This is a bit off topic from what I would normally write but as the anniversary of my mother’s death is this week, this post reflects what has been on my mind.
There are often people in our lives who make us feel as though we are not the best we can be. Not because of their judgment, but because of our own.
They are people that we’re close to, but who seem to bring out the worst in us. They often have difficult personalities. We lose our temper with them when we shouldn’t. We get easily irritated by their behaviour. We don’t make time for them because we don’t always like who we are when we are with them.
What happens when that person is your mother?
5 years ago, my mother died suddenly, and all the thoughts you would expect came flooding through my mind:
- Why didn’t I have more patience?
- What could I have done differently?
- I wish I could just hold her hand and apologize.
- If she was still alive, I would behave differently…. But would I?
5 years later
As I sit here, 5 years down the road, I have cleaned out her home. It was the home she grew up in and it was a treasure trove of historical, familial and personal memorabilia that truly gave shape to the person that she was. Not as my mother, but as a child, a daughter, a bride and a single mom.
I saw her notes and letters, her journals and her girlhood diaries. I read everything, many of which were never meant for my eyes. Mostly because they were so intensely personal and telling of the struggles she had growing up, the difficulties she had in her marriage and the pain she suffered (both emotionally and physically) later on in her life.
My heart broke for the goals that she was never able to realize and the dreams she had that were never to be.
What if things were different?
I would love to imagine, knowing all that I now know, that I wish she was here so I can share my joys with her. And I do wish she was here. Every day. I really dream that I could be that child that she needed me to be. The patient and understanding one.
But I know in my heart, that had I not experienced the loss of this special woman – if she was still here today, I would never have learned how to be more patient and understanding with her. As much as I would like to kid myself and say I would be, that I would like a second chance, I think her loss matured me in a way that I can recognize I was seriously lacking before she died.
Thank you, Mommy.
I do want to thank her though. For all that she sacrificed for my sister and myself. For the woman that she truly was: kind to those around her, always ready to give someone a lift, ready to drive hours to attend a family celebration.
Thank you, Mommy, for teaching me what it means to be a kind person and showing me what a big heart really looks like. I’m sorry it took me so long to learn the lesson.