As long as I can remember, I have struggled with my mother, my feelings about her and myself.
The other day I remembered when I realized I didn't love her. I was a kid (11, 12 or 13?). She and my dad had gone to the "corner tavern" for drinks and she came home drunk. My dad decided to go to bed and ignore her rant, but I woke up wondering why she was screaming, yet again.
She was yelling about me and I heard her say quite clearly, "That kid doesn't love me!" My blood literally ran cold. It was true. I didn't love her. She didn't deserve my love and I was old enough to know it.
When I became Catholic, I learned about the Blessed Virgin Mary and slowly, she became my mother. Through her loving mercy, I became the daughter I was supposed to be and capable of being the mother I was intended to be.
Fr. Aelred of Rievaulx (died 1167, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Rievaulx for twenty years) says it so beautifully, I cried after reading it:
By means of [Mary's] grace, the elements [of the world] are renewed, the infernal regions are destroyed, and the heavenly regions are restored; men are set free, and demons are trampled underfoot ... Observe that whoever is praised in the Lord merits to be praised only through the mediation of Mary's merits ... She is the Mother of Mercy and so gladly stands ready, prepared to hear the desires of those who call upon her, and for them all, she obtains the result they hoped for ... Through Mary, we were born in a better way than through Eve, since Christ was born from Mary ... She is our Mother, ... the Mother of our light ... Therefore she is more our Mother than our mothers in the flesh, because our better birth comes from her ... For we were born through her; by her we are fed, by her aid we grow.