Friday, May 8, 2009

Motherhood: Not For The Faint At Heart

Mother's Day is this Sunday and it has been on my mind a lot. There are all kinds of moms and I see a wide variety waltzing through the ER on any given day. This blog is dedicated to the majority of good moms out there.

I had a good mom if not a great mom. She raised me and my sisters by herself. We didn't have a lot of great toys, in style clothes, or up to date electronics. I was a latchkey child in that my mom worked 2 jobs to keep us fed and I came home alone a lot. Looking back we didn't lack for much of anything and we were loved. Mom loved each of her girls equally and without reservation. In these days of the media bombarding us with information about how important it is to live for ourselves, take care of ourselves and not to lose the "person" that we are I think of my mom. She lived for us and all of her decisions in her adult life post children were based on us and our needs. I know that her happiness was wrapped around our happiness and if we were alright, then all was good in her world. It is hard to explain this but she was gone a lot working but she was there, she was there, a phone call away. Was her identity wrapped up in ours? Yes, probably, because she lived to see us raised and happy. That worrying never stopped because the love didn't end when we went out on our own. I remember went my sisters and I were all up north to take her to a doctor appointment and we were staying in a nice hotel. I went out to the bar to smoke, have a glass of wine and read my book. I was gone for maybe thirty minutes and when I came back she was crying and my sisters were unable to console her. She worried that I, being by myself in that bar, had been drugged, kidnapped and was going to be killed. Pretty crazy huh. She would have been just as upset if Patti or Barb had been the one to leave. Her problem , based on current held opinion, was that she did not have her own life. If she was more selfish more egocentric she wouldn't have been worried about me... she would have been worried about herself. When she died I knew that no one ever would love me that way and would worry about me that way ever again. It left a hole. My kids have been raised by a woman raised by a worrier. Poor kids, I am a worrier and a protector.

I am living proof, as is every mom out there, that a heart can be broken. But it's not forever. Those cracks are filled with the next hug, the next kiss, and the next expression of love. Motherhood hurts like a bitch and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. We all have done the best that we can do, given the individual circumstances in which we find ourselves. I have heard it said that we, as mothers, won't know if we did good till our kids reach 40 and are out of therapy. Knowing that, however, I would do it again and again and wouldn't change a thing. We live in a changing world where love is frequently expressed by how much we can buy for those we love.

Let my final thought be this to those who have read this to the very end. Mother love is not for sale. It just is. Love is not a commodity to be traded or given out for good grades and good behavior. A mother's love endures through everything and cannot be destroyed, put away or taken away. It endures through all the years of her children's lives and I believe continues after she dies.
Happy Mothers Day

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