The Unspoken Weights

The past 24 hours I have felt like crap. Not physically but emotionally, well in a vague undefined way. Typically I hone in pretty quickly on what bothers me on the inside, but sometimes I remain unaware only feeling a somewhat distant muffled malaise.

My mother always sensed when something troubled me. Even hundreds of miles away on the phone she knew something was not right with me. Often she picked up on the chronic melancholy stemming from my ex-gay struggles that I often kept to myself (and even hid from myself). Typically I attempted a cheery front that she dented with her question, “Are you sure everything is alright?” I don’t remember a time when she got it wrong.

Here in beautiful Oxford, England with perfect spring weather, quaint cafes, and a lovely place to stay in the Friends Meeting House my unease has grown and finally has become obvious to me. Bottom line—I miss my mom. Although the English did not celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday, from the spam alone cramming my inbox, I could not avoid the US holiday (sponsored and promoted no doubt by Hallmark, etc).

In the midst of the beauty and the love of dear friends here, I feel the persistent ache that my mom referenced when she spoke of her own mother who she lost at a young age. You will never stop missing your mother.

Like a discontent, moody lion with a thorn festering in his paw, I have felt a steady, growing, dull pain pulling me down. It has muddled my mind and sensitized me to sounds and petty annoyances. Now I have pulled back the curtain (aided by e-mails from Christine, Deanna and Morgan) and can access the pain, express it, live in this moment. Discerning the origin of my angst helps to address it. And in feeling afresh the loss of my mother, I draw near to her memory and her love.

This post has 9 Comments

  1. Auntie Doris on May 12, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    *hugs* Mum’s always know what is going on, no matter how hard we try to hide it from them! I hope that you find peace and are able to rest secure in the knowledge that our mother loved you deeply. A x

  2. paul on May 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm


    damn… cyber hugs?? pretty inadequate after such a vulnerable post. Hopefully a little of the sentiment will convey.

  3. KJ on May 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    ((((((Peterson)))))) May you be blessed with many peace-filled memories.

    My partner and I had my elderly parents over for Mother’s Day, but my mom is far from well, with limited mobility and concerns regarding breathing. My mom had a good time, and the lemon meringue pie was a hit, and she took the leftovers home with her (It’s actually not on my or her diet, but who pays attention to cholesterol on Mother’s Day?).

    However, I find myself saddened by her current health challenges and the frustration/sadness she experiences in being unable to help with grandchildren as siblings deal with their own health battles (e.g., breast cancer). My dad, at 80, has done an extraordinary job in taking on caretaker responsibilities, and I try to help out with housekeeping chores (Good thing I had all that practice as a teen!).

    And then I feel guilty to be sad while my mother is still with me, as there’s nothing to be gained for longing for what is not. But, as I told my partner, “When my mom is sad, I’m sad.”

    I’m rambling, and it’s all about me. Thanks for the opportunity. Truly, being the gay son is a blessing, but I believe it’s of different “stuff” than our heterosexual counterparts.

  4. KJ on May 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    One more thought, and then I won’t monopolize the thread, but for how many of us in “Evangelical Land”, when the Spirit called us to full authenticity and we came out, was our first supporter our mothers who KNEW who their child truly was in the face of a nonsense-filled assault?

    I know that has not been true of all, but it is for many, and am thankful for that blessing.

  5. Diana_CT on May 13, 2008 at 1:26 am

    My mother passed away a little over five years ago and every Mother’s Day, it brings back the sense of loss. That little feeling that their is a part of me that is missing.

    As I type this with a tear in my eye.

  6. Peterson Toscano on May 13, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    thanks all! and thank you for sharing some of your own stories. That always helps me feel connected to you.

    I had a wonderful night’s sleep and then this morning at the Oxford Friends meeting I joined in at the 7:30 worship. The quiet was so still and tangible that it almost felt edible. I just sat in that still space and let the Spirit scan my heart and mind knowing that I need not hide anything from God’s Spirit. I walked away from worship feeling a weight lift and a renewed sense of hope and comfort.

  7. boredbeyondbelief on May 13, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Gee, my message of encouragement didn’t make the cut with the Blogger silliness. I’m glad to read that you’re better. BTW, try wordpress – a much better blogging online system. I’m just noting…

  8. Tom D. on May 14, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Sorry to hear, Peterson! But I understand, seeing as I went through a bit of that myself on Sunday (though I, too, didn’t really realize it at first).

    Just remember how proud your mother was of you, and what you’re doing, and where you are right now, and what you’re doing there, and how it would make her smile!


  9. CrackerLilo on May 15, 2008 at 3:07 am

    It’s awful when you feel like crap and don’t know why, isn’t it? I’m glad you found it. I hope you can be happy now.

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