“”But will you not have a house to care for? Meals to cook? Children whining for this or that? Will you have time for the work?” “I’ll make time,” I promised. “The house will not always be so clean, the cooking may be a little hasty, and the whining children will sit on my lap and I’ll sing to them while I work.””
~ Gloria Whelan
She looked into the mirror. ‘Unstoppable‘ really wasn’t the word that came to her mind. Not anymore. Life had changed. Ten years ago, maybe, it would have fit her, but what the hell, didn’t it fit any teenager? It further felt that not only she, but the whole world had changed, which was probably true, since the world was involved in constant change after all. “Changed for the worse.”, she couldn’t stop herself from thinking. Usually not like her, but well, you know, we all have these days. “Stupid world!”, she added, a little defiantly.
If not unstoppable, what was she then today? ‘Diligent’, maybe. Diligent to please her son, diligent to please her husband, diligent to please her parents and her parents in law, diligent to be a good friend, diligent to finish her studies, diligent to find a job, diligent to cook dinner and diligent to wash clothes. Diligent to please herself?
“Diligent to be just another rat in the rat race that is life…”
She once had dreams. Big ones, small ones. The funny thing was, most of them she had already fulfilled. By the age of 26, she had not many dreams left. Looking at her list, she found: finish your studies, find a job, Baby No.2, a sewing machine, a piano. The other items were already checked: she had legally and successfully emigrated to her favourite country, she had a loving funny husband, a healthy happy son (Baby No.1), friends, a small wooden house, a garden with a greenhouse, two cars and – the latest addition – a dog. She had her health and some ideas for the future. And she was very thankful and appropriately proud. Yet, she had seen too much of the unattractive side of life to be naïve anymore, to feel, well, unstoppable. ‘Sickness’ and ‘injustice’ were the two words that popped up in her mind right away. Sickness is a mean one. Sickness for her never meant her own little health issues. It meant ‘watching the ones you love the most suffer’. A topic she tried to avoid the best she could, though it was present now and forever. A topic with many facets. A topic most gruelling and formative. Because it made her feel small, helpless and useless. Because it made her sad and grieving. At times it made her angry. Because sickness indeed was unstoppable.
Or then not. Sickness often was deadly. So death after all would stop sickness. But perceiving this thought as comforting… Death, the ultimate unstoppable Redeemer!
“Happy thoughts!”, she commanded herself, freeing her from the endless circle of thoughts connected to that topic that she had completed over and over and over again. Too often.
“Happy thoughts.”, she said more gently, looking at a picture of her son in his father’s lap, being about nine days of age.
People often say that a mother’s love is as unstoppable as it is unconditional. She couldn’t agree more. Her family meant everything to her. Wasn’t that the reason why she was so… diligent? Not because she was but one of many caught in the expectations of the everyday world, but because for a few people she was someone special, someone irreplaceable. Her motivation was drawn from her son’s smile, her husband’s kiss, her mother’s advices and her father’s praise
– from unstoppable and unconditional love.
And wasn’t she in a way still unstoppable? Tenderly bringing up a child while studying and running a household, finding time for her husband, her parents, her friends and herself, training and walking the dog, tilling a field and growing things in her greenhouse, taking part in social events in their little village, creating new stuff by knitting, writing, cooking, baking and drawing, broadening her horizon by reading and traveling, yet not feeling burned out but blessed for all she had. Realizing that all she had, she had because she worked for it (and luck of course, never forget luck!). Unstoppably worked for it. Knowing that all she had came with responsibilities, demands she would unstoppably try to meet.
Looking in the mirror again, she could see a certain glow about her. And her childish defiance now did not want her to bear a grudge against the world, but to search for something in her closet that she could use as a cape.