Sunday, May 12, 2019
It’s here again, Mother’s Day, and I thread back through the years to remember my mom as more than a series of shadowy vignettes. She was a pretty woman who matured during years that offered to the world movie stars that seemed beyond-gorgeous. She like many women in those days modeled herself after the most popular glamour looks. She grew up in the early and mid-parts of the 20th Century, when men were programmed to take care of “their women”, and my mom throughout her life expected no less.
I was her third daughter and the many years separating me from older siblings suggested that my birth was an accident. During my infancy, an automobile accident caused the death of our father. Growing up with two nearly adult sisters, I considered myself physically as too little, less beautiful, mentally lacking their smarts, and least likely to succeed in life. Except that my mom always believed in me and encouraged most of my aspirations.
Mom’s been gone nearly 20 years. I remember her as gentle, loving, and very headstrong. In those days, people tended to talk too little about themselves–really talk, I mean. What now are common discussions about ourselves, as youngsters and how we’ve evolved, only developed around mid-century when people began understanding psychology, after which “talking personal” gradually became a staple. Looking back, I wish I’d been more interested and able to press my mom for whatever more she might have remembered about her own early childhood, her immigrant parents, and for sure, lots about my dad. But kids tend to be in the present, and not until we ourselves get older do we start trying to make meaningful connections between what’s long past and its impact on the present.
Sometimes, looking into a mirror, I glimpse one of my mom’s expressions or maybe just the look of her eyes. For an instant that’s a jolting vision and I miss her terribly. After all, she’s the one person who tolerated all my ideas and moods, handed me a few dollars when needed, and firmly believed I’d accomplish anything to which I set my mind. None of that changed during her lifetime.
Nobody is perfect, and motherhood is a huge responsibility that some manage better than others. My long relationship with mom had lots of ups and downs, but on reflection it mostly was good–for if successful mothering relates highly to loving support, she offered lots of that.
I wish I could write about my mom from the perspective of my own motherhood, but I didn’t become a parent. Most of my understanding of the role, I learned from my mother. And to sum it up: even now, and long beyond her lifetime, the best takeaways from our relationship continue to support me.
Dear Friends, have a lovely day. Diana