Practicing Unconditional Love

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Dear diary, 

I woke up at 5:30 AM and had to use the bathroom. I switched the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer then I laid back down and wrote my blog until 6:30 AM. Angel woke up and I read my blog to her. After my blog was approved by Angel I added pictures and posted it, we got up, folded up our blankets and got dressed. 

Angel played on her phone upstairs while I went out to the truck. I wanted to make a smoothie but I didn’t want to wake up Scott and Delany. The kitchen is right next to their bedroom so I made an alternative plan. Out at the truck, I put bananas, juice and almond milk in the blender carafe. I carried the blender into the house; in the living room I plugged it in and quickly blended it. Then I carried it out to the truck and poured my smoothie into a 64 oz. jar. I took the blender carafe into the kitchen and quietly washed it. I started water boiling on the stove for my tea and went upstairs. I carried all our luggage out to the truck and got Angel settled in with some applesauce to eat for breakfast. I went in the kitchen, poured water into my tea cup and we were ready to go. 

I double checked to make sure I had my purse and we headed to Idaho. It was a 7 hour drive to my sisters. On the way, I planned to stop at my mom’s and visit with her for an hour or so and pick up a couple of bicycles that Angel and I had at her place. They will be fun to ride around in the little mountain town where my sister lives. I also wanted to see my nephew Christopher L. (since my husband has the same name, I’ll add the first letter of my nephews last name to avoid confusion), he was having a birthday celebration that evening at a park and I was thinking I might briefly stop in for it. I sent a message in the family group chat about my plans and Christopher L. responded that he will be going to the park right after church around 12:30 PM to start getting things ready. I thought I would stop in to see him that afternoon before his party so I wouldn’t have to back track and I could get to my sisters earlier in the day. 

On the drive, I listened to an audiobook called Land of the Burnt Thigh by Edith Eudora Ammons Kohl. It is a wonderful book about 2 young sisters homesteading in South Dakota and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The drive was beautiful. The high desert was green which only happens in the spring and it’s been 9 years since I’ve seen the high desert in the spring. We crossed the state line into Idaho. It was good to be in my home state. My heart aches for home and I would love to live back in Idaho for 3 or 4 months out of the year. I’ve prayed for a path to open up to make this possible. I desire to be close to my family and I long to play and explore in the high desert and the mountains. 

I drove straight through to Boise, only stopping for gas. When I was driving through Mountain Home (40 minutes from Boise), I called my nephew to see if I could stop in and see him on my way to my moms. He said he was at a Pho restaurant eating lunch with a friend at the moment and to call him when I got closer to see where he was at. I arrived in Boise and my heart was so happy to see my hometown. I called my nephew again and he said he was still at the restaurant and we could come there. He told me where it was at and I knew the exact location. As I drove familiar roads to the restaurant, I was filled with memories as I noticed what had changed and what was the same. I pointed things out to Angel…those were apartments I lived in when I was in high school, that used to be a Kmart, my friend used to live down that road, at one time that ford dealership was a trailer park, I swam in that canal and there was a tree with a rope swing. On and on the memories flooded in. Angel didn’t seem too interested in the memories I was sharing but I was basking in them. 

When we arrived at the restaurant, I took Little Bit behind the building to use the bathroom. There was an irrigation ditch there with running water. Oh how I miss little canals and ditches everywhere full of running water. I took a picture of it because it was so beautiful to me. Inside the restaurant, I found my nephew and his friend. It was great to see him. He looked so healthy and happy, he was radiating. We hugged and he introduced me to his friend. We immediately got into a conversation about creating your reality and being your best self. Angel was hungry and I ordered her some pho soup. She enjoyed her soup while the adults were deep in conversation. We finished our great talk and hugged each other goodbye. Christopher L. will be coming up to his moms (my sister) on Wednesday through Saturday and I am glad I will get to spend more time with him. 

I left the restaurant and headed to my mom’s. I messaged that I was on my way. She messaged back saying she wouldn’t be there but the bicycles would be out front. I know she is busy and didn’t think anything of it. I drove to her house and got the bicycles. There was a note taped to the front of one of the bicycles. I opened it up and this is what it said: 

I was upset for a few minutes but it didn’t last long. She does things like this all the time and I’ve come to terms with letting her be how she needs to be. I know she is hurting and I know I can’t heal her hurt. I will just continue to love her. I prayed for guidance and wrote back: 

Angel played with the neighbor kids while I loaded up the bicycles. Angel loves playing with them when we come visit my mom. I went over and chatted with them for a while. They are a cheerful family with 3 very busy boys. They asked how long we were staying this time and I told them we were just passing through on the way to my sisters. 

On the drive to my sister’s I talked to Christopher on the phone. I had sent him a picture of the note my mom had left and I shared with him how growing up with a mom who was constantly guilt tripping and manipulating has become a wonderful gift. It has taught me how to love unconditionally and how to be kind to someone even when they are not kind back. A few years ago, I had an awakening about my mom. I had been visiting and was staying at her house a few days. We had been getting along really good and I was feeling happy that things were going so well. My son Shawn came to visit from Utah and we were all going out to eat. I rode to the restaurant with Shawn and my mom drove separately. Shawn asked how things were going with grandma. I said they were going great. Shawn said, well that’s not what grandma told me. I found out she was saying all kinds of mean things about me and Angel. My heart sunk, I didn’t understand why she was so mean to her children and grandchildren. My first thoughts were, I’m not going to talk to her anymore, I’m sick of her doing things like this, I’m going to completely cut her out of my life and she will never see Angel again. I was going to confront her about it but then I knew she would attack Shawn for telling me what she had said to him. She likes for everyone to keep her secrets and tries to pit us against each other. Then if we tell each other what she said behind their backs she accuses us of not being trustworthy. What do I do with a mother like this? 

I had sat with my feelings of betrayal and before we got to the restaurant the Holy Spirit came over me. The Holy Spirit told me to love her anyway and to be kind anyway. I clearly saw how I had been trying to make her love me my entire life and I’d been trying to make her happy my entire life and I had failed because that was not something I could do. It was her job to heal herself and it was my job to heal myself. I couldn’t heal her, I could only heal me. I didn’t need her to be kind to me to know that I was loved. I was fully loved at all times by the One that created me. God loves me and God gave me my mother as a gift so that I could know the true meaning of unconditional love. So that I could have compassion for a woman whose suffering is so deep and severe that she lashes out at anyone who gets close to her, including her children. 

When we got to the restaurant. I didn’t say a word to her about the horrible things she had been saying about me. I continued to be kind and loving to her the rest of my stay at her house. The next year when I visited Idaho. She wanted me to stay at her house again. I would prefer to stay with other family members because it’s so much easier than dealing with my mom. If I do stay with other family members, she accuses me of not loving her. I accepted her offer but I cut my stay there to only a few days. The 2nd day I was there, we were sitting around reading and everything was going good. I got up to get something and she suddenly snapped at me, “is there a reason you don’t love me?”. I stood there looking at her and said, “oh no! oh no! oh no! oh no”, over and over. I asked her why she would think that and she said it was because I didn’t invite her on the rafting trip I was going on, I started saying, “oh no” again. She yelled for me to quit saying that but I continued on. I finally got control of myself and asked her if she wanted to go on the rafting trip. She said she couldn’t go because she’s had too many broken bones in the past and it would be too painful for her. (Hence, why I didn’t invite her). I went to my room and sat with my feelings. When I came back in the house, she apologized. I thought that was progress. 

In January, on my birthday, she called me up and was telling horrible things she was saying to other people about our family. I told her it was upsetting me to hear her talk like that and I needed to get off the phone. Then after a few days of praying for guidance, I sent her this letter. I had blogged about it at the time:

Hi Mom, thank you for the valentine card. It’s nice that you thought of us. 

After our last talk on my birthday when you were telling me what you shared with Great Aunt Chris’ children and you told me not to share what you said with anyone else. It confused me because you said we were not keeping secrets anymore. I will not keep your secrets for you. It doesn’t feel right to do that. It feels deceitful and I am not your secret keeper and it’s not nice to put me in that position. If you want to say things that you don’t want others to hear, then I suggest sharing them with your pastor. 

I spent a lot of time in prayer about how to move forward with our relationship and of course I received an answer. Ask and it is given. 

All my life I’ve felt I’ve never been good enough for you. I’ve never been a good enough Christian, I’ve never been a good enough daughter, I’ve never loved you enough. For some reason you like to say mean things to me such as “your smile doesn’t reach your eyes” or “I can tell by your eyes that you don’t love me”. Mean heart breaking comments that come out of nowhere for no reason. I’m not sure why you choose to say horrible heart wrenching things like that to me but I do know that hurting people hurt others. Happy people built others up, unhappy people bring others down. 

So I want to let you know that I’m sorry you’re hurting and I apologize if I have added to your pain. I can’t fix your hurt and saying mean things to me or others won’t fix your hurt it will only cause more hurting. God is the only one that can heal your pain and only God can heal my pain. 

God put on my heart to let you know that no matter how many mean things you say to me, I still love you. No matter how many times you accuse me of not loving you, I still love you. No matter how mean you are to my kids or siblings or nephews, I still love you. Even if it’s too hard for me to be around you because of the things you say about me and other people I love, I still love you. No matter how many times you play the victim, I still love you. Even if you never talk to me again, I still love you. Even if you don’t love me, I still love you. I know my heart and God knows my heart, that’s all that matters. 

It could be that you don’t realize how hurtful your words and actions can be or maybe it’s one of the ways you show your love. Maybe your mean words are your way of showing you care. (I prefer cards in the mail 😁 ). Maybe you don’t feel loved and want me to prove my love to you so you will feel loved. Even if you are accepting of the love I give you in my own way, I can’t make you feel loved, only God can fill that longing in you. Turn to him when you feel unloved rather than say biting remarks to me. Turn to God, before going into victim mode and start talking about all the wrongs that have been done to you and all the people that have done those wrongs. I encourage you to rest in God’s embrace, it’s the only way to receive true comfort and healing. 

I believe one of the reasons you won’t talk to me about my burnt leg and keep changing your story on how it happened is either because you did it on purpose or you feel guilt for letting it happen. Either way, Mike told me what he remembers and his story is the same every time. Maybe someday you will be strong enough to talk to me about it and tell me what really happened. Regardless of if you ever are open to talking about it and regardless of how it happened, I forgive you and still love you. 

No matter what you do in the future, I always forgive you and will always still love you

Love, Victoria 

This is the letter her current note demanded that I apologize and ask for forgiveness for. I will continue to assure her that I love her no matter what, even if she finds reasons to prove otherwise. I pray she heals. 

I got off the phone with Christopher when I started up the mountain. The hills heading up the mountains were filled with beautiful yellow flowers and filled me with awe. I arrived at my sisters just before 5 pm. My biological dad and step mom were there and it was great to see them. My sister Trish and I are full blooded siblings but after the divorce my mom remarried when I was 1 year old. Her new husband adopted me and I grew up with him as my dad. Trish who is 3 years older than me, lived with her/our dad at the time and I lived with my mom. A few years later when I was 5 years old, Trish came to live with us I found out my dad wasn’t my real dad and that Trish’s dad was my real dad. I didn’t really care at the time because I was a daddy’s girl and not matter what anyone said, my dad was my dad and he was a great dad. My dad has been dead since March 4, 2011 and I miss him. I’ve kept in contact with my biological dad and his wife and it’s always good to see them. We hugged hello and Trish said her recovery from ankle replacement surgery was going good. Her ankle and leg were wrapped in a soft cast and she was reclined on the couch. I unloaded the truck and put all the food in the fridge. Then we all sat around talking for an hour or so. Angel warmed up to my step mom, her grandma, and they had fun together which was heartwarming to see. 

Around 7 pm, my dad and step mom left to head home. They live an hour away down in the valley. As soon as they left, Angel took a bath. Then I got a bath ready Trish. She had a chair in there to sit on but wasn’t sure if she would need help getting in and out. She didn’t need help, I was there in case she needed it but she easily did it all on her own. She had wrapped her cast in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t get wet. She said it felt great to shower, she hadn’t bathed since before her surgery on Friday. 

Trish and Angel sat on the bed in Trisha’s bedroom and Angel played a video game called animal crossing. I worked on a puzzle that Trish has started on the dining room table while I waited for more hot water. When enough time has passed, I took a bath. After my bath, I brought Trish some soup she asked me to warm up for her. Then I cleaned the kitchen and started a load of laundry. 

At 9 pm, Angel and I went upstairs to bed. I got her settled into her bed and she fell asleep right away. I was going to write my blog but I was too tired. I fell asleep at around 9:30 PM. 

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my life. I dearly appreciate you.



P.S. This blog post was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

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