On Mother’s Day and Letting Go

Holidays are a mixed bag for lots of people, myself included. I celebrate them because I have a family that I love and would do anything for. But, there are important parts missing. So, in some ways, it’s like being an actress in a play. You know the lines and the appropriate emotions, but it’s just not real.

My own mother has been gone since 12 days before my daughter was born. Any time you lose a parent is horrible, but to do so while pregnant was cruel. And it was sudden. She was fine on Christmas and dead by New Year’s Day. So mother’s day is hard for me.

This year I got the best gift. Time with my daughter. We talked and laughed and had some wine and I came to know the adult she is becoming. Her reasoning for separating herself so completely from my home to her new home. How my divorce and the actions of both of her parents had affected her.

It made me think of things in my life that I still blame on my mother. She was not an easy person to deal with but she was the one there to shape me. I’m sure today’s psychiatry would have some kind of diagnosis for her, but back then, you just dealt with what you were dealt. My sisters and I have all tried to put our upbringing behind us and become better people, but I still find myself using the crutch of “its Mama’s fault” to explain some of the things about me that I like the least.

But, after my daughter left to go back “home”, I got to thinking. It’s a sham to only remember the bad. There were good times too. There were positives too. It’s like the opposite of losing someone sometimes where you only remember the good. With Mom, I only acknowledged the bad. Because if I remembered the good, I’d have to let her go. I’d have to mourn and accept.

So, this mother’s day, I made a new friend. My daughter as a mature adult. And I lost a friend, my mother as a positive person. Both bitter and sweet. But isn’t that like most of life?

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