Monday, May 10, 2010
A Motherless Day
I've been motherless for the last four years and Mother's Day is probably the day that I miss my mother the most. Growing up we weren't close. We were never friends. In fact, from as far back as I can remember through my early 20's, if you'd asked, I would have said I hated her. And I would have meant it. It took a few years of counseling and a divorce (on my part) to understand her. To see her life through her eyes. She grew up with a mother that was mean and a dad that was not home as he was usually out on the farm. Also, she spent most of her life either depressed, in pain, or both. She lived with pelvic pain the same way I did. She went through many surgeries to fix her health issues, but she was always in pain. To say she was cranky would have been an understatement. She was mean too. I was afraid of her, as were my sisters and my brother. In my late 20's and early 30's, she became a non-issue for me. I ignored her for the most part, except at family gatherings where I was friendly, but we weren't friends. About 10 years before she died, my dad spend a couple of weeks in the hospital suffering from serious heart problems. Mom stayed with me and for the first time, she was able to show a kinder, softer side. She was afraid and worried about my dad and yet, was pleasant to be around. It was probably the first time in my life I'd ever seen her vulnerable. Then, when my son was a pre-schooler and I was recovering from gall bladder removal surgery, we started becoming friends. She came and stayed with me for a week to help me out. At that time I think I was still trying to figure her out. However, it was not until she was in her 60s that we became close. Not close like best friends, but where I wanted to call her and see how she was doing. Just close enough to where I looked forward to her visits. Three years before she died at the age of 71, I had the privilege of having her and my dad stay with me for nearly 2 weeks while wildfires ravaged the mountaintops where they lived. They had no idea if they would have a home to go to or not. That time is when we really became friends. I think it was the strength she showed when I would have just worried and been afraid for what I was losing. She was grateful for everything that she still had. With her courage, she gained my respect. I am so grateful that we were able to be friends before cancer took her life. So on Mother's Day, while I will be motherless for the rest of my life, I'm grateful that I had my mother in my life and that I was finally able to love her.