I don’t think I ever grasp this concept until now. It pains me to admit this, but it’s true. Whenever I hear other’s express their close bond that they have with their mothers, I marvel how grand that must be!
And it stings.
Mama used to say: “You can have ten fathers but only one mother.”
I heard that line growing up and believed it. After my parents divorced, I had three different step-dads. I didn’t want to share my mama, she wasn’t married to any of them. I wanted us to be by ourselves. But Mama was too busy for me. I’m sure she did the best she could, but nurturing wasn’t in her DNA. Left on my own a great deal, I was a neglected child.
Loneliness was my middle name.
At age nine, once we moved to Florida, my grandma was more like a mother to me. I knew then what a mother’s love felt like and it just wasn’t the same as Mama’s. Oh, to be sure, I love my mama; she gave birth to me. But because I had no choice but to grow up too fast, our roles had always been reversed. Most of the time, I felt like I was the mother. I wasn’t a model teenager either, and couldn’t wait to leave home in search of love.
The miles separate, the years have passed, Mama and I have since aged. I look back and forgive my past; it has made me who I am today. I’ve had to learn to forgive my mama a hundred times over, whose harshness and demeanor become more passive and feeble with time. She’s not perfect. And neither am I.
I am a mother now. And I pray that my own children will always feel my love.
No matter what.
It takes work. Prayer.
And much forgiveness.
Our communication skills remain much to be desired. I’ll keep working at it.
Mother’s Day is around the corner. It has always been so complicated for me in choosing the right Mother’s Day card. Maybe this time I won’t have to keep putting the cards back on the shelf in search for the one that describes Mama perfectly.
Maybe, I’ll write one for her myself:
I loved you then.
I love you now.
No matter what.
Love always, your little girl.
© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved