Walking in Her Shadow

There are days I feel I am a shadow of my former self. What I used to do and what I used to be have been slowly shedding away. I don’t know when it started. I don’t think I knew it was happening. My world got smaller and smaller and so did I. Like a bright colour, over time, I’ve faded.

When did it happen? How did I let it? How do I get myself back? I remember reading “The Stone Angel” when I was in high school and that image struck me as an image that was so powerful. I remember the character in the story (Margaret Lawrence, I believe) was aging and she felt she was no longer “her”. I wonder if that is happening to me?

If I were to walk in the sun, I would want to see my shadow – firmly planted on the ground. I want to see the outline and the depth. It must be dark and crisp and fluid. In that way, I know I still exist.

There is no sun today and I remain unsure if I can be seen. What defines my image now? When there is no shadow – what is my shape? If the image of my emotions were to cast a shadow, I don’t know what I’d see. I would be almost afraid to look. Yet I want to. I want to fix me. I want to be whole again. I want to be – not young – but I want to be “me”.

To sing. To dance. To run.

Where did I go?

I cook. I clean. Repeat. Yet. I can see nothing else at this moment. I am a woman in the kitchen. Yet. I feed. I provide. I give. I love. I nurture. Who is this person to me? The image looks so familiar.

Then it dawned on me that sometimes, when the sun casts a light on me, I see that I the shadow of my mother standing within me. Oh, how I have come to know her so well as I age. I understand her pain. I understand her struggles and I understand her love. Has she awakened in me to become me? Have I gone to sleep and she is supporting me, encouraging me to take shape once again?

She comforts me still. She supports me still. She loves me still. And I can rejoice that when I see my image on the ground, she is what fills the holes and completes me still. I may be a mere shadow of myself afterall, but as long as I can walk with her, I have hope to be “me” once more.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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7 Responses to Walking in Her Shadow

  1. Judy says:

    Stacey, I feel you. So much of what you wrote I could have written. I do feel that some of this relates to the pandemic isolation for me. I miss hugs, my friends, my former activities.
    But the aging part is the challenge. I miss not having the same joy, excitement, creative energy, and physical energy.
    I also know that glimmers of my old self are there still. I pray this is all temporary. I have a lot of hope. For me and for you. Hang in there, my friend. And keep writing.

    • inmycorner says:

      I pray this is temporary too – and news of a vaccine has helped me to recover a lot! And thank you, Judy, for always taking the time to write me your responses – they lift my spirits more than you can imagine. BTW – your art is spectacular. Really – there is nothing you cannot do!

  2. Beautiful reflections Stacey. I think your writing is part of it all.

  3. pepe says:

    Such deep and wonderful reflections. Your writing always exude warmth, love and hope. Looking forward to read more of your writings.

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