With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought it important to write to the population of us ‘children’ who find this to be a bittersweet day on the calendar.
I am grateful that my focus on this day is on the honor and privilege of being a mother to two beautiful children who are truly my everything in this world. My love and appreciation for them is truly indescribable as any other loving, plugged-in mother will also attest to.
Why then is Mother’s Day bittersweet for me and so many others who share this day of ‘celebration’ in common? Well, of course there are a myriad of individualized reasons and circumstances to explain this, however, as I always do — I will and choose to only speak for myself and will offer you my story; my truth.
My mother passed away from cancer on June 27, 2014. She departed with us having been estranged for the two years prior to and during her terminal phase. My mum and I had been estranged once before, for a period of six years, and had only just rekindled our ‘relationship’ as a result of her receiving an aggressive breast cancer diagnosis.
The full story chronicling our love/hate relationship is in my soon-to-be-published memoir. For here and now, what I will say is that I had always longed for the type of mother-daughter connection — the kind of bond — depicted and described a million and one different ways in the poignantly written Hallmark Cards, each year.
Where does one find the kind of card that expresses gratitude to their mother for her having knowingly and willingly allowed their daughter to be sexually abused for eight horrific years and at the hands of her step-grandfather? Where is the Hallmark creation that says, “Thanks for kicking me out of the house at fourteen years old so that you, my mother, could find happiness in another country with the new, rich man in your life”?
Or the Mother’s Day tribute that says, “Oh and by the way, thank you for being a no-show at my high school, college, and university graduations, and for not offering any financial contribution toward me solely footing the bill for all that myself.” Or the one that reads, “Thanks for voluntarily bringing me into this world only to do an about-face exit and dump me when the responsibility of being a parent became too cumbersome for you.”
Am I bitter? No. Am I resentful? No. I am raw and candid as it authentically relates to the importance of vulnerability and its correlation to self-empowerment, leadership, and paying-it-forward to be of service to others. Has what transpired in my own mother-daughter ‘Herstory’ made me a more compassionate, loving and selflessly devoted mother to my own son and daughter? Without a doubt it has.
For all you kind readers who are graciously taking the time to follow my blogs, and particularly for anyone who can relate in some form or fashion to this piece, and specifically for those whom my experiences are resonating with — please know that the child in me is hugging the child in you.
To all my sisters and brothers who feel the emotional vacuum on Mother’s Day, no matter the reason or the circumstance, please be reminded that you are not alone for I am with you in wholehearted spirit! #LivingFearlessly
Originally published at medium.com