What Mama’s Do

I wasn’t aware of how important my mother was until she was gone. I loved her and I wanted her in my life but for most of our time together the relationship was toxic. She was toxic.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I see we’re all a little damaged and rough where we are usually needed most to be soft.

How do I know?

No matter how hard I tried or the effort put forth to be the best mom I could be, I fell terribly short. My good intentions to love sometimes came across as smothering. My discipline & even cheering on perhaps looked & felt more like butting in and control. My frustration or anger….just hurt.

Mother’s are a powerful force.

I can’t change a single thing, nor can my own mother whose been gone 7 years now. But I think I have a little idea of just how heavy the bag of regret can be when you’re looking back as a mom. For mine, she had a lifetime of abuse and hurt to carry. The last few months of her life, she righted many of her wrongs against me the only way she could — to say I’m sorry I hurt you.

Those hurts make a lot more sense to me at 53 years old. None of them were okay or acceptable but I see why she lived the way she did and I forgive. Her own torment spilled out onto me.

Still, I see how she loved me. I was her joy and not for one minute did she not think of me.

I’ve been a mother for 30 years. Not one minute has passed that I haven’t cherished the children God gave to me. Of all the things I’ve done or experienced in my life, being a mother has given me more joy and laughter than any other thing.

I think of them everyday. I let them go just as God had planned all along and I smile every time I think of them. They will always be mine and like me with my own mother, they will navigate the life we’ve lived together and decide for themselves what they will let go of and forgive and what they will cherish about my love for them.

It’s the circle of life for us all.

What Mama’s Do:

1. She holds us tight. In physical love & affection and in permanent residence in her heart.

2. She sacrifices her own life. She gives her portion for you even if you don’t really deserve it.

3. She hears & sees everything. She understands hurts and celebrates victories.

4. She protects. Her number #1 instinct is to cover you with her safe blanket and propel you into adulthood.

5. She smiles. From the moment she hears about you the joy cannot be contained. You’ll want that to see her smile more than you know after she’s gone.

6. She gives you boundaries. The only way she knows to help you is to reign you in where you want to run loose.

7. She’s your emotional backbone. Every feeling you don’t know what to do with, she’s there to help. Even if it’s just listening.

8. She will laugh at all your jokes. You’re funny to her and seeing you smile makes her heart jump.

9. She sees your strengths, weaknesses and files them accordingly in her mom heart. You can trust her to be honest with you.

10. She forgives. Her own frailty as a human reminds her that you’re just as prone to make mistakes.

I love you, Mom. I love you, Gavin – Ally & Gates. You are all the very best of me, forever. For that, I am so proud.

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