I Lose Touch with a Friend and am Glad



She’d be disappointed to learn what I was doing with my days, how I was no longer writing, how ideas that came to me were like sparks that die out quickly, embers lacking the power to ignite more. I couldn’t stop thinking about the last time we were together, all the encouraging things she’d said to me. Isn’t it strange, how I now expected disappointment from her instead of something positive?

I was glad we’d lost contact. I’d have felt ashamed for her to know. Ah, but shame cannot be thrust on us by others. Shame is always an inside job.

IN MY LAST CONVERSATION with Ma, she left the stories to me, the ones she would not be able to finish. Three years earlier, I’d purchased her a word processor so she would type them up. I thought it would do her good to have the creative outlet. But those last six months, her fingers let her down.

She left the stories to me to capture and preserve because she knew I knew them,  not only from my viewpoint, but from hers as well. We were like two witnesses to the same crime, each with a slightly different perspective. To have her permission to tell things as I saw fit and share them as I wanted was a tremendous gift – a rare inheritance.

She apologized for being such a burden these last few years and cut me off when I was about to argue the point. I’ve learned not to argue with old people when they want to get in a few words before parting company.

“I know it’s been hard on you,” she said. “You’re too nice to say it, but. . . I know how I am.”

I smiled.
She nodded.

“Honestly, Ma, the only hard times were when I did my best, but could sense your disappointment.” The conversation that followed met a need in both of us, I think. I treasure the memory of it.

I mention all this to you now only to suggest a possible connection between things – my expectations of my friend’s disapproval, possible deep roots, shame, etc. You caught that, right? The jury is still out on all this, but I think it’s something I needed to see.

In fact, I began to suspect I was called off the main road because there were several things I needed to see, not to end the writing, but in order for it to continue.

Next post: The Words Come Back

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in friendship, letting go, transitions, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Lose Touch with a Friend and am Glad

  1. pastordt says:

    I just finished my piece for SheLoves this month, very, very late! And I wrote on a similar topic, though probably not with quite as much detail as this. Those connections with our mothers from early childhood are so powerful! I’m so grateful that you had that time with your mom before she died, that you were able to be honest with one another, that you both knew that nobody’s perfect! And I absolutely get the connection between shame and that fear of disappointing someone you care about. It’s something I think I need to explore with my own children, because I know I did my fair share of shaming when they were little. I was so young when my children are born and knew so little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn says:

      I want to post the URL for your SheLoves piece when it’s published. I’ll keep my eyes out for that. Wonderfully thoughtful comments you left here, Diana! I appreciate the feedback and hearing where it took your thoughts. I added and removed details for a few days before posting this one. I’m trying to go where the story takes me based on where my own thoughts go and the things people ask about. Not my normal approach, but very rewarding. It’s like a conversation.


  2. Pingback: I Used to Write | MarilynYocum.com

  3. Pingback: The Words Come Back | MarilynYocum.com

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