My Mom was a supermom. She had me at the ripe old age of 40, late in life for that decade, or any decade for that matter. She waited for me all her life and I was her pride and joy – her PO (Precious One) as she called me. The joke in town was that my Mom worried God until he finally gave up and gave her a baby so she’d quit pestering him. She wanted me so badly.
My mother was my best friend from the time I was a teenager until she died nearly 15 years ago. We did everything together after my 14th year or so. She was heavily involved in my life. She ran the Sunday School program at our church, ran the PTA, ran everything and anything that I was involved in – making sure that my education and extracurricular activities were smooth and on track.
She was always there for me when I came home from being out with my friends, from choir practice or play rehearsal or whatever I was doing. When I’d come home from college, she’d be there waiting when I came home late at night and we’d sit at the kitchen table and chat about life and the pursuit until the wee hours.
My Mom was a saint on this earth for more people than me. After we grew up, all of my friends from high school called her for advice on their lives, their marriages, their children. Her friends knew they could trust her to be there for them – and she always was. At her funeral I was shocked – not by the huge turnout, but by all the strangers who came up to me to tell me their story of how my Mom had changed their lives.
“Your mom loaned me the money for surgery to save my life. I wouldn’t be alive without her.”
“Your mom helped me put my son through college. He’s a doctor because of her.”
“Your mom stood by me when no one else would listen. She saved my life, and my soul.”
The stories went on and on. I knew she was special – I just hadn’t realized she was special to so many people.
So how did she manage to miss what was happening to me? If she cared so much about me, loved me so much – how could she not notice what they were doing to me? How could she look the other way? How could she miss the signs – they had to be there. I was a tiny child, physically and emotionally tortured. There had to be signs.
Those are the questions that drove me crazy for the first couple of years in EMDR therapy. I couldn’t talk to my Mom, didn’t have brothers or sisters to ask about my childhood, and I didn’t have anyone who could help me find clarity among the cobwebs that are my childhood memories. And the answers simply would not come to me.
Was it too hard for her to see? Was it too big and ugly for her to face? Did she finally face it? How would I ever know?
“A Mother’s Kindness” my mailo @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.