This spring, mishaps, misfortune, and misery came bursting into my life like a vicious and hungry hurricane consuming everything in it’s path. It seemed as if a dark cloud followed me, laughing as I tried helplessly to dodge its bullet sized raindrops from stinging my skin and very close to Mother’s Day I was so soak and wet with pain that I could stand it no longer.
I thought to myself,
‘This is it. I give up.
Let it rain, Lord! Let it rain.
I have no more fight in me.
I am giving in, and giving this to you now, Lord…
I am “Letting go and Letting God”’
And, just like a ray of sunshine sneaking through a thick, grey blanket of clouds, the doorbell rang. It was a package from Amazon. The little cardboard box was torn open in seconds revealing my Mother’s Day present to myself that I had ordered weeks ago and had forgotten all about; a book by Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter.
I sat down instantly, turned Moana on for my 2 year old and got comfy on our couch. I flipped my youngest around to fit into my breast and fed her while opening up the first crisp page to my new book. One of the essays Maya tells about a time she felt crazy, riddled with guilt and dark thoughts of hurting herself. She goes to her friend’s house in a panic and he gets her to sit down at his table. He provides her with a yellow notepad and a ballpoint pen and he tells her to write down all of her blessings.
He says, “…think of the millions of people all over the world who cannot hear a choir, or a symphony, or their own babies crying. Write down, I can hear – Thank God. Then write down that you can see this yellow pad, and think of the millions of people around the world who cannot see a waterfall, or flowers blooming, or their lover’s face. Write I can see – Thank God…”
(Letter to My Daughter, Maya Angelou, Random House Trade Paperbacks)
After reading this I got out my notebook and started writing voraciously everything that came to mind. I began with the senses like Maya, and once I started I couldn’t stop. When I finished, I came up with 55 blessings and still I felt I had much more to add. My heart filled, I breathed deep and smiled, tears hot in my eyes.
Today is Mother’s Day. I woke up to the house a mess. Dishes overflowing out of the sink and onto the countertop, toys scattered throughout the living room and kitchen and a pile of clean, wrinkling laundry sat next to the dining room table. On top the table though, lay an arrangement of flowers with a tiny sign that read: MOM, a card from my husband expressing his gratitude for me and a scribbled autograph from my 2 year old daughter. I spent the morning cleaning the mess from the night before, singing ‘If you’re happy and you know it’, changing diapers and feeding sticky, hungry mouths. I am blessed.
Alyssa Mayers is a born & raised Fort McMurrite. She is a wife to her high school sweetheart and a mama of 2 beautiful daughters and 3 crazy dogs. You can find her at beeandkai.