Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mother Load of Issues

Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mother.

For some of us those are fairly loaded words.

This is not a post about adoption or the differences between various type of mothers. Its not about comparing or contrasting or dissecting the types of relationships.

Its simply about acknowledging the complicated relationship between mother and daughters.

Maybe your mother gave birth to you, maybe she adopted you, maybe she simply assumed that role for you later in life. Maybe she is gone. Maybe you have more than one. But however she came to you, and you to her, you know she is your mother.

If you have an easy relationship with your mother, be happy. Be content. And probably quit reading.

If you have a complicated, layered, or painful relationship with your mother then you are in a large group of daughters. Sisters.

So today, I honor my sisters who have struggled with their mothers. Who have fought, cried, obsessed, argued, left, returned, grieved and spent hours in therapy trying to understand the dysfunction. I want you to know I hear you and its ok. We will survive. A bit worn from the process, but ok.

Today my friend lays her mother to rest.

Her relationship with her mother was complicated. It never came easy. It never filled the Hallmark Movie expectations we imagine others have with their mothers. It seemed, at times, to be completely marred with tears, hurts and frustrations.

But at the heart of the story, of every mother daughter story, was a little girl who loved her mommy, and a mother, who despite all her faults and failings, did the very best she could for the little girl she loved.

It's a story of a lifetime of memories, many good, some bad. Its a story of forgiveness and acceptance. Its a story of love and fear and sickness and eventually, of a daughter parenting her mother during the last days of her life.

To some it appears to be a story with a tragic ending. A terminal diagnosis. 6 weeks to live. But it was an ending that gave them a priceless gift of the time. Time to say I love you. Time to say I forgive you. Time to say goodbye.


Tamara, my heart breaks with your loss. The loss of the relationship you wanted, the loss of the relationship you had. I wish I could hold your hand today as you say goodbye to your mom.

And mom, I love you too.

1 comment:

My name is Andy. said...

Wow Jen, that was beautiful.... I'm off to call my mother now!