I Miss Being Mothered

Today is my Mom’s 83rd birthday, except she hasn’t celebrated a birthday past age 70, when she died.  That’s almost thirteen years of not being mothered.  I miss my Mom, but more and more, I realize how much I miss being mothered.  Selfish as it is, I miss those things my Mom provided me.

There is a comfort and familiarity of being in your Mom’s embrace, being in her presence, feeling safe and loved and allowing yourself the ability to regress to a time that needing those things was more socially acceptable.  I am 47 years old now – a mother myself for the past twelve years, but I have no shame in admitting I miss being on the receiving end of things I can only hope I am providing my boys.

Life is lonelier without my Mom around.  It’s terribly cliche, but the older I get, the more I realize how little I know.  About most everything.  Did my Mom feel the same way?  What did she do?  How did she cope with X, Y and Z?  Where did she find solace?  What did she do when the world was going to hell in a hand basket?  Who comforted her?

My Mom and I on my wedding day, 2001.
My Mom and I on my wedding day, 2001.

I was 35 when my Mom died, pregnant for the first time and a few months away from delivering.  After a year of intense caregiving, I grieved my Mom’s loss deeply, but was thrust forward by becoming a mother myself.  Nursing and folding onesies and taking out the diapers filled my days and heart.  Much of my sadness politely stepped aside to make room for the joy of a new baby.

In those early days, I focused on my baby, my Dad, and other family members who were grieving deeply.  I kept busy and tried to provide what was needed of me, at work and at home.  Now, a dozen years later, I realize more than I did then, how much I struggle myself.  There are fewer people for me to care for, to focus on, and here I am, yes, feeling alone and motherless and sorry for myself.

I just want her warm arms, that welcoming lap, and kind eyes to take care of me once again.  Except this time, I hope I wouldn’t take it for granted.  How precious and fleeting both motherhood and being mothered are.

Mom, Mommy, Mother, Mama — I miss her so.

I wish my boys knew her.  I wish she could remind me when I am being silly or stupid.  I wish I could ask her what it was like when Nixon resigned.   I wish I knew more about what motherhood was like for her.  I wish she could comfort me about things that are too closely tied to her absence.  So many wishes, all of them tied to me missing being mothered.

Selfish, but true.

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