I don’t think I ever grasp this concept until now. It pains me to admit this, but it’s true. Whenever I hear others express the close bond that they have with their mothers, I marvel at 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, and Mama and I have both 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 on 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 of 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
7 responses to “Confession of a Daughter”
This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. You are correct, our experiences and our relationships make us who we are.
Thank you, Grace. Hugs!
Wow! I can relate to every single word in this post. The grieving of a daughter’s heart for her mom is heavy for sure. Trying to pick out a Mother’s Day card is a dreaded experience but thankfully (and sadly) she doesn’t even notice the general and shallow nature of the cards I give her. I am one who enjoys writing my own cards but cannot quite find the words to write in hers… Thank you for your candidness in this post. Your determination to love and honor your mother in spite of your struggle is to be admired. May The Lord continue to bless you along your journey!
Thank you Tina … my husband always say that I do well in trying to honor my mother and not be so hard on myself. I don’t know, sometimes my good intentions fail after 5 minutes with her LOL. I have to rely on the Lord and shake off those negative moments and practice forgiveness, not only with her, but with myself simply because I know that I’m not perfect either. Appreciate your comment, Tina!
As Mothers’ Day approaches I Remember mine with so much love and I read about your experience with yours and feel very sad for you. Many of her life experiences were not good, she did not have the best childhood growing up and was not ready to be a Mom because of this. Insecurity and ignorance probably hid her love of you and your brother. I’m sure her life experiences and your forgiveness have made her a better person. I have hopes that during the coming years there will be peace and understanding between you and her. Many blessings to you both today and always.
This made me tear up for sure! I can relate to a lot of your story. I had a very difficult relationship with my mother as well (her nurturing skills were almost non-existent) and the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was to truly and honestly forgive her for some pretty bad things she did to me (it took me almost 20 years to do that). And only with God’s help was I able to really forgive. I hope you have a good Mother’s Day with your mom. Thank you for posting this.
Paula, thank you so much for taking the time to share your heartfelt comment about my post – you made ME tear up! Someone said a mother and daughter relationship can be so complicated. Well, we know this for a fact. I commend you for overcoming your own situation regarding your mother. What I’ve shared and the book I’m writing is knowing that there are many out there – young and old – who need to hear hope beyond their pain. These emotions for our love ones can be so raw, touching us to the core. To this day, I continue to rely on God’s grace in communicating with my mother, forever striving to be better and not bitter.