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!