I’ve been absent as I am sure you noticed (all two of you who read my blog). Three weeks ago, we made a rushed out of state trip to the bedside of my mother-in-law who was end stage cancer. The week following, we spent grieving and attending the various duties of visitation, funeral and disposing of her personal belonging. Last week, we were home, but the cord to my laptop had been left behind in Michigan. Now that my power supply and I are in the same place once more, I guess it is back to blogging.
The passing of my mother-in-law will no doubt provide lots of things to blog about in the coming days and months, but I find myself going back again and again to a moment a day or two after her death. The family was all taking a walk and my business came up. “Yeah, mom was NOT thrilled about that,” my father-in-law commented. While I could have guessed, I didn’t know that she felt that way before then. She had never said anything negative about it to me and honestly, I sort of resented my father-in-law divulging the information right then, when I was still devastated by her untimely loss, wanting very much to believe that she thought I did a good job by her son and grandchildren and when, and this hurt the most, it was too late to have a conversation with her about it.
She was only 65. I thought I had all the time in the world to win her over on the issue. I imagined, with time, that it might come up naturally and we could talk about what I do and why. I thought, maybe, just maybe, I could get her to a party someday and really show her that what I do is GOOD and not bad. I regret avoiding the issue with her for fear of her reaction. She and I got along better than most mothers and daughter-in-laws. I loved her. Like a real daughter, I wanted her to be proud of me. I suppose any real daughter knows that her mother is never going to approve of everything she does. Goodness knows there were plenty of hippy parenting choices of mine that probably made her crazy, but as my business is important to me – a mission really – I would have liked a chance to make my case to her.
But time was unwilling to wait for me.
There’s another moment that sticks (and my father-in-law would likely be unhappy that I am sharing this but that’s what he gets for making feel bad): A few days later when my sister-in-law and I were cleaning out drawers, we came upon one that was full of lacey matching push-up bras, panties and teddies – all the sorts of things which mom would have never worn on a daily basis. I teased my father-in-law about it later and he admitted that mom was more often the initiator and, yes, she liked lingerie. I was simultaneously mortified and amused by this revelation. In spite of not approving of my business, mom certainly wasn’t a prude. The idea that she went as far as to invest in impractical fripperies and be the active seductress certainly added character to a woman who spent all of her adult life as a preacher’s wife.
I’ve been thinking of these two revelations about mom and reminding myself that sexual health comes dressed in a lot of different styles. I don’t know what her main objection to my business was (I can speculate – and will in a later post), but I know it wasn’t the idea that sex is bad. Clearly, the lady liked sex as much as the next healthy person. I can’t take a person’s opinion of what I do as a sign one way or another about their feelings about sex in general. In the end, I want health and positivity and safety for every woman, even if she never becomes my customer and/or doesn’t really understand why I do what I do. If she is happy and comfortable and healthy, then that is good. I know there are lots of women who come to my parties who have very uninhibited lifestyles but still don’t feel positive about their bodies, treat themselves with love or make the best choices for their health and safety. And those are the people I most want to reach out to. The people whose lives I want to change.
So this is in memory of my mother-in-law though she may have been disapproving, she embraced her own sexuality. And that’s good enough for me.