So, yesterday was Mother’s Day. This has been a holiday that I dread for many years because of my relationship (or lack there of) with my estranged mother. It is just an annual reminder of how so many people have affection for their mother and that I do not. (And that it is also not reciprocated.) I am not going to go into all the details on this post, (maybe another day) but a brief rundown is that my mother is a Jehovah’s Witness and I no longer am. I was disfellowshipped many years ago when I was 20 years old and basically, you are ‘marked’ if you stop following the ways of the religion. I had met with the congregation leaders several times letting them know that I wanted to remove myself from the religion. So they make an announcement saying that I am disfellowshipped and after that occurs, noone is allowed to talk to me or associate with me and it is a conscious decision if it involves family members. Over the years, my mother has been in and out of my life. I guess she started to come around once I had myself more put together (in her eyes) and when I was pregnant with my first child. It’s been three years since that ‘new’ relationship started and it ended last August. She had to reconsider her relationship with me because of my refusal to go back to the religion and decided to cut me off. That means no more talking, visiting, anything. Nothing. That consequently ended her association with my immediate family as well. It’s a complicated story, I am trying to explain it as clear as I can without it going off track into a different topic than I have intended.
The reason I wanted to write on this topic is because on Mother’s Day, like most holidays, it seems as though everyone is united in a certain feeling, a happy one where everyone can relate. And while that holiday has turned a corner with me significantly due to my precious babies and it becoming ‘my’ holiday, it is still a bitter, bittersweet one for me. People say that they have the best mom in the world, they are happy their mother is their best friend….these are things that I thought and felt when I was a child. Oh, how did it get so ugly and so messy? I can blame it on religion but I know it’s not just that. I can blame it on her, but that gets me nowhere except really, really angry. No matter what I do, unless I make the choice to think in a different light, I will stay unhappy and sad. I actually manage to think positively most of the time but every once in a while, the feelings start to resurface. Maybe my day wasn’t busy enough today and I spent too much time reading about Mother’s Day. Maybe I should stay off Facebook on such a holiday. Who knows, I’m not a robot, the feelings will probably never go away completely. I have a mother but yet I don’t have one. I spent some time talking with my friend Debbie today and she went to the cemetery for her Mother’s Day. Her day was hard and bittersweet as well.
On the other hand, I am grateful for the wonderful mother-in-law that I have who is consistent in showing her love to me and my family. She’s the kind of mom that everyone should have, always keeping in touch and staying involved in our lives. She lets you know that she loves you no matter what is going on. A pure unconditional love. I have lucked out in the in-law department, that is for sure. And my amazing friends! I had so many texts and emails showing their thoughtfulness on this Mother’s Day. Every single one made me smile a big smile. The other day I received a beautiful card from an unexpected friend, Cristina, who I haven’t seen in years although we email and Facebook every so often. She took the time to hand-write me a sweet card and send it to me snail mail style! I think I read it 25 times and it’s sitting on my kitchen counter for me to see 50 times a day. Those are the feel good moments of the day. The moments making it feel extra special.
Well after writing all of that out, I don’t feel like I have much room to be feeling bad. Where I am empty on one side, I am full on the other. I guess that is how it goes in life, and perhaps why having a blog is quite therapeutic at times. I guess I just wanted to let those know who have a hard time on Mother’s Day, that I do too despite my blessed family situation. I’m sure there are plenty of people with strained relationships with their mothers. Or are sad because their mothers have passed away. I know that I am not the only one. We are supposed to learn from all of our experiences in life and what I will take away from this situation will be to protect my relationship with my daughter (all of my kids in fact). To not take that bond for granted and to work things out no matter how hard it gets. I am going to have a big impact on her life no matter what role I take in it, I should make it an authentic, nurturing, fun relationship with positive influences. A relationship based on a love that is shown to her consistently and constantly. It reminds me of this quote I love by Rosaleen Dickson~ “Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.”