(This essay that needs lots of work, but I’m throwing it on here since it’s appropriate for the day. For those of you who may be struggling with Mom issues, maybe it will be helpful. For those of you who are missing your Mom today, my heart is truly with you.)
Without dredging up a whole mess of yuck on this gorgeous Sunday morning, I want to acknowledge the families that never work the way we all want to believe families work, and the people who will never complete their unfinished business, and the relationships that will never be healed in this world.
There are reasons for those situations, and sometimes sleeping dogs are best left to dream of whatever they dream about. It’s not about hating people or being angry with them or wishing that terrible things would happen to them. It’s just, at long last, an acceptance of the situation as it is. For some of us, the days where we’re supposed to celebrate the ideals of family life can be a little hard to swallow.
But even while acknowledging the ways in which my relationship with Mom does not work, I would be a terrible liar if I claimed to have never experienced joy with my mother, glimpses of how it might have been if we were both different people.
She gave me my life, an appreciation for good cooking, a sarcastic sense of humor, a mean streak, an abiding love of reading, resiliency, a will to make a mark on my community, high expectations of myself and other people, and much, much more. My Mom kept going through circumstances that would have brought me to my knees, and I know she doesn’t consider herself brave, but she has often been courageous. I know that she carries deep sadness and a feeling of being utterly alone, and that those feelings have been with her since she was a very young girl. She may have allowed herself to become bitter, but she has never allowed herself to fold.
And so today, rather than celebrating the ideal Mother, I will celebrate my Mom, in all her humanity.