Sunday, May 13, 2012

Motherly Grateful

Today is Mother's Day...  The first one I've spent as a single mother but not the first one my mother did.  She had two single mother Mother's Days.  Between my dad, and my step dad.  I don't remember the sacrifices she made for me in those years beyond the shadowy glimpses of the Strawberry Shortcake curtains that she sewed for my room where we lived in the trailer, just her and I.  Bonding, hoping and believing in a future that looked so much brighter than where we were that day.  

I was a hope filled, delightfully oblivious two and three year old and she was my mother.  Working, going to school, painfully sending me to daycare.  Teaching me to potty train in a day, never turning on the car radio because she so cherished time with me and didn't want to miss a word I would say, and feeding me raisins telling me they were candy so I wouldn't develop a sweet tooth.  

It is painful now for me to try and access that part of my brain, to try and remember.  What would it have been like for her and I?  How were we really?  How did she deal with all of her pain of being divorced, moving 12 hours away from the only hometown she'd ever know, from the desertion of her family, of her feeling like somehow, she'd done something wrong.  

I now know that pain.  I am intimately acquainted with it.  I feel it's raw edges every day and as I look at my two year old daughter, I see the incredibly painful mirror of my two year old self.  

I may not be just like my mother, or I may and if I am I will embrace the parts of herself that she had to cut out to give to me.  She has bore me and her children for her whole life.  Ann Voskamp was right when she said, "as a mother, you never stop giving birth to your children."  The moment you push them into this world and they greet it screaming and crying, you right there crying with them; that is not the last moment of tears, pushing, screaming and crying.  The umbilical cord may be cut, but they have so much more to take from you.

You would think after housing and nourishing a child from your inside out for nine months there would be nothing else they could take from your physical body, but you would be so wrong.  There is nothing a mother won't give.  From her tears at wondering where you are until two in the morning to those shed on the gravestone of her second child.  There is nothing your children won't require of you.  And to be a mother, a godly mother you must give it.  

My mother has.  She has given it all.  Has it been perfect?  Do we have the closest most intimate of relationships, no.  But that is not what we need from one another.  What we need is to know, for me to know she has given her all and for her to know that I NOW, I now finally understand her pain.  I will not any longer question the path you have walked, Mom.  I understand it intimately.  And the thing about her being my mother, is that she would have rather had me sit in judgement over her for the rest of her life than for me to know this pain.  She would have rather me question her decision making process and how she expresses or doesn't her emotions.   Because she is still giving birth to me.  She is still loving me and taking things from her body to give and nourish mine.  There is still nothing she won't give me, not a single part of herself that she holds back.  

So Happy Mother's Day Mom.  I love you.  I wish I had more to give you back than understanding but today that is my gift to you.  

You are MY mom and I am forever grateful.  

-S

My mother, and my daughter

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