world around each of us. It took a long while to tell her this, through my own tears, and my Mother responded. Her own memories were stirred. Her own mother had died when the family was young, leaving five little children. Her sense of loss was still profound. The stepmother was twenty-one when she came into the family and soon had five children of her own. There were more losses, and the story went on. Her children now understood some of what she had lived.
Eventually the crying stopped, and her eyes opened. A smile came to face. Her eyes shone.
Quite unexpectedly, she got up, put on her apron and went to the kitchen to prepare lunch.