Dilemma: Separating the blog from my personal life — gaps and overlaps

This post is not so much about life and travel to, in, and around Oaxaca and Mexico,  as it is an update about where I’ve been over the last few weeks and where I am now — both in the physical and existential sense. It isn’t easy to write about this since it means going beyond the usual and revealing more about what I’m feeling. An emotional essay is not my standard, and presents a dilemma about how much I should talk about online that personal. While Oaxaca Cultural Navigator is my personal perspective, it focuses on travel, culture, art, and history, etc.  Lately, I haven’t been writing as regularly because my attention is elsewhere and I feel like I want to explain this.

My 96-1/2-year-old mother is nearing the end of her life.  Yet, we don’t know when her life will end.  She has had a long life. Her life has been long enough to realize her dreams, though she has fulfilled only a few of them. Often, the yearnings of women of her generation were suppressed in order to support home and family. She has been my role model for how to live otherwise with more independence and intention.

In the past four weeks I have been to Northern California twice, making round trips from Mexico City each time to have time with her and to give my caretaker sister some time for herself. But, it’s never enough time when you know that time is finite and the person who you love and who gave you life is strugglng to sustain her own. I am sad, and feel that however much time I’ve had with her still won’t fill the gap — for her and for me. In the last few days my mom has told her children and grandchildren how much she loves us and how proud she is of us. The messages are by email with copies to us all.  (This is a perfect  goodbye from my mom who has used the Internet for over 10 years.) I know she is getting ready, and in this way she is preparing us. I think I’m prepared, but ….

Last week, I flew from San Francisco to Boston, arriving in the middle of the night, staying with friends, and then driving to Portland, Maine, to meet up with my husband. We hadn’t seen each other in two months because of all this back and forth. Now, I am with him in a little cabin at the edge of a beautiful Maine lake where there is no WiFi connection. A blessing for us. We are here on vacation for another 10 days.

This morning, at the end of our yoga class, our instructor asked us to continue cool down by going into the fetal position. As I curled up and the tears came, I felt for a moment the sensation of birth and death. Beginning and ending of life. Thinking of my mother and her journey, and exit. This is what preoccupies me now.

This means not as many blog posts. And, because I’m not in Oaxaca right now, I am unable to give you daily updates of life there as I know it. An information gap for me and for you. And, because of my frame of mind, I’m not able to write as often right now.

Hopefully, more will come soon. I wanted you to know, and appreciate your patience and understanding.


16 responses to “Dilemma: Separating the blog from my personal life — gaps and overlaps

  1. Thank you for sharing this very personal information with us. This is a situation that we each have to face, unless we die before our parents.

    • Donzetta, yes, thank you, and it would be heartbreaking for a parent to lose a child. I have friends who grive the death of children to cancer, gone before their time. And even still, when I think of that it is always heartbreaking to lose someone you love regardless of their age. Thanks so
      Much for writing me. Norma

  2. Sending Prayers and blessings for you, Norma. I don’t think there is ever a time to lose our loved ones. Thank you for sharing the most important parts of your life. May this time be blessed as you tend to your sacred duties.

  3. Norma,

    How beautiful for you to share this. I just met you briefly at Joseph’s bday in San Miguel but would like to think that this is just the beginning of our “mexican connection”.

    You are in my prayers and thoughts in this transition time for your mother, you and your family. xoxo


    • Dear Ivy, you are so thoughtful to let me know you are thinking about us. Thank you. And I hope we will see each other again soon. It was delightful to meet you at Joseph’s birthday. You are always welcome to visit in Oaxaca. Abrazos, Norma

  4. Norma,

    What a tough time for you! I lost my mentally-retarded brother six months ago, and the sadness is still a big part of my life. It sounds like you and your dear mother have a good relationship, and that is a wonderful thing.

    I’ll miss your Oaxaca blog while you’re not doing it, but all of us–your faithful readers–will patiently await reading about your news and experiences from/in Oaxaca and seeing your photos
    For now, our thoughts and hugs are with you.

    Marsha (Heiman)

    And, PS, thank you for letting me know that Eric and Janet were speaking in San Francisco last May. My daughter and I went, and we were so happy to hear them and say “hello.”

    Marsha (Heiman)

    • Dear Marsha, losing a loved one is so difficult. We heal but we don’t forget. That is also the beauty of life, death and memory. I am sorry about the loss of your dear brother. I know his memory will be a blessing for you. Thank you for sharing this and for your empathy. I’m hoping to keep the blog going, though not as frequently at least for now. Thanks for being a loyal and patient reader. Big hugs, Norma

  5. hi norma really sorry to hear about this difficult time. prayers and hugs.

    besos 🙂

  6. Dear Norma,
    I’m so glad you wrote this blog. It’s lovely and loving and authentic. I am glad too that you are taking a break in Maine – no better place in my mind. I left on Labor Day and miss it So Much however much I might appreciate my good life and husband in Va.
    Sorry we didn’t get to connect however I understand and will hope that circumstances align better for next year. Maybe I’ll come south?
    It sounds as if she is laying the groundwork for what the Jews call a “good death” and that you are in a good place to absorb this big change. Lots of love to you and Stephen.

  7. Norma, a long life doesn’t make it easier to see it ending. You are a fabulous daughter, I know that. Can’t wait until you come home! Lots of hugs and love, jude

  8. Thank you for sharing, Norma! I think it’s great when “business” as usual needs to listen to life and its demands. It calls us back to the essence of being human, of having feelings, of not being in production mode all the time.

    I’m glad that you are having this time with your mother and that she is able to say good-bye to each of you in such a meaningful way! Many years ago I read Simone de Beauvoir’s book, The Coming of Age (http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-Age-Patrick-OBrian/dp/039331443X) It was a fascinating read about how different societies treat their elderly and how many of her contemporaries saw themselves as they aged. I have been meaning to read it again and it might be an interesting read for you, too.

    Be at peace on this journey.

    • Dear Rachel, thank you so much for this compassionate and caring response. I am deeply appreciative of your thoughtfulness and rewarding recommendation. Moving through life and it’s challenges, especially the loss of a loved one, is often difficult. It helps to have friends who understand. My best, Norma

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