Mothers Day


M is for the million things she gave me

O means only that she's growing old

T is for the tears she shed to save me

H is for her heart of purest gold

E is for her eyes with lovelight shining

R means right, and right she'll always be

Put them all together the spell Mother. The sweetest word in all the world to me.

Written by Marlene Marsyla- Hanek-Hendrickson.

This poem hangs on the mirror of her dresser that resides in my room.  Next to the pictures I have of her. While my Mom battled demons of her past on a daily basis, there is one thing I never doubted - her love.  She was a very unconditional women.  Brave, strong, independent, in some many ways.  She had to be. The battles she fought in life left her no choice.  From growing up in the 40's, 50's, 60's in extreme poverty to the abandonment of her first love - who she never got over, the abuse she would endure from her first husband to the death of her second husband to the dysfunction of a family and abuse yet again of a third husband and son. She coped with all via alcohol. 

She worked all her life, jobs of little pay to provide the best she could. I never doubted her devotion to provide - whether it was commodities or a harvested animal, she managed - blood, sweat and tears, she managed the best she could, the only way she knew how. While some criminalized her for trying, punished her with blame and resentment for not being enough, I never doubted with all her flaws, her worth.  She was enough for me. 

She lived much of her elder life blaming herself for not being enough, for being an alcoholic, for not being there when her kids said they need her most. Did they really know what was going on?  NO, they didn't.  Instead they shut her out.  Abandoned her, blamed her, resented her rather than look at life through her eyes. She wouldn't have wanted sympathy, perhaps empathy and understanding.  I would say that is true of any parent. 

As I grew, listening to her heart felt, and literally awful stories of her life growing up and all that she blamed herself for as a most kids I aimed to not go through the same things she did. Not repeat the same mistakes, to learn and grow from hers. I did indeed grow as an individual on a personal level from her mistakes, I did learn the lessons along the way, yet as a parent - doing the best I could with the tools I had - made plenty of mistakes along the way.   Much like my Mom, I too am blamed, resented and abandoned. I wasn't enough, am not enough still. I doubt I ever will be. My oldest daughter won't give me that chance.  And that's ok.  I've come to accept that she has to find her own way, her own happiness.  Just like every other kid does.  Doesn't change the fact that I love her and want to be a part of her life. That has to be a two way street.  She doesn't want me to be a part of hers. Much like my siblings did to my Mom. Interesting how history repeats itself, not matter how hard you try to prevent it by trying to be better - and finding its not enough. 

So many Moms ( I would imagine Fathers too) out there who go through this same thing - abandoned or estranged by their children. Most of us have little understanding as to why.  I recon I will go to my grave not knowing that answer. I've accepted that too.  If there is two things I have learned - is you can't make someone love you - or want to be a part of your life. Even if that's your child. I'm not perfect, no one is. Obviously I wasn't enough nor will I ever be, guess that lends to not being worth it either.  That's ok. like I said, I've accepted that too.  I have to.  People come into your life, and they leave. I should be used to it by now.

So with that, and another Mothers Day gone, I wish to those who read this that your Mothers Day was a day of reflection. Remembering the good in it all and a passage of which you can find acceptance.  The past is gone, tomorrow if we are lucky will come, in this moment we can quietly exist and be content. We can't change what we can't control. We can control our own thoughts, that voice in our head that reminds us of yesterday. And we can control how it affects us tomorrow if we are so blessed to meet that day.  Perhaps our gift to ourselves in this moment is to let go of the past and live for tomorrow.