I was missing my mom the other day. Probably because I’ve been feeling like an inadequate mother lately. And whenever I feel like this, I always think about the challenges she had to face as a single mother and wish that she were around to talk too. Just someone to confide in, vent to, cry to…
So I started looking through a photo album of my childhood and something changed inside me. There was this one particular picture of my mother — the way she posed for photos (head tilt, hands in pockets, hand under chin, drama queen!), the sound of her laughter, the way she smelt — it all came back to me.
I knew her. I know her. And I haven’t known her in a long time. This woman that I was looking at…this, this is the mother I loved with all my heart. Even though I haven’t loved her for a long time, I remember it all, and I do.
That might sound strange but for the longest time I was angry with her. Actually I thought I hated her. But peeling back the layers of dysfunction I can tell you that I put up a block to protect myself from the feelings of loss. That barrier prevented me from seeing who she really was and what she meant to me. But those walls came crashing down. Because I’m learning about who I really am, I can see who she really was. And I could picture her here in my life. I’ve never been able to do that before. She was lost so far back in my past that I could never imagine her here in my present.
And I realized in that moment that I want to live to love and love to live. Hate for any reason, even if you think it’s justified will not bring you happiness. This is a gift. Knowing her again is a gift. Because love trumps all. Love, not hate has the power to heal. And right now I feel her love all the way through the passage of 15 years and I feel a little more whole than I did. That is a beautiful thing.