Thursday, November 5, 2009

She is a miracle.

If nothing every changed, there would be no butterflies. Unknown
It is a miracle she is alive. I wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant. Before her conception, I'd had two ectopic pregnancies. Half a tube was left. She found the point of entry and the miracle of Alexis was conceived.

That was almost 24 years ago. Yesterday, I stood at the airport with C.C. and my sister, J.T. waving good-bye to Alexis as she passed through security and walked towards the gate where the jet awaited that would whisk her away. She is moving. Permanently. Forever. (or so she says.) "I'm not coming back to Calgary to live," she said. "I hate winter."

She's gone to the coast. Gone to pursue a dream she's nurtured since she was a child. A dream that has pushed her, pulled her, torn her apart and driven her upwards and forwards and backwards and around and back to centre stage again and again. It is a dream she cannot let go of because it will not let go of her.

She's an actor. An artist. A singer. A dancer. A writer. A gift from God. The stage is the playground upon which she found her voice. And now, she's off into the wild blue yonder to make her mark, to stake her ground, to give voice to making her dream come true.

It was a bittersweet moment.

Before we'd left the house in the morning, she was sitting on the couch in the living room, reading the newspaper. I sat down beside her, put my arms around her and gave her a hug. "It's finally hitting me," I said. "I won't be able to just walk up at any time and give you a hug."


Tiny tears pricked at my eyelids. I held them back. This wasn't a time for tears. It was a time for celebration. The butterfly's wings have spread wide. She's taking flight.

It isn't that she was living at home in the past couple of years. She'd moved back home when she made the decision earlier this fall to leave the city and pursue her dream.

Having her home has been a gift of time. Okay, so sure, there were the frustrations of her 'stuff' scattered everywhere. "If you wouldn't nag me mum, I'd clean it up myself."

What? Me? Nag? It wasn't nagging. It was constructive criticism designed to create awareness of the value of respecting other people's space. Uh uh. Really. I wasn't nagging.

I went into the kitchen this morning and didn't find her keys on the counter. Her purse is gone from the floor by the front door and suddenly the empty space looms larger. There's no book on the couch. No sweater on the chair. No reminder of the wonder and the woes of a twenty-something who fills whatever space she's in because... well, just because. It is her way. She is still filling out the pages of her book of life, expanding into all she will ever be as she paints the world in the amazingly vibrant hues of her laughter, her joy, her love.

So, it was appropriate this morning that I hadn't opened yesterday's Daily Om until today. It was titled, "Making Connections While Apart". The article suggests we send loving thoughts to those we love who are far away throughout the day. It also suggests picking a set time, every day, once a week, once a month, to pause and think lovingly of the ones we love who are far away. In time and with practice, the article states, we may learn to recognize the feeling that comes when a loved one sends energy our way, and the feeling of soul-to-soul communication. I'm sending you vibrations of love Alexis. May they fill your heart with joy, lift your spirits and warm your soul.

Last week, Alexis wrote on her blog,
"The times I’ve wished I could have fallen in love with computer programming are countless. But every time I have made an attempt to follow a more even path, something calls me back. And I can’t help but think that maybe what is so frightening about a life of creativity is that it is not unlike falling in love.

Like love, it is a risk. It is called “falling” for a reason after all. It is falling without knowing where we will land, or how hard. It takes a leap of faith. Sacrifice. Commitment. It takes tearing down all the walls we have built up to protect our hearts and letting someone else inside. One must be fearless in their vulnerability, courageous enough to open themselves up, to share their voice, their feelings, their heart and soul. And when we risk all this, allow others to witness our humanity, we also open ourselves up to the sting of rejection, to pain, to heartbreak. Just like we cannot make someone love us back, there is no guarantee that the world will love our art.

And just as lovers, in spite of knowing all the risks, fall anyways, I have to trust the wind to pull me from the safety of the branch, and let me fall."

I cannot stop her falling. I cannot give her flight. She has spent her lifetime creating her wings, preparing for flight. And though she is a part of my being, my soul, my heart, she has learned the lesson we all must learn to find ourselves in the world, how to fly.

I can't tie her wings down. I have spent her lifetime making space for her to find them, being there as she tested them, as she built up strength to spread them wide and soar free.

I am joyful that she has, grateful she is courageous enough to leap -- and to trust in the universe to be there to support her. She knows I will always be here to help her up if she falls. To give her space to catch her breath should she run out of wind.

She has flown away, but she will never fly free of my heart. She lives within me forever in my heart. I will miss her. And I will not have to pick up after her again! At least, until she comes home at Christmas. And this time, I promise, I won't nag. I'll see every bit of clutter as a gift from a young woman who fills my being with joy. She is a miracle. And I am blessed to be a part of the miracle that is Alexis. She is a blessing to the world.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is so beautiful, and I also have tears in my eyes. You are always close in my heart, because I have 3 daughters, whom I almost lost, because of a pathological relationship. I am so glad that much has mended, and I have their trust back. So far, they are still around home, but the day will come for me also, when I too, have to let them soar!

M.L. Gallagher said...

(((hugs))) Thank you from my heart to yours.

Maureen said...

John O'Donohue wrote a beautiful blessing, "At the Threshold of Womanhood". Reading your post this morning, I think how well that blessing applies to your gorgeous Alexis.

You created the chrysalis and now Alexis has broken through it. The best gift you can give her is the privilege of testing her wings. If her mother is any example, she'll fly just fine.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thank you Maureen -- I went in search of John O-Donohue's blessing -- it is beautiful!

http://www.opw.catholic.org.au/index.php?option=com_acajoom&act=mailing&task=view&mailingid=53&Itemid=90

Blessings on this day.

Louise

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful, eloquent writing Louise, as always. I have been blessed all these years to have Alexis in my life (Liseanne too!)and have considered it to be the highest honour. My life has been enriched beyond words. That I will miss her is an understatement but knowing that she is finding her own way in the world and has the courage to do it is rewarding. THANK-YOU for graciously sharing your daughter and for letting me be a part of her world all these years. Love, Jackie (a/k/a Auntie Jackie and older sister!)

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hey Jackie! She wouldn't be the amazing woman she is without your love and support.

Hugs

LOLL

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hi -- to the writer who wrote in and said they were focusing on living courageously, not safely...

Kudos to you! What a beautiful sentiment -- and so powerful.

I apologize that your comment doesn't appear. I hit publish and it disappeared. (sometimes cyberspace defies me!)

Thank you for visiting me! And for sharing your thoughts. I wish you well. Keep taking those baby steps. You are so worth it!

Hugs

Louise