Today is my Mom's 83rd birthday, except she hasn't celebrated a birthday past age 70, when she died. That's almost thirteen years of not being mothered. I miss my Mom, but more and more, I realize how much I miss being mothered. Selfish as it is, I miss those things my Mom provided me.
There is a comfort and familiarity of being in your Mom's embrace, being in her presence, feeling safe and loved and allowing yourself the ability to regress to a time that needing those things was more socially acceptable. I am 47 years old now - a mother myself for the past twelve years, but I have no shame in admitting I miss being on the receiving end of things I can only hope I am providing my boys.
Life is lonelier without my Mom around. It's terribly cliche, but the older I get, the more I realize how little I know. About most everything. Did my Mom feel the same way? What did she do? How did she cope with X, Y and Z? Where did she find solace? What did she do when the world was going to hell in a hand basket? Who comforted her?
I was 35 when my Mom died, pregnant for the first time and a few months away from delivering. After a year of intense caregiving, I grieved my Mom's loss deeply, but was thrust forward by becoming a mother myself. Nursing and folding onesies and taking out the diapers filled my days and heart. Much of my sadness politely stepped aside to make room for the joy of a new baby.
In those early days, I focused on my baby, my Dad, and other family members who were grieving deeply. I kept busy and tried to provide what was needed of me, at work and at home. Now, a dozen years later, I realize more than I did then, how much I struggle myself. There are fewer people for me to care for, to focus on, and here I am, yes, feeling alone and motherless and sorry for myself.
I just want her warm arms, that welcoming lap, and kind eyes to take care of me once again. Except this time, I hope I wouldn't take it for granted. How precious and fleeting both motherhood and being mothered are.
Mom, Mommy, Mother, Mama -- I miss her so.
I wish my boys knew her. I wish she could remind me when I am being silly or stupid. I wish I could ask her what it was like when Nixon resigned. I wish I knew more about what motherhood was like for her. I wish she could comfort me about things that are too closely tied to her absence. So many wishes, all of them tied to me missing being mothered.
Selfish, but true.
Filed under: Grief