I wrote this several years ago in my diary. I just found it again today and I thought I would re-print it.
My mother loved me. Now, when I think of her, I’ve come to realize she was the only person who ever loved me. Her love knew no boundaries. Her love was endless and without borders. Perhaps that’s what all mother love is for everyone. I don’t know. I have no idea. But I do know that the love my mother felt towards me was different.
My mother died and left me alone when I needed her the most. I was recently married and newly pregnant when my father told me my mother had just been diagnosed with a rare, incurable cancer. The doctors had given my mother three months to live. My mother lived long enough to hold my newborn child in her arms. A few weeks later, my mother was gone.
How do you become a mother yourself when your own mother has left you? I would look down into my daughters eyes and think how lucky she was. I was still alive. I could care for her and protect her. As for me, I had no one anymore.
My dad didn’t have much use for me anymore. He had his own problems. My husband didn’t want to hear my sob stories. In fact, he preferred not to be around me when I cried out for my mother. So, I left. I took my daughter and I left to live my own life.
My mother has been gone from my life for thirty four years and still, to this day I can not talk about her without crying. When ever Mother’s Day comes around, I have the most difficult time. I’ll often hear my friends complain about their own mothers and I will politely remind them that they are so lucky and fortunate to have their own mothers still alive. How wonderful it must have been, I often think, to have had your mother by your side through thick and through thin? To comfort and guide you? To answer your questions or simply to talk about the meaning of life.
There’s no doubt the loss of my own mother helped shape my abilities as a mother myself. I raised two daughters with my mom’s constant voice advising in my ears. I knew that I would not be as controlling as my own mother was to me. Instead, I would guide my daughters to choose their own paths and make their own decisions. What resulted were two strong women who could stand on their own feet without the help of anyone. Specifically, me. I have two daughters, who by the age of twenty, unanimously announced they no longer needed me. For anything.
I always thought I was going to die an early death, just like my mother. That caused me to live taking more risks and chances than I would have preferred. I never wanted to be on my deathbed wishing I had lived life a bit more fuller than what my own mother felt on her own deathbed. My mother’s life was filled with sacrifice and pain. She often went without so that she could give her children more. In the end, that proved to be her fatal flaw. My brother, sister and I would have preferred our mother live longer by giving us less.
I often tell my children they are fortunate to have me still alive. The pain of growing up without a mother is too brutal to bear. I have outlived my own mother now and I often find myself marveling at the many things I am currently living that my mother never got to enjoy. Last month, I gave my expectant youngest daughter a baby shower. She and I are planning my new role once my first grand daughter is born. My youngest daughter calls me often, after her day at work, and she let’s me know how she is feeling or how her day at the office went. I get to feel the pangs of worry and concern.
My oldest daughter just texted me last night to tell me she got a wedding photo shoot up in our neighborhood and could she borrow my car for the day? How wonderful that my children need me and I am still here to help them get through their life. Of course you can borrow my car and of course, you can depend on me to babysit. These are things my own mother never got a chance to do. So how, could I say no or deny myself the blessings of being a mother?
Happy Mother’s Day. You all don’t know how lucky you are.