I met my mom today. Not the aged, failing, frail version, but the one whose face shone expectantly out of the picture frame on her wedding day, joyfully setting out on a new adventure with her husband.
I met my mom today. Not the broken, lonely soul whose family had turned their back on her, but the one living in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico with her Medical Resident husband and her infant children. Frustrated and broken due to miscarriage after miscarriage, she persevered and found a life beyond that sadness.
I met my mom the other day. Not the one whose body was ravaged by alcohol and whose brain had deteriorated from the effects of long-term substance abuse, but the one exercising in the living room to maintain her youthful figure; the one creating a home for her young family where her husband would be proud to entertain the children could grow up safe and happy.
I met my mom the other day. Not the one bitter and angry after having settled in a marriage with a man she had no respect for, but the one whose heart was shattered by the end of the marriage she thought she would last forever; the one who struggled to support the one she loved through medical residency and practice development only to have him cast her aside solidifying the feelings of inadequacy she had about herself from the very beginning.
I met my mom the other day and found not the abusive terror I have so often painted her to be but a woman whose dark hair and olive skin served as a physical reminder of the difference between herself and her sisters; a woman whose intelligence and domestic skills, once something to be praised were dismissed by a husband who chose a greener pasture leaving her broken, unable to find herself in a life not of her choosing, emotionally unable to put herself in a situation to be vulnerable again because the pain was too great to overcome.
I wish I had know the woman I see now, the one with hopes and dreams, drive and ambition, the one who had given all she had for a life she could never enjoy; the one who was isolated and fragile due to a mental illness that was never understood or diagnosed.
I wish I had known the woman I see in my mind today, take the time to talk to her, to hear her life’s stories and share my life with her.
On this Mother’s Day, I wish for a moment to spend with my mom. I would wrap my arms around her and tell her I love her, tell her how sorry I am I couldn’t see or understand the pain of the loss of her marriage, the loss of her children, the loss of her family. I would thank her for teaching me how to cook, keep a house and discipline myself to do the things that needed to be done. I would thank her for my love of music,the arts, animals, and words. Most importantly, I would tell her she was worthy of more.