Dear Mom…

Dear Mom…

Ya, you the woman I don’t know anymore.  Someone I’ve not had any kind of meaningful conversation with in twenty years.  TWENTY YEARS!!!  I can date the date! I still have the letter you wrote me.  It would take me two minutes to dig it out of my lock box, May 1991!  You can forgive, but you’ll NEVER forget.  Ya, I guess we wrote each other off.

This past week, my husband finished a fish pond for me.  There is still landscaping to do around the whole project. Backfilling and digging out of a drainage ditch.  The good news is that the fish are safe in their new home, the water is being pumped and kept oxyenated, and when all is said and done, we’ll have a quiet, and peaceful place to sit and meditate in the evenings.  We watch fish, we watch the birds, we talk to each other, we enjoy our surroundings– we enjoy our life.

The Golden Idol

The little golden statue from Uncle Tom's place now resides inside my pond. Bouquet by Viki Ann Snyder.

I’ve already placed some water plants in the ‘upper’ pond on a shelf that he created in the middle for me.  In the Corkscrew Rush that I had kept alive inside a cement mixing tub for a year prior, as I waited for this fish pond to become…. I placed a golden idol. This little statue is probably a garage sale special, a Hindu God or Goddess. It sits in the typical lotus meditation pose.  It once sat in my Uncle Tom’s front yard.  Once he passed,  I took it.  When  I made the decision to take it, my mother asked, “What are you going to do with that?”  A simple question that was asked in a tone of voice that I still recognize even after twenty years of not talking.  There was a judgement statement mixed into that question. I choose to ignore it at the time, but I hear her voice when I look at that little statue. Something that should remind me to listen for the silence between my thoughts is instead setting off feelings of hurt, because she still doesn’t understand. Something that should remind me of the love of my uncle, instead reminds me of the small mindedness of my mother, and others like her. Instead of reminding me that ALL IS DIVINE, I am hearing the recording of her voice.  For some reason, the past few days I can’t shake it.  And so I write….

When I was growing up, my mom was an atheist.  My assumption is that she is still is.  I know she has heard that I attend church, and am a member even.  I was raised atheist by her.  Dad was raised a Seventh Day Adventist.  His mother did not believe, his father did. My father believed. He stated so, though he did not attend church.  In this spiritual mess, I have had to find my own way.  I was not taken to church even once as a child, my lessons came from a Catholic neighbor girl who told me I’d go to hell if I wasn’t baptized.

My guess is that my mother pictures me a small minded person.  It’s all I can think fits that judgement in her voice.  She must picture me a Southern Baptist, or a member of some other fundamentalist Christian Sect.   I feel a projection of herself falls onto me, I must be a follower who reads directions and gets a good result, but doesn’t think beyond the result or it’s consequences as I move along through life.

Note to mom:  The gal you gave birth to is actually a very deep thinker who does a LOT of research before she settles into much of anything.  I look at a lot of sources of information before I make a commitment.  This is MY spiritual quest.

By the late 1980’s I’d already shopped around for churches.  I’d owned a concordance, a bible, and had taken several bible study courses.  I knew all about Jesus, the Trinity, prophesy, Daniel, the Revelations, etc. etc. etc.  I so wanted to be a Seventh Day Adventist like my father.  I did try out a Southern Baptist Church.  But, I could not buy into their idea of GOD.  Depending on whom you talked to there was  a judgement on the books of hell and damnation for most of human kind.  What was the point of even trying if that was the ultimate outcome??  And the flip side of that was that GOD loved(s) us like a father (i.e. a parent) loves his child.  If this is the case, how could he doom most of the the human race to hell?  It didn’t make sense to me.

While attending college at Santa Rose Junior College, I took a comparative mythology class, and Native American Art Classes. It is amazing how much spiritualism is tied up in human artwork. I also took psychology classes.  I read, I read, I read. I read studies and found out that one way or another the human brain is structured to believe and the brain is healthier when it BELIEVES.  All of this was to add to knowledge I’d already gotten on my own from sources such as Alan Watts, and Joseph Campbell, etc.,  etc.  In it’s most simplistic form, religion is in a way, human kind’s way of explaining their enviroment and existence.   But, it is not that cut and dried.  During this time, while in the process of a divorce, I also entered AA and Alanon, not because I was an alcoholic but because I was attracted to them and I saw it as a way to educate myself.  I worked the 12-steps.  At this point, I was taking my very first baby-steps to belief in the Divine.

In 1998, I started attending a Disciples of Christ Church in Geyserville, CA.  My initial motivation was my son.  I was trying to instill some “good stuff.” In the beginning, because I was so shy, and because I have had bad experiences with judgmental fundimentalists, I went in, sat there politely, and ran out when the service was over.   Yes, over the long run it was there I met people who became my family, and a pastor who could finally explain things to me in a way that I understood, and could accept. Disciples of Christ is an “OPEN AND AFFIRMING” church and way of life.  I could not have found a more loving home.

_______________________________

Just a little side note here:
No, I do not believe that civilization was built in seven literal days.  Yes, I believe in metaphor for the sake of teaching.
To paraphrase, “Open thy mind, & heart & all will be yours…”

_________________________________

In my process of finding GOD, I have learned that there is DIVINE in everything.  Divinity is within us, as we were made in It’s image.  The fact that we breath at all is Divine, because at the very least we can celebrate each day the fact that we ARE ALIVE.  No matter what YOU call GOD, be it Shiva, Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, the Eternal, the Blessed, The Word –no matter what you choose to call it, the bottom line is LOVE and Acceptance.  The message of most of the world’s religions (or myths as some believe) all share that common message that all is DIVINE and LOVE is the answer.

The conclusion of all these experiences is that I have found that the Divine resides in and around all things.  How simple is it to take that thought and look at a little golden Hindu statue , and know that it symbolizes someone’s idea of The Divine?  Knowing this, could I not use it to remind myself to keep seeking a peaceful life, a peaceful mind, and a peaceful and loving spirit?   How could looking at that little statue not remind me of my uncle’s love which was so generously provided — and indeed, one of the more beautiful and loving experiences of my life.

I’m very happy feeling peaceful, knowing that whatever GOD is, in soul and spirit that It’s bottom line is Love, and Acceptance.  And that this God is big enough to realize that humans need to see him/her in many different forms, and follow on many different paths.  Different but not wrong.  Your path is different from mine, but it does not elevate you over me.

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 57 years old with four kids who are all grown up (& all have flown the coop). In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteered at many different non-profits. Former President, Secretary, and Director at Large on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society for 10+ years, and former Secretary at the Cloverdale Historical Society (Sonoma County) for nearly 10 years. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks! Another goal of this website is to disseminate a message (i.e. education) about domestic violence, child abuse, and all forms of sexual abuse to society at large. The message comes from real experience from the whole spectrum of the violence from sexual abuse by a perpetrator to sexual abuse perpetrated by a husband, to the abuse of children within the family. Peggy has seen it, lived it, and been hurt by it. There will on occasion be details that might be hard for some people to read, and a warning is usually posted at the beginning of the essay so that those who want to turn and not read may do so. The only way to teach and to let others learn what to avoid is to SHARE what happened with every detail necessary to make the point. Thank you.
This entry was posted in Coop, Gardening, Just Jabber and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dear Mom…

  1. cat regelin says:

    I so agree with you Peggy…and I know you, and know how you treat other people…with love and acceptance…
    Was so happy to read this letter…sending lots of love and hugs.
    Cat

  2. Wes Vinyard says:

    This was a very interesting read.. For years I have been struggling with “Just what is the truth” I could write a whole book on my quest in finding the truth, but it would take up more space then your comment box would take. I can only say that I “believe” I know the truth, and it follows with what you believe in. I admit that I believe in God, and I believe of His saving grace through His son, Jeasus.
    I would like to know if you believe in the rapture, and if you have ever read, or heard of the 12 volumes co-authored by Tim LaHaye, and Jerry Jenkins called “Left Behind” The series were written as fiction, but based on biblical scripture.. It not only deals with the rapture, the appearence of the anti-chris, and armageddon. It is very interesting read, and had renewed my faith. If you wish to read the books, I would be happy to loan the books. I’m not a big fan of fiction, but this series left me wanting more.

    • PeggyAnn says:

      Wes,
      My feeling is that for any person who is a “seeker” they will be searching for the Truth. I can not say that I have found the answer for everyone, only that I have found it for me, at least to a degree that I find Peace part of the time. My faith is actually a combination of more than one belief systems. I call myself Christian because it explains where I come from and what I am in the least offensive way possible, and I don’t have to ‘explain’ myself. But, my view on things allows me to take what science has discovered and realize that earth has been here for a gazzillion years, and in order to hold this magnificent world and universe together God must be one hell of a Spirit! My take on scientific aspects, just for the record is that I believe evolution happens, I believe it to be a scientific fact, but I DO NOT BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION or DARWIN. And I think that particular argument between science and Christians is basically a moot point. I’m waiting for them to realize it and quit wasting the energy on it! LOL

      As far as the rapture goes. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve studied that. I used to believe in it all very literally. Now, I’m not so sure. I know I want to believe in it. And I know that I am quite satisfied knowing that I will be ”recycled” and that my spirit will live on in the essence of a blade of grass or a flower.

      As far as Jesus goes. I believe he was a real historical person. I believe he was a real spokesperson for God. What man has done to muddy the waters since then is what we get to traverse when we seek out the truth. I also believe that when he died on that cross he died for every single soul in history, not just a few elite who might have done the right thing in life. For if only the few elite made it to heaven what is the point of Forgiveness?

      I take Jesus’s words far more seriously than I do anyone else’s. I believe, everything we are given in our lives comes from a state of Grace given by the Power that is Greater than ourselves. I believe we have a great many lessons we can learn from such generosity.

      I have never read the books you talk about. Heck, I’ve never even heard of them. LOL. I think I would like to borrow them sometime. I’ve learned a great many lessons from “fiction.” For example, a book, I’m sure you have heard of, “Jonathon Livingston Seagull.” It’s way deeper than most people give it credit for.

      I have a favorite passage in Corinthians. Where it basically states that all are welcome into God’s world. That when Jesus died, it was and IS a done deal! This is the GOD that I know…. it’s a done deal. I’ll find it and post it. My notes for it are on my external drive, and I’ll have to plug it in and search.

      Thanks, Wes!

      • PeggyAnn says:

        BTW, just for the record. Not that I am sure I ever did anything majorly wrong, but I have over the years written letters of apology to my mother where I did try to address concerns that I knew she had. And I hear through the family grapevine that she loves me, misses me, and doesn’t understand why I don’t talk to her. And while she puts on a great show for them, the truth is, she’s never answered one letter. She hugged me at my uncles funeral. Which I found quite interesting–where people were watching she acted as if she cared. When people are not watching there is nothing. She does not love her child in the same way I love mine. That much I can say with a lot of confidence. – PARS

  3. cat regelin says:

    Your very welcome…its the truth. Of course some would say I live in a fantasy land, but I know where your coming from..love and acceptance go hand in hand with how I feel…

  4. Viki says:

    Beautiful post, mom!

    Wes-

    I would suggest actually picking up your bible and reading it from Genesis to Revelation with an eye to the times they were written in and the historical events going on. LaHaye and Jenkins both believe in a theology where most of humanity is screwed. That’s all well and good for them, but when you look closely at their books, there’s a huge case of “Did not do the homework” involved. And not doing their homework to portray the world in a very pessimistic, brutal, cruel, and narcissistic fashion, at that.

    People say -I- have an imagination for cruelty, but their literal interpretations of what was never meant to be taken literally completely goes outside anything I could think up. *gags*

    I’m glad that you’ve found renewed faith, that’s always good, but… Definitely do some talking to God, read your Bible, and judge for yourself.

  5. Rob says:

    Wes-

    I have read all but the last book I think. I’m a very voracious reader and I think I got tired of waiting for the last book or two to come out and I had moved on to something else by the time that they did. Without touching on my thoughts on everything else that Peggy brought up I would say that there are many other thoughts on and explanations of what Revelations might be about then just what has become the popular idea in the “rapture”. You might check some of them out and find something that you didn’t know before. There’s one book in particular that I would like to recommend but I cant think of the title right now. As soon as I remember I’ll post it here.

    Rob

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.