I grew up without a mother. She died when I was three so I never really knew her. In many ways it was a tragedy. In others, it saved me the conflicts that so many other girls around me had to endure as they were growing up. It seemed they were embroiled in constant love-hate relationships with their mothers as they traversed the mine fields of growing up. It saved me from becoming a care taker as my mother aged. She was forty when I was born. There could have been decades of increasing care for her had she lived as long as her sisters. My entire life would have been lived differently.
Mother’s Day has often been a troublesome day for me. My father asked his unmarried sister to come live with us. She was fifty years old when she moved into our home. I don’t think we understood each other a single day in our lives together, but, I guess she was better than not having any female influence in my life at all, as little as my aunt’s presence was.
I was reminded every Mother’s Day of my loss. In church one year we made some kind of flower memento and during a Mother’s Day program we were instructed to give these keepsakes to our mothers. I carried mine to my aunt. She was genuinely surprised by my gift. Her reaction told me so. She wasn’t expecting anything. When you think about it, though, what choice did I have? I could have stood by myself in front while the rest of the kids around me dispersed throughout the congregation, but that would have been too painful. I had to give it to her, even though we never achieved a mother-daughter relationship.
Somehow I managed to grow up, marry, and have a son, so I became a mother myself. He decided to become a world wanderer so, except for his occasional trips home, and my two trips to visit him, we have not really been in each other’s lives all that much for the last ten years. We do Skype once in while but we really are not all that much involved with each other any more.
That’s the story of my life in that department. Growing up without a mother, growing older without a son (except for a a few days at a time.) I’m still trying to figure out the “whys” of that situation. It’s like the days when we traveled downtown and we paused to look into the windows of the department stores. Regardless of how great it looked on the other side of the windows, I knew I would never be allowed to climb inside. Life is sometimes like that.
I found a funny video to put everything into perspective. Comedienne Chondra Pierce shares with her audience episodes about her relationship with her mother. I can enjoy her story without having personally lived through it. I hope you enjoy it as well. Namaste. Attic Annie