Moms and May

A friend’s tweet about his mother’s passing triggered memories of my own. It feels selfish to talk about it, but I’m owning my need to write, so I am writing. I’m also challenging my fear of sharing, so I am sharing.

Mother’s Day does not bother me too much. My mom’s birthday does not either. Even Memorial Day weekend, the anniversary of her passing, doesn’t make me feel any kind of way. Rather it’s random things that make me think about her, feel her, miss her. Sometimes it’s a song, a picture, a saying… today it was a tweet.

Ours was an interesting relationship to say the least. By the time she died we had learned to express our love for each other in productive and traditional ways. We made it through the tumultuous years when I was filled with rage toward her most of the time. Genuine rage, even when I wanted desperately to feel otherwise.

These memories – snapshots of our complicated relationship – these are the things I’m exploring these days. When I mention writing as inquiry, or truth-telling, I’m talking about writing to understand why couldn’t we say I love you to each other. Why did I threaten her with bodily harm? Why did I think horrendous thoughts about her in the dead of night and how did we get past it? Why didn’t I hug or kiss her the times I wanted to? And why did distance, space, time, and indeed my writing, bring us closer?

We had a happy ending, but was it luck? Or the lesson I needed to learn in this lifetime? Or?

When the doctor announced she was brain dead, I was immediately grateful for the healing that had taken place between us. I was elated that rather than “stuff” for Mother’s Day just a couple of weeks earlier, I had given her laughter and time and love.

My mother was pretty fabulous in a million ways, but I can’t act as if our past didn’t exist. All of it – the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. On days like today, I swallow the lump in my throat and write, and think, and feel.  And I miss her, and I love her and I wonder…

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4 thoughts on “Moms and May

  1. Oh, how does that sentence end? What do you wonder? I wonder all the time….

    Brave sharing. What courage.

    But I don’t connect to this primarily in thinking of my mother. I connect in thinking of my son, and the many nights of rage he has spent thinking of me already. You give me hope for happy endings, no matter how frayed, bristled, even burnt the thread is that pulls us there.

    Own that need. It is beautiful.

    1. thanks lady! what’s been really interesting is the dialogue this has sparked. when you’re mulling and feeling you seem to be the only one who thinks such thoughts, but it turns out it’s universal in one form or another. who knew? 🙂

  2. Your words always seem to srike some kind of emotion whenever I’m reading your work. Today it is love, compassion, inspiration, empathy and regret.

    Thanks for being my muse.

    -B

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