I just want you to know I love and appreciate you deeply. With pride, I tell people I am the way that I am in a large part because of the way you raised me. It even brings tears to my eyes now. When I lay my head down to rest at night, my mind sorts through and processes the day’s events. Questions arise like, “Could I have handled that situation better?” “Was what I said fair or kind?” Empathy washes over me and I speak softly out into the darkness, “I’m sorry about what I said. I realize I could have handled that situation better. I spoke out of anger and spite. Tomorrow I will try to do better. I love you. I am truly sorry.” I believe a large part of my sensitive nature and integrity comes from my mother. That little voice in my head telling me to suck it up and stand up to do the right thing is you. It took me 24 years to realize that fact and I am now overwhelmed with gratitude. The tools and the foundation you have largely help build has served me well in this world. I see that now. I see why you the things you did despite not being overly fond of them at the time. Growing up, emphasis was placed on developing a robust inner world so when the world attacked I was able to promptly rise to my feet. I am ready, willing and capable to meet life’s challenges and conquer them. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me my mind is my strongest asset and to question everything. This world is too unknown to deal in absolutes and by confining it to a certain set ideology I am hindering my growth. You never told me what to believe even though I know now some beliefs contrasted with your own. You only wanted me to think for myself. Your children have always been your first priority with out question, above anything else. You sacrificed a finer lifestyle for yourself just so we could go to the best schools, which also happened to be the most expensive schools (go figure!). Giving everything just seemed to come effortlessly for you. Always-taking time after a full 8 hour work shift to help me with my homework (I was a late bloomer) or driving me to the art supplies store staying for hours on end without complaint allowing my creative side to flourish. That curious creative child is still alive in me today. Thank you. Sometimes I worry I wont be able to fill your shoes. My words still come out sharp sometimes and I act selfishly more often then I should. I worry I wont be able to impart these crucial life lessons to my future children through example as you did. I love you so unconditionally.
(Below is a page from a scrapbook I'm making for my mom that I hope to finish and send by X mas)
I feel more inspired than ever now. I catch my mind drifting away, dreaming of colors, shapes, lines and movement time and time again. I catch a glimpse of a beautiful scene like the way the morning sun slowly creeps up the side of my lovers face on a lazy weekend morning or I hear a particular melody and my mind just takes off. You see, I have an obsession. The only way I can explain it is this: certain color combinations, gradations of light, how lines connect and curve make me FEEL a certain way. These feelings can be positive, negative, very specific or vague. Art to me is play, a opportunity to manipulate and exaggerate these components (light, lines, curves, colors) to make YOU feel how I felt at that moment. In this sense, the art will connect us if only for a brief moment. While day dreaming, I usually am shaken back to reality by, "Bree. Bree! you weren't even listening were you?! uggggh, never mind" or some variation of that. I've had to explain to close friends and lovers more often than I'd like to admit that I was not *trying* to ignore them and I DO care about what they have to say. It's simply something that at times can be out of my control. You see, I've been dreaming since my first memory. When I first started attending Vashon Childcare Center at around 4 years old my teacher called in a conference with my mother. She took this time to explain to my mom how she thought I was deaf. My mom, knowing I definitely wasn't deaf laughed and asked how she figured I was. She calmly stated, "Well Bree doesn't appear to be paying attention and when she is called upon she does not respond." I was promptly taken in for an audiological screening and passed with flying colors. My "time outs" when I was a young child were a very perplexing time for my parents. Time outs for bad behavior just didn't appear to bother me in the slightest. My mother explained how I would sit in time out and just play with my fingers. I would bring them up over my face and rotate them together and apart and make shapes with them. She claimed, it was as if time outs didn't bother me because I was too immersed in my imaginative world. While growing up this passion brewed inside me and manifested itself in various forms. Some constructive and some not. Maybe it has softened at times, but I never lost it completely throughout all these years. I still do not confine my mind, I let it wander, explore and break boundaries. What was once a source of shame and embarrassment in my younger years has now become my greatest source of pride today.
My babies!!! eeek! Shawn, you are my light. I have yet to meet anyone who possesses the depth of your heart, intuition and sensitivity. I remember the first day I laid eyes on you, your walk over to me was calm and assured and your presence instantly put me at ease. I was hooked. Since then, we maybe have spent 2 weeks apart from each other total. Thank you for your continued unwavering support, I have the utmost respect and esteem for you. I remember one instance in which I was sad or stressed about something (aren't we all at some point?! haha). As I was sitting on the couch quietly, you preceded to slowly nudge your way over to me. Before I knew it, you were nuzzling your face against mine and fully intertwined with all my limbs. I couldn't even see your face because you were so freaking close to MY face that I slightly stretched my arms out, strained my neck back and tilted my head to the side and whined, "mm nooo you're too close." Like so:
Seeing a slight smile come to my face for a split second, you nuzzled once again cheek to cheek and started to mimic my giggles ("hehe hehe"). Inevitably, your mimicked high pitched girly giggles created a domino effect and so there we were, fully intertwined incessantly giggling. Later that night, I thanked you for getting me out of my negative mindset and commented, "you know when I'm in those moods, you can just leave me there. Generally, once I've thought something completely over I'll resume to my usual self." You smiled slightly and replied, "It's my job to make you happy Bree. I DOO kinda like you, you know" ;)
That is the quality of human being you are. I know I'm not the only one you have inspired to be a more compassionate person, you are loved by so so many people.