Mothers Day 2020

Today I posted an apology to my mother, now deceased, on Facebook. Apologized for not being more patient, more understanding; in essence a better daughter. Immediately friends rallied around me, supporting and consoling in these shared reflective times in that way women do. My mother raised us in virtual self-imposed isolation. She sequestered her shame in a beautiful home with an abusive husband, her constant companions being sorrow and confusion at how a man she adored could turn so savage and loving, in turn. If social media had existed, I wonder if she would or even could have reached out for the comfort she desperately needed.

She was only eighteen, a child herself when she gave birth to the first of seven healthy children. I was fifth down the line, her baby girl, the object of her devotion through most of my childhood. It was complicated as she clearly favored me, which set up many years of resentment from my siblings. I was not aware of the repercussions when young, children take what love they can get. Later on I resented her in turn for causing such confusion and heartbreak amongst my siblings. And on it went, the baton was passed and I seized and flat-out ran with it.

I wonder how parent/child relationships would alter if we could time travel to the future, just far enough to consider what we are about to say or do. My child self had the luxury of few filters when it came to Mom. My father was unsafe at any speed, so what I stifled with him, I let fly with her. It was not constant, and I was not often unkind, but even after I left home, there were excuses not to call or visit except when it suited me. I was wrapped up in my own adult dramas then, with the challenges of an errant husband and two little girls to think about. Coping was just about what I could handle. Yet even when the girls left home, I called mom less and less frequently. She had found religion, and I tired easily of the conversion tactics. Had I more tolerance, I might have found a way around the touchier comments. Had I cultivated patience, I might have realized she was getting old and older, more and more frail and finally death overcame her non-resistance to it. She had suffered enough to consider it a benediction.

As I approach my sixty-seventh birthday next month, I don’t know if it’s mortality or the prevalence of pandemic-driven morbidity that tugs more assiduously at the strings of my heart. I feel tender and a little raw and a bit weepy. As diligent as I was about my own mothering, I made mistakes as she said I would. I don’t know if kids are even meant to understand, but parents are very much growing up alongside them. This, whilst trying to fill shoes of archetypal proportions. Mother. Father. Even with the best of marriages or parenting intentions, who among us can ever measure up to these impossible standards?

Wishing all of you mothers everywhere a blessed Mothers Day tomorrow and every day. It’s the hardest and paradoxically the most rewarding job on the planet. May we all support one another in sharing the kind of love we either received or lacked from our own moms. With genuine forgiveness, love and compassion flows like singing water. May we all attune to its frequency. Aloha.Kohala Mountain Road morning glories ~ bj

14 thoughts on “Mothers Day 2020

  1. Hi Bela, it’s never too late to understand the compulsions of others, even if they happened to be our mothers, as they must have done the best in the given circumstances… I wonder if the kids have the maturity to understand and all of them react differently but they can’t have the patience or the love, as they learn it from those who shower on them. It’s good to forgive ourselves for what we couldn’t do because we didn’t know how to.
    Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day. Love and hugs.

    1. Incisive reflections, Balroop, thank you. What occurs to me just now is that we can love people – truly love them – without necessarily liking them. I have experienced this, time and again. There were many things my mother did that I surely did not agree with or like, but I honor both my parents for giving me life and trying to teach me as best they could, given their own backgrounds and levels of understanding and personal growth. Perspective is a healing salve.

      My siblings mostly tried through religion to find redemption. It simply didn’t resonate with me. I feel fortunate that I had the courage to move away from my origins into life in the Maine woods and waters. Working with and observing nature has always been my saving grace, to this day. It calms my spirit and knits me into the fabric of Creation.

      I also consider myself fortunate also to have met my husband, who is at heart a kind and wise and patient man, and we have learned so much together. Healed together. Not everyone is so lucky.

      I hope you enjoy this Mother’s Day and may you be blessed! Aloha ❀

  2. Because my mother developed Alzheimers in her 60s I never got a chance to resolve many of our issues like I did with my father. Of course I wish I had been able to see her with the eyes of my present experience. We do the best we can, both mothers and daughters. I know she loved me. (K)

    1. That knowledge is a comfort, Kerfe, surely. It feels like many issues with my mom, impossible to resolve when she was living because she wouldn’t be forthcoming with answers, have gotten resolved since she’s been dead. Makes me wonder how that happens, but since I can only interpret reality through the senses and lenses I have been given, I remain in awe of the vast Beyond. Religion attempts to explain it, but that avenue seemed too venal to me. I am content to continue on the path of wonder and see what happens as it is revealed. Blessings!

  3. I think we’ve finally come full circle when we have empathy for our mothers. While none of us are perfect, I had to accept that my parents both did the best they knew how at the time. Even harder, I think, is forgiveness of self for mistakes I made raising my sons. Life is one long learning curve!

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