Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, surrogate mothers, grandmothers who have stepped in or stepped up, foster mothers, adoptive mothers... my hat goes off to YOU!!!
I received Mother's Day flowers today from my ex and his daughter... It is a privilege and I am honored to embrace his daughter as my own. After all that we've been through, that is one relationship that has remained.
Mother/daughter relationships can be beautiful and difficult. As I've gotten older and become more independent, my relationship with my mother has dramatically improved. I've always been independent with my own mind and ideas, even when my mother tried to impose her ideas on me.
For instance, she convinced me when I was younger that I was afraid of the dark so she put a soft pink light bulb in my lamp at night so I wouldn't be afraid. I was maybe 6 years old. This lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r. However, in the middle of the night some years later, my mother woke up to find my room pitch dark. I turned out that soft pink light and never turned it back on. My mother knew then that she was raising a leader and not a follower. Plus she always knew that I was never afraid of the dark. And I kept the light on for so many years simply because I didn't want to hurt my mother's feelings.
Going back to mother/daughter relationships... sometimes they are enemies and sometimes they are the best of friends. I've experienced my mother being jealous of me and I didn't like it at all and I've experienced my mother as my biggest cheerleader. My mother is very frank. She calls it "keeping it real" but sometimes it's downright hurtful. But I'm thankful that I know my mother's heart.
My mother had 2 sickly children 11 years apart. My brother suffered severely from respiratory illnesses throughout his childhood. My illnesses were much milder but I'm sure that with the eleven year gap my mother must have asked God "Why Me?" over and over again. Especially since she gave birth to both of us as a single mother. She stayed up plenty of nights, walking the wood floors, pinching pennies and gave all that a mother could give.
To this very day, my mother treats us like the children who still hang onto her apron strings although we're grown and living our own lives. She worries about her son taking his diabetes medication and about her daughter's slothful return to Weight Watchers. She questions and probes, annoyingly, yet lovingly and I appreciate her for it. She wants her children healthy and whole. She wants what's best for us.
Louise Hay who wrote "You Can Heal Your Life" believes that we choose our parents.
"Each one of us decides to incarnate upon this planet at a particular point in time and space. We have chosen to come here to learn a particular lesson that will advance us upon our spiritual, evolutionary pathway. We choose our sex, our color, our country, and then we look around for the particular set of parents who will mirror the pat-tern we are bringing in to work on in this lifetime. Then, when we grow up, we usually point our fingers accusingly at our parents and whimper, "You did it to me." But really, we chose them because they were perfect for what we wanted to work on overcoming."
I'm not too sure exactly why I chose my mother but I'm grateful for the wonderful woman, mother and grandmother that she is.
*Artwork by Kadir Nelson