Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Someone Else's Tomorrow

Have you ever been baptized in the cool winter water
On a Sunday morning when the sky was gray?
You filed out of the churchyard, so cold it was silver
To gold, tan, and blue cars, and the cars drove away
All the memories fade, send the ghosts on their way
Tell them they've had their day, it's someone else's tomorrow

The tall and the tiny ships on the water
Farther and farther, floating away
Will never return now, all wooden and burned out
They echo and groan now in their salty graves
All the memories fade, send the the ghosts on their way
Tell them they've had their day, it's someone else's tomorrow
Someone else's tomorrow

Someone Else's Tomorrow - Patty Griffin

Haunting, ethereal song in my head. It speaks of death and renewal and moving on, allowing the past to slip away gracefully in honor of what the future may hold.

There are so many things in my past that I should let slip. And yet, there are so many things that I deal with on a daily basis that require dredging up the past in order to understand.

One of my solutions to the drama surrounding my family of origin is to simply concentrate on the here and now, and on the family the boy and I have created. I will always honor my parents for giving me life and education and as much as they did. But it's now my job to make sure they don't interfere with what we are trying so hard to build together. I am forever grateful to have had my mother by my side when I was pregnant with the girl. Now that I'm six hours away from her, and on my second pregnancy, and am older and (theoretically) wiser, I feel so much more capable regarding my decisions and my approach to pregnancy and the birth of the bean.

My dad wrote me an email today. More drama is afoot, and I wrote him back with what I considered to be a straightforward answer, a little common sense advice, and a whole lot of honesty. He replied that I was "a helluva lot stronger" than he ever knew. The trick of it is that I have had to learn how to be strong and how to fight for what is best for me, rather than trying to appease everyone, or be everything to everyone.

I have as big a selfish streak as anyone - but all of the labels I carry with me (up there in the corner - take a peek) - are just little parts of me. Without them I wouldn't be myself, but I don't have hats and aprons to take off and put on as the situation requires. I have one great big patchwork quilt, and it goes everywhere with me. I sleep with it wrapped round me at night. It lays on the ground in transition during a race, and it becomes my coat of many colors when life gets cold and lonely. Sometimes it needs to be repaired, sometimes it needs a spin through the wash.

I think my greatest hope right now is that my children grow up with love and without baggage. I want nothing more than to give them the strength to leave for college, the willingness to call home every now and again, and the idea that home is a place of unconditional acceptance and love.

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