Jonah

Spoon rest, by Bronwyn Simons

I love the cranky prophet, Jonah. He who, dragged back to the task assigned him by God, unappreciative of being saved from drowning (by a large fish), unsuccessfully calls the city Ninevah to repent its evil deeds, and then watches sour but hopeful to see Ninevah blasted for disobedience. But Poor Jonah! God forgives them. Some religious leader. He makes me laugh.

I think I laugh because I see myself there, all my plans and my agenda(s).

When I got the memo that a large portion of the rest of my life might be given over care of a person with significant special needs I was bitter. Like Jonah – hey! I didn’t ask to go to Ninevah! And it wasn’t just care of Owen that overwhelmed me. I ran away from my caring for children job in a hundred little ways.

A poem written at that time, most likely scrabbled down standing at the kitchen counter on my way to doing something else, expresses it —

Running to Kansas —-

in the garden patch

among the bees

Running away at the sewing machine

the washing machine

the committee meeting

Running to the novel in the bathroom – the music in choir–

Standing at the kitchen sink,

you are running away,

mother at home.

Standing now, to face the human need—

the hands that grab

the mouths that want

the eyes that want and weep,.

release the urge to find another world.

It will wait.

Creation like life never ends —

Be here, now.

Mother at home.

2004

It has taken many of my 26 years with Owen to accept the job with grace. To learn how to physically care for another human without resentment or impatience — not to merely tolerate it, but to enjoy it. Of course I love my son, but the work of physically caring for another far past the usual cut off point is what I mean here. Side note: some of those unsteady moods I experienced (sadness, rage, despair) can be attributed to bipolar illness. I take medicine now to balance my mental states, and it is a gift.

Most recently in my mother journey, I understand my task is to support without intruding my agenda. EVEN if it is a very supportive, enthusiastic, loving agenda. Mom’s enthusiasm can be in the way. Last month Owen stopped being willing to communicate with me supporting him. I missed that connection sadly. But it wouldn’t work. After a few weeks he was able to spell an explanation: I CANT TYPE WITH YOU BECAUSE I FEEL YOUR GREAT HOPES FOR THINGS THAT COULD BE. Then he walked away. Later he explained more, in a conversation supported by his dad – I HAVE THEM [hopes] TOO. I JUST WANT TO DO IT MY WAY.

If you love someone, set them free.

How ironic to try to set someone free who depends on you for nearly every action in his life. Yet no person is more in need of that emotional freedom.

This Mother’s Day, I was treated wonderfully well by all my children, with calls and flowers, cards and gifts. One surprising gift was a song by Owen co-written with his teacher Brian Laidlaw.

It meant so much to receive this gift from you, Owen, to hear your words, to know that you feel this way, after all that we have been through together. You wrote those words, and in the same way that love produces more love, a never-ending stream or trickle (just when the pot seems empty sometimes), so artistic creation seems to breed more artistic creation – there is no end. So your entrée into the creation of your own artwork fuels mine – and where once I felt like I was drowning, I discover myself rescued and carried by a magical fish, to dry land.

My Mom is love to me,

my Mom is love to me;

She can see me.

My mom is love to me.

She gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope —

She gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope.

My mom teaches me, my om teaches me

She keeps me healthy,

My mom teaches me.

She gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope—

she gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope.

It’s a lot of work caring for me,

but she never gives up,

both physically and mentally–

but she never gives up.

She gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope—-

she gives me hope,

she makes me hope,

she wakes my hope.

8 thoughts on “Jonah

  1. Robert Simons May 17, 2020 / 9:28 am

    Wow. Tears pulled from my eyes … I needed this. What a beautiful song and wonderfully written post.

    Thanks W … keep on, keeping on. Love to you, Owen and family! God bless.

    Rob

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    • wystansimons May 17, 2020 / 9:56 pm

      Thanks Robert. it means a lot to know that you are reading. ❤️

      Like

  2. Kay Hauck May 17, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    This gives me shivers of joy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • wystansimons May 17, 2020 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you! it is really wonderful that Owen has this way to express himself — and that Edward can support him doing it, so he has some autonomy from Mom.

      Like

  3. nabobs05@msn.com May 20, 2020 / 12:43 am

    Dearest Wystan: Thank you for this excruciatingly honest post. For your poem and Owen’s poem to you. The whole blog touched my heart. – Aunt N.

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

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