Every year, Mother’s Day comes around and every year I avoid thinking too deeply about it. I usually succeed, considering the fact that I have usually been in the hospital with Abigail every Mother’s Day since you’ve died. This September, Mom, you will have been gone for 8 years. This September, I will turn 30-years-old. It’s time to accept the truth.
I have avoided the truth for many years now and I didn’t even know it until recently. But, facts are facts. You became sick from the brain cancer regrowth when I was just a little girl of 17. I was so young and I was so naïve. I see now how silly I was to have believed otherwise. You see, the reality I must face is this: I was never your friend.
Let me explain.
I have my own children now. You met my two oldest before you went ahead to Heaven. I gave birth to 6 more since. Elijah left me and joined you in Heaven, so I am now raising 7 children. Seven children rely on me every single second of every single day. And, mom… I’ve had to grow up and become a mom without you all of these years. Without the support that comes from a healthy mama. I’ve had to face each new, scary milestone as a mama alone. You were never “just a phone call away”.
So, I have started to realize all that it means to be a mom. The hours of selflessness, the days without sleep, the years that fly by too fast. All the burdens that we must keep and hide in our hearts and bare alone. All that we must not burden others with, especially not our children. And I really appreciate all you gave of yourself as my mother. I know how hard it was, now.
You were the best kind of mama. You never, ever thought of yourself. You just gave and gave to others. You were always available, always there. You were responsible, you were caring, you were a praying mom. You were bold and strong and stood for truth, always.
My oldest is 10 and he loves to visit with me. He talks and talks and talks. He is a lot like I was. As his mom, I am his go-to friend, the one he tells everything. Like you were to me. He thinks that I want to hear it all, all of the time. And I really do, but, sometimes I am just too busy, have too much on my mind, have burdens I cannot share with him, prayers that I am sighing every minute just to get through the day, a heavy heart over the sins in this world, and it is all I can do to hold it together for the sake of him and his younger siblings.
He talks and I try to listen. I mostly hear him, most of the time. I love how his mind works, I love his desire to learn everything and share everything he learns with me, his old mama. I am his mama, but I carry the weight of the world’s & our family’s spiritual well-being on my shoulders (I know, it is not mine to carry, but it is hard to let it go). I may know (almost) everything about him, but he doesn’t know everything about me. He just knows me as his mama.
And that is how it should be.
However, until now… until this experience as my son’s mama… I never realized that I simply was not your friend. At least not on an adult-selfless level. And that makes me super, really, very, just plain SAD. I am experiencing a whole new level of grief lately. It hits me unexpectedly on random days. It shocks me and leaves me broken.
In my experiences as a mom, I see how wrong I’ve been about our relationship, mom. I was just a silly, immature, dreamy, talkative child who had not faced real life yet when you were still alive and healthy. You were a wonderful, patient, stable, calm mom who listened to my dreams, pains, thoughts, and confusion through my tween and teen years.
And even still when I became an adult and got married and you were fighting the cancer battle. You rarely let your emotions show or let your feelings interfere with your judgment. You never stuck your nose in our marriage and you supported us because you believed that you should never get between what God has joined together. You taught me what Biblical marriage was really all about. You always did the right thing and pointed me towards Jesus. You simply stood strong on God’s Word. You cared about souls the most (including my husband’s), you didn’t pick sides, and I know you prayed for us always.
Mom, you were my strength, my lifeline, and my inspiration. I am a believer today because God made you my mom. Our marriage is as strong as it is now because you were my mom. He knew that I needed you for the first 20 years of my life so that I could face the rest of my life.
Mom, I never knew the weight you carried as a mom of ten children plus 3 in heaven, but I can now imagine. I just wish we could have known each other for longer so that I could have known you in my adult years. So that I could tell you how your life has left an impact on mine, for always. I am so sorry that I was never given the opportunity to be there for you like you had always been for me. I am so sorry that I just took and took and took and never gave back. You deserved so much more while here on earth. I wish I could have been your friend.
Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a mom. What it means to sacrifice and pour yourself into marriage and motherhood. For praying for Joey & I from the very beginning. For your dedication to your husband and children. I am still learning from you every day. Thank you!
And I see now, that though I was never your friend, I am so blessed to have been your daughter.
So, here’s to you mom, the strongest woman I know… Happy Mother’s Day! I love you and I can’t wait to join you in Heaven someday!
Love, Clarissa Rose