It's that time of year again when we are reminded of how important our mother is and how we should honor her blah, blah, blah. I happen to be one of those who never knew the pleasure of having a mother. Oh, I had a "bio" mom (Alice) but when "bio" dad dumped her after she told him I was on the way--she blamed me for ruining her 'happily ever after,' then split...leaving me with HER mother. So I grew up "knowing" I wasn't wanted and would never be able to "earn" my place here on Earth.
What must it be like to subconsciously know that no matter what, Mom loves you? That she's there for you? That she's proud of you? And feel the same about her?
Her hatred? I understood it. I had ruined her life. She told me so as often as she could. "God must've really wanted you here-because I tried every way in the world to get rid of you. But you got born anyway." she said. I was a child and no matter what you do/say to a child, they'll always see some good in you. We learned that from Anne Frank. "She really doesn't mean it." I told myself.
For a long time, I did feel guilty for being a straight A student, cheerleader from 4th grade to 12th, putting myself through nursing school, becoming all the things I ever dreamed of while "Mom" never really had a shot. Truth be told, I did all those things thinking she'd "wake up" then she and I would have "happily ever after" Mother/Daughter style.
Last year, I was sitting in church listening to the pastor praise motherhood and what a godly honor it was to be someone's mother. As I looked around, I saw family, family, family...then me. I resorted to the statement I've always held in my heart..."God must think you're pretty special to put you down here all by yourself." Then I decided to end this thing between Alice and me. So I went to see her.
She chose to live in a nursing home after a few falls, "mishaps" and numerous displays of what doctors call "strategic helplessness." When I arrived, it was like when Caleb met his mother in the classic novel "East of Eden." Alice is now an old, arthritic, bitter bitch that I barely recognized, living in a wheelchair.
"Hello." I said.
"Who the fuck are you?" she asked.
"Oh, I'm just someone you used to know." I answered. "I brought you something. It's Mother's Day." I added. Then I handed her a single red rose in a glass vase draped in white ribbon with the words, "I forgive you" written on the card attached. She looked at it, reached for it with the claw she now has for a left hand, looked at the card and I said, "The card says, 'I forgive you.'"
She looked at me and asked, "How's Blake (her grandson) and the baby (her great-granddaughter)?" So much for that Alzheimer's disease the nursing home claims she has.
"They're fine." I said. "Goodbye." Then I left. Closure.
That's been nearly a year ago and rarely, have I even thought of her. I pay her nursing home bill and her burial insurance premiums and that's all. That's plenty.
If nothing else, let me be someone you're glad you're not. Let me make you thankful your mother was not like mine. You know what a mother's love is and I don't. No pity needed here, Just promise me that you'll value YOUR mother and praise her for something they call "unconditional love." I feel I have it for my son and my granddaughter but without an example, I'm hoping I'm doing it correctly.
The hard truth is...some women aren't meant to be mothers. Mine wasn't.
I envy everyone of you blessed with a mother who saw her child as a blessing and not a curse. Spend time with your mother, love her, adore her and thank God for her. VALUE her as she valued YOU!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY