Mother

My mother died one month and nine days short of her 44th birthday, so my mom was 43 when she died.
Today she would’ve been 67.
Once upon a time…I think I was 20 I started reading that book “Motherless Daughters: the Legacy of Loss”…I didn’t get very far.
What I do remember was that it talked about the lack of Mother in Disney movies, (and I daresay in most fairy tales for that matter.)
(though inspired by Motherless Daughters, the following are my own thoughts and do not come from the book)
Mother=Protection
Mother=Love
Mother=A mentor into adulthood
With Mother there, the hero can’t undergo trial by fire because Mother would take the hit for her child.
Like the Goddess Demeter, the Mother would face Hades for her child.
She would beg Zeus himself for her child.
Even looking at Lion King, where Surabi lives, Simba has to be away from her before he can truly come into his own.
I can see that just looking at my own life.
If my mother had lived I would’ve never gotten pregnant at 18.
I would’ve never dated my daughter’s father to begin with.
I would’ve never moved to California to escape said daughter’s father.
In essence, my life would’ve been completely different.
After she died, I found my self searching for the Mother.
I found a replacement briefly in my horrible boyfriend’s mother.
My father’s wife wanted nothing to do with my brother and I, and K filled the void for me. I adored her.
The only reason I stayed with him for so long was because I loved his mother.
Once I decided that for the sake of my daughter I HAD to leave him, I lost another Mother.
I lived with an abusive aunt, I was depressed, I was still grieving the loss of my mom (3 years out at that point), and quite frankly, California is a completely different world from South Carolina…I was trying to find my footing. I needed a Mother.
Having lived in such a humid environment I’d never had to use lotion. When I came out to Cali my hands started cracking, peeling and bleeding from doing the dishes.
At the time I had no idea why, and because I worked with food I had to wear gloves.
A lady I worked with saw my hands and invited me to come over to her house.
She mixed some aloe with some lotion and took my hands in hers and rubbed the lotion into them.
At that point Mother kindness wasn’t a part of my life and I sobbed.
Rose hugged me and let me cry.
Around that time it was decided that I would take my daughter back to SC to live with my father and his wife.
I didn’t want to, but having been told daily that I was a piece of shit, that she deserved better than me, that I was useless as a mother…I believed those things about myself and did as I was told.
My father briefly offered to let me stay with them too, but his wife was anxious to have a daughter and made it abundantly clear that I wasn’t welcome in her home.
So I came back out to California. I was sick to my stomach the whole flight back.
No Mother, no Daughter…
I became completely self destructive.
If it weren’t for the fact that I still held onto the Christian belief that suicides go to hell I wouldn’t be here today.
But there was a part of me that didn’t want to disgrace my mother’s memory, so after a time I got sober and started working at getting my life back together.
In my early 20’s there were two book that were life changing for me.
Goddesses in Every Woman by Jean Shinoda Bolen PhD, and Reclaiming Woman’s Voice: Becoming Whole by Lesley Irene Shore.
I knew I was without a Mother and therefore wasn’t necessarily a Daughter anymore.
I knew I was a woman, but didn’t know what that meant.
Those books, along with some positive women from my 12 step group helped shape me.
Who I am today is through the combined efforts of several women as well as myself.
I saw Rose again after I sobered up.
She told me to keep doing whatever it was that I was doing and that she was proud of me.
Her words of Mother praise meant more to me than anything anyone else had said about my sobriety.
When I was getting married, my 12 step sponsor and I had a huge argument.
She had become my Mother in many ways, and that wasn’t healthy for me.
When she dropped out of my life I was devastated.
Luckily I had other women who were willing and able to step in and help me.
They let me cry while making arrangements, they let me rage, they hugged me and put me in my place when necessary.
I couldn’t have done it without them, and I think the fact that I didn’t go crawling back to her begging pissed my sponsor off.
But that was also the beginning of my strength.
It was a big step toward healing my grief.
I had found the Mother in myself…the part of me that wouldn’t allow someone else to hurt me to the point where I wished I could die.
I had found the Mother in others…women friends who wouldn’t let another ruin what was supposed to be the best day of my life.
It was also an opportunity for me to Mother.
I was five months pregnant with Boo when Moose and I married, and I was determined to protect him.
My wedding was nothing that I had ever dreamed of as a little girl, but it established me as the Mother in my own family.
I miss my Mother.
Not as badly as I used to, and my memories are nowhere near as painful.
But I think that has more to do with the fact that I came through my own trial by fire and became a Mother in my own right.
Would I have preferred to have her guiding hand when I was going through the thick of it?
Absolutely…
But I believe in an afterlife and I believe in ancestors who can intercede.
Because every time I truly needed a Mother, one appeared.

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