My Mother is gone, now. She passed away in 2007.I'm looking forward to seeing her again when it's my time.I look forward to showing her the appreciation that she deserved.
Growing up, what I needed from my mother wasn’t available. My mom’s understanding, compassion and love, was spent trying to make her relationship work with dad. Their relationship, at best, was unstable. They abused one another verbally and emotionally and stopped very short of physically. The physical abuse,was saved for my four siblings and I. Spilled milk, literally, would enrage her.
Mom cried more than she laughed, in her younger days when she was raising us. As a child, I only saw what happened right in front of me. I didn’t analyze it or try to figure out why it happened. I just felt the hurt. I never had a clue how bad my mom’s heart had been hurting. I never heard the word, ‘dysfunctional’ to describe a family or relationship, back then. However, many families were dysfunctional, without even knowing it. There was no blame placed for how we were treated. That was just the way it was.
When I moved on with my life and began my family, her emotional suffering still didn’t make itself apparent to me. Things went on as normal. She would laugh at get-togethers and be charming and everyone loved her. Her faith in the Catholic Church wouldn’t allow her to divorce, so she and my dad were still together, still aggravating one another. I perceived it as a sham, thinking I knew the real her. We fought about the right way and the wrong way to do things, like cleaning the bathroom, making formula or folding diapers. (Yes, I’m dating myself here.)
It was when she had a near fatal stroke, I began to realize how hard her life had been and now I wanted to take care of her. Easier said than done, we fought about her therapy, which she didn’t want to do and she hated every meal I cooked. I realized how she liked to push my buttons one day, when she made a snide comment about something I had done like burnt dinner or something and she started to laugh at me. I realized that mindless bantering was her way of dealing with her pain and always had been. I laughed with her. Some things never change, but one thing did and that was our love for each other.
I didn’t know how much she meant to me and how much I would miss her, until her time was almost over. The morning I kissed her forehead and watched her draw her last breath, I hoped she knew how much I loved her. I think of her everyday, sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry. I regret wasting all of that time carrying hurt and anger when in the end I can honestly say that she was a pretty amazing woman.