Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Nocturne

by Leann

Whether or not you are a mom, you had a mom, so this day is for everyone. For me, it has always been bittersweet. I didn't get that perfect mom, not even a nice mom. Didn't mean I didn't love her. I did. But I spent most of my childhood like the kid in this black and white picture. I also knew my mother would die at a young age. She did, at 52. In retrospect, it was a good thing. She wasn't someone who would solve her many problems and suddenly become this wonderful mom filled with regret and dedicated to righting the wreckage she'd left in her wake. That's fiction. It's probably why I write fiction. I want justice and happy endings. I can make that happen on the page.

I spent much of my childhood mothering my younger sister because, well, she needed a mom. I spent much of my adult life as a mother to two wonderful kids. Now I am a grandmother. Are the wounds healed by rewriting history, by trying to be what she was not? Yes, but even at my age, it is amazing how fragile the scars are, how easily they can be ripped open to become bloody wounds once again. Small things bring tears to my eyes, remembrances of chances missed, of love lost. I am both blessed and cursed by an excellent memory. I recall how it was and I also recall wishing desperately for what it could be and wasn't.

Today, I made sure to send cards to my sister, who let me be her mother and who is a fantastic mother herself, and to my daughter-in-law for loving her girls with all her heart. I appreciate what they do because of who they are. They have the nature and they know how to nurture. I learned firsthand not every woman is blessed with the ability to do both.

This is a day to honor women. Whether you had children or not, if you are reading this blog, I know you. You are a nurturer. You are a mother to someone if not by nature, in some other way. Yes, you are special. Celebrate!


  1. Thank you for such an honest post. I didn't have a great mom either. She was a "wire mother" vs. a "cloth mother". Great person, but shouldn't have had children and she did it NINE times. I just went and found replacement mothers for the nurturing part. And I really did like her as a person. She's been gone about two years now, and I still miss the person part. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Thanks Denise. There was a part of your mother you appreciated. There were parts of my mother I appreciated as well. She was my mom, after all, and kids are very forgiving--over and over. :-)

  3. Leann, I get you, big time. Like you, I wanted things that were not to be. And being able to make things all neat and well organized with happy endings - at least on a page - are your gifts to us. You do a good thank you, and Happy Mother's Day to you.

  4. Happy Mother's Day! I have a wonderful mother and she has gotten to be such a good friend (that actually got to be that way once I had my own kids - she got SO smart after that!) I just lost a dear aunt that was my mother's best friend and my aunt was a great mother too. We celebrated her life and her crowning victory this weekend. But thankfully I still have my mother. Thank you for the post. I am so very thankful for my dear mother.

  5. You're very lucky Elaine. My mother's half sister was wonderful to me. Many times I would fall asleep wishing she'd been my mother. As chance would have it, she ended up being "mother" of the bride at my wedding and my uncle (her husband) gave me away. It was so special. I miss her on Mother's Day. She was a beautiful, kind person.

    1. Yes, I am very lucky and blessed! My dad was great too! There were times growing up that I thought they were a bit too strict, especially Dad, but they did what they had to do and they gave us everything we needed and they took good care of us, even though times were tough a lot of the time. But they loved us and we knew it. And I miss my dad a lot and will really miss my mom when she goes to heaven. I am glad you had a wonderful aunt and uncle so you could experience some of what I grew up with.