Showing Up

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It’s been 7 whole months since we’ve hugged family.  Skype and what’s app are great, but nothing beats this! 
I think my mom would agree that I’ve always been a “do my own thing” kinda girl.  My teenage/young adult self was clear: “I’ve got my own life to live, and I’m off to live it.”  I come by it naturally, being the only child of a strong single mother.  She taught me that there’s nothing we can’t tackle.  Hang pictures.  Lift heavy things.  Fix clogged toilets.  That’s just the physical list.  The emotional list is longer.  But you do what you’ve gotta do when you’re two young women on your own.  So, I guess it’s not surprising that I developed a strong independent streak.

My mom has always supported this in me.  No matter what I’ve wanted to pursue or where I’ve wanted to go or what I’ve wanted to do, my mom has affirmed me, loved me, been proud of me.  I’m sure there have been times when she would have preferred me to be around, but instead she sent me out with her blessing, which I believe has really allowed me to embrace life and the opportunities that come my way.

Since I wasn’t a daughter who frequently flew back to the nest, mom took the initiative to fly to me.  There are a number of occasions in my adult life when I remember her being present and it being so significant to me.  One that really stands out was during my second year at Bible College in Regina.  I had been experiencing a great deal of pain, which had landed me in the emergency room for 3 nights in a row, and eventually led to an emergency appendectomy.  The surgery turned out to be a little too late, as my appendix ruptured and caused a whole host of problems for a couple of months.  Nevertheless, I vaguely remember being in the hospital room prior to surgery, on some pretty strong pain killers, and waking up to see mom by my side.  I was 20 years old, an appendectomy is fairly routine, and I had loving family nearby, but there is something so comforting about your own mother.  She didn’t have to come.  A phone call would have been great.  But, she did come.  She got on a plane and came to hold my hand.  She showed up.

There have been a number of times in my life when I have failed to show up for people I love, and I regret it.  And there have been times when I have showed up, and I’ll simply never regret it.  The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to break away from your daily routine and rhythm to step into the life of a loved one who needs you.  It is, perhaps, my greatest concern about moving far, far away – the possibility of not being able to show up for family and friends.

But in the meantime, my dear mother is here.  And my dear Larry.  They are the first to show up.  And showing up in the UAE is no small matter!  It’s expensive to get here.  And the flight is looooong.  And the time away is not easy to arrange.  I really don’t expect anyone to come- I know I couldn’t have come and visit myself!

Nevertheless, look who flew to find me.

jenandmom

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4 thoughts on “Showing Up

    barbaraarenburg said:
    March 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Enjoy your time with your dear mum. Your pic made me tear up. What a gift for you.
    (ps. I went to Bible school in SK too…but likely years before you…25+ yrs)

      jendhansen responded:
      March 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      It’s getting to be a long time for me too, Barbara! I started in 1993.. Yikes. 🙂

    Cynthia said:
    March 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    So glad that you have visitors and that it’s your mom and Larry. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures as a family over the next little bit. Love to you all.

      jendhansen responded:
      March 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks friend. 🙂

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