“I knew there was only one place to go. I sank down into the center of my soul, grew still, and listened to the Rabbi’s heartbeat.” – Brennan Manning
It is no secret Mother had quite a few phobias. She did not swallow pills. The escalator was never an option. Trip to the mountains? Not gonna happen. Go past the 3rd floor of a hotel? Nope. Cross a bridge? No way. If there was a bridge that needed to be crossed and there was water under it, you might as well do a 3 point turn and head back the other way.
1 thing Mother did love… her friends. A good friend of ours moved to Savannah, and we helped him move. As one can imagine, there is a nice little bridge to cross (over a good bit of water) on the way to Savannah. After asking a million times what it looked like and if there any way to get around it, she finally agreed to cross it. She faced her fear.
Mother still hated bridges after that, but she was willing to cross them. One of her favorite places in the world was Kiawah Island. She had to cross a bridge to get there too. If she would have refused to cross the bridge, we never would have discovered the place where our family made so many wonderful memories together.
In my own life, I have some bridges (metaphorically speaking) I need to cross. I don’t want to cross them. I’m scared and would just rather turn around. I am sure something beautiful is on the other side, but I let worry and fear of the unknown dictate my decisions often. I know my Mother would say “just cross the bridge!” Actually, she would say, “Amy, cross that dang bridge!” I can hear her say it now.
Yesterday was my birthday. Mother and Libby discussed my birthday when Mom knew she did not have much time left. Mother told Libby she wanted me to have yellow roses. She wanted me to be with Libby. She knew Libby would say things to me like, “Amy, you have to be an example of what a strong Mother is for your children”, and she did. Libby said in so many ways to me yesterday, “cross your bridges”, and that is exactly what I needed to hear.
I just started Brennan Manning’s memoir titled “All is Grace”. In the book, he quotes Frederick Buechner. I love the quote he used. . .
“I am inclined to believe that God’s chief purpose in giving us memory is to enable us to go back in time so that if we didn’t play those roles right the first time round, we can have another go at it now.”
Some memories make me proud. Others remind me that I need another go at it. I am thankful for memories. I am thankful for the memories I have of watching my Mother face her fears. I want to leave the same legacy to my family. I am sure I will make mistakes along the way. I am sure fear will try and get the best of me. As for today, I am choosing to use my Mother’s memory to help me cross the bridges I need to face.
Ready or not…