My visit tonight with my mom was one of the best I can remember. Except that she blames herself for my “mistakes,” and those of my sisters. So tonight, from a grown 35-year-old daughter, things my mom should know…
Starting way back at the beginning, I was probably Monkey’s age…I had a nightshirt that had a rainbow and the phrase “love conquers all.” While I remember your eye roll when telling me what it said when I was still too young to read it, I also remember the relationship between the great-grandparents YOU CHOSE for me. They may not have been blood, but you chose for me to see that real love existed, and you respected and acknowledged that relationship. It is what you have strived (is that even a word, I think there’s a different tense) for your whole life…I pray you have found it now. But you taught me to seek it, and I thank you. To this day, I haven’t found it. But you taught me it exists and is worth the cost. I sincerely pray it happens for both of us.
When it was time for me to learn of birds and bees, you gave me books to read for the mechanics. But you also had a conversation with me about what it meant, and that it was meant for love. It has stuck with me to date, and while I’ve had more partners than I’d wished, I’ve loved before I’ve ever taken that step.It’s all I hoped my kids would do as well, and while I may not be thrilled with their choices, I am satisfied that they will never need to regret them.
Later in my life, you became highly religious. That was hard for me. I didn’t understand a lot of what you stood for–remember boycotting Disney? I thank you for teaching me so many things before that phase. That God loves us, all of us, no matter what. You taught me, even before you boycotted them, that God loves sinners. Even gay folk. Even people who make decisions he wouldn’t. As I love my children, as you have loved me, He loves us.
Later in my life, I would be encouraged by someone I loved with all of my heart to abort my child. I am thankful for the foundation that you gave me to become the mother I am today. His absence led me to the brink of my sanity and nearly to the loss of my life before God caught me, and he did it while I prayed with the cross made by an old friend of yours. He saved, and changed, my life that night.
The road back has not been easy, and it isn’t over. I’ve made many mistakes, and I am not proud of all of my actions. There are still situations I should right. But you should know, you gave me the foundation to know I should. Everyone makes these mistakes, or similar ones. Not everyone knows how or why they should fix them. I’ve only ever been best friends with one of my sisters, and it feels like forever ago. But we’ve had the conversation, and we know, we knew, we will always know. Mom will be there when it matters. No matter what.
You have done a fabulous job, regardless of how you see our mistakes. Thank you for teaching us to love unconditionally. So few people on this planet do, but you do it flawlessly for us.