Mother’s Day. With mine gone since November of 1998, I don’t feel much about this day any more. Reading Facebook posts and other social media makes me think my feeling, or lack of, is odd.
But my relationship with my mother was contentious from the very beginning.
I went to the people I know as my parents initially to be a foster child. After 6 foster homes within the family in six months. To be sheltered until my first adoptive father could recover from the sudden death of the woman with whom he adopted me.
At age 2, my first memory is of a woman in a Jackie Kennedy suit and pillbox hat trying to take my doll away as she sent me to bed for a nap. MY doll. One of the only things that had come with me through those six months of bouncing around. I was as determined not to give it up as she was to take it from me.
I don’t remember who “won” but this standoff set the tone for our relationship throughout our lives together.
And there was more. Abuse, “benign” neglect, rooted in the depths of what I’ve come to believe to be her own chronic, clinical depression.
All of this in hindsight. I couldn’t begin to come to grips with it as a young adult. I wrestled with the task of choosing a Mother’s Day card each year. Every one extolling the loving virtues of Mom. Patience, tolerance, caring, blahblahblah.
I started choosing pretty blank cards and writing a note because I felt a hypocrite doing anything else. I cared about my Mom, I think I remembered loving her but with all that had gone between us, I coudn’t go for the sappy greeting card stuff.
I’m writing this because my husband threw away some leftover Easter ham today. There’s some frozen and I thought maybe I could make ham hash. Which led me to thinking of the time my Mom tried to make some. She worked inside all day as the rest of us…Dad, my brother, and, my grandfather worked outside, smelling the luscious smells from the kitchen.
On sampling it, our eager facrs froze. It. Was. Terrible. We all kept eating until my brother took a taste, and lacking some social skills at his young age, spit it out with an exclamation of disgust.
At which point, we all laughed. We laughed at my Mom. Trying so hard, and failing depite her effort. And we laughed.
As I remember this today, I feel sad for her. She was laughed at as a child in school and here we were, her family, laughing at her, too.
I think I did fall out of love with my Mom some time in my adolescence. The abuse looms larger some days than others, along with the question “why?”
So I know it’s possible. To fall out of love with your Mother. But I feel sympathy and tenderness for her. For her own struggles, young and old. And I hope that’s enough for the path of our Souls for now.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.