This time of the year the advertisements and commercials are geared towards Mother’s Day. Things to spoil her and let her know how much you appreciate all that she has done for you. I have been a mother for the past 17 years and enjoy this day very much. My sons take pride in getting me a gift and spoiling me for a day, and I love it!
What I don’t love is the pressure to do something for my own mother on Mother’s Day. No where in the Mother’s Day card section is there one that is appropriate for me to give to my mother. Our relationship is complicated and messy. Where is the card for the mother who was drunk for most of her daughter’s life? Where is the card for the mother who didn’t say anything when her husband was sexually abusing this daughter? Where is the card for the mother who is hateful and unkind?
Due to the circumstances of my past, I didn’t live close to my mother or talk to her often for almost 17 years. I didn’t like it and constantly felt guilty. After much prayer, I chose to forgive them and released my pain and suffering to God. I felt better, but nothing really changed until a year and a half ago when my father died unexpectantly. Immediately after my father died, I put my life on hold for 6 months as I moved my mom across the country and took over her finances and personal needs. As I chose an assisted living facility just 10 minutes from my family, I had hopes of a new start for our relationship. After almost 17 years apart, I now call and/or visit my mother at least once a week. When her watch stops working or her cat needs litter, I am there for her. When a holiday comes around, she is invited to our house. When she wants spending money, I deliver. If I am unable to call her back or I don’t respond to her request fast enough, she will leave me a rude message on my phone. I try to brush it off and tell my husband and kids, “that’ll be me some day,” but I truly hope it won’t be. Our relationship is not as I imagined and I often feel bitter after a phone call or visit because of the way she speaks to me.
So as this holiday approaches this year, I struggle to feel the sentiments that are associated with Mother’s Day. I can forgive, but I can’t forget.