My story is not quite Moses and the burning bush. Far less dramatic flair. No flames. No fate of an entire people at stake.
At least, I think it was God.
It was either God or my mother. If you’d known my mother, you would know it’s kind of the same thing either way.
Before I tell you what He said, let me remind you of a few things.
I am not under a doctor’s care. Clean bill of health. Deemed mentally stable. I hold down a normal job, pay my bills and have no illusions that I am the next prophet. I have admitted to having a Cuckoo Mommy alter ego but other than that, you’ll find me quite sane on most days.
So there I was, easing myself into the bath. I was ready to sip my tea, read a book and escape for a few minutes. And the voice came loud and clear, “Leave him.”
And I knew immediately who the “him” was. There was no doubt. It was my husband at the time.
This voice was in my head and yet I heard it. Doesn’t make sense, I know. But it was the loudest, clearest message I’d ever received.
Really, God? Do you think now is the time? While I’m ensconced in bubbles and all?
All those years I prayed for some contact, some clear communication. Do I take this job or that one? Stay in the city or move to the suburbs? Trust this person or not?
Did I ask on your golfing days? Because each time I asked, silence.
So now, on a random weeknight as I ease myself into the bath—NOW you decide to be clear? And it’s not about public vs. private school or something equally as easy, comparatively—it’s about leaving behind an entire life and all the craziness that comes with doing that.
Hmph. I was a little miffed.
I’m not sure if God gives dead mothers special dispensations to use his megaphone often, but I am pretty positive Phyllis got one. It took her about 18 months from her death, but God finally gave in just to have a moment of peace, I am sure.
Sshh. Don’t tell the other dead mothers or none of us will be able to bathe in peace anymore. Celestial calling plans will spread like wildfire and never again will you be able to date a handsome deadbeat or ignore the laundry piles.
“Leave him” was prescriptive. It’s something my mother would say. I think God would be a little more chill about it, being God and all. He’d say something like, “I love you no matter what. But figure it out. That’s what you’re there for, dudette.”
I did not leave him. Not right away. I did file for divorce about six months from that bathtub shout-out. It was not because of the audible. Unfortunately, it was because of a lot of other shitty stuff that took me by surprise.
At the time I got this message, he had already mucked it up. A lot of it. And I was clueless.
Mom was not.
My mother always liked my ex. She took him in as her own son, given he had lost his mother as a child.
And I think when she passed on and saw what was going on, the black hole he was leading us all into, she was hopping mad. And not about to let my sons and I go down in flames.
In this blog, I’ve spoken of my mother’s harsher side but in all fairness, you need to know she loved all six of her daughters dearly. And our children ever so softly and fiercely, which is a hard mix to get right. As she aged, she was able to show more emotion, care more openly. One of the last things she said to me when I left her in hospice was a whispered, “Love you four” with a blown kiss. The fourth? You guessed it. My husband at the time.
For months, odd things had happened. He would walk in the door and our broken CD player, set to “off” position, would begin to blare music. There is more to tell but those of you who buy into this scenario being possible already have. And those of you who think I’m crazy already do. So, no need for more detail. Suffice it to say she was trying to get a message to me and I was dullard enough to be oblivious.
Until the bath. After that crystal clear, “Leave him”, I started to pay attention. And boy, was there plenty I should have been paying attention to, unfortunately.
So thanks, Mom. For having my back.
Funny, in life she tended to hold my feet to the fire but in perpetuity, she has been much kinder.
I’d love to continue but I need to get to my bubble bath. Mom might call tonight and I’d hate to miss it.
I think the celestial rates are cheaper after 10 p.m.