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?
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.