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Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I have to say it's a difficult day for me. I love my mom, but we aren't that close. She did the best she could under difficult circumstances. But, the emotional temperature of our relationship is like what I would guess a distant great aunt is like or something. It's hard to honor someone when the way you're expected to honor them is dictated to you by society and by parental expectations. [I literally received a message instructing me on what I should post on Facebook regarding Mother's Day.] Most people adore their mothers, consider them best friends, have warm fuzzy feelings toward them...
The sting is not as deep this year. I am learning to feel more of God's love than ever before. I am trying to cultivate a relationship with Mary. I'm more secure in myself and my boundaries. It's easy to recognize the crazy and quickly dismiss it now, more than ever before. But, those of us with abusive parents have a hard time with Mother's Day (and Father's Day). As an adult child, it's hard to know how to honor and respect them, how to forgive them, and how to keep good boundaries without becoming hard-hearted or falling back into the familiar dysfunction.
Not to give my mom too hard of a time. After all, she did apologize last year in an unprecedented move. She basically said she was sorry for so much of our childhood pain. And that was deeply healing. (See: The Day I Thought Would Never Come) But...it's complicated. There's not a hallmark card that says how I feel, nor should I necessarily express all that comes into my mind and heart. I just struggle sometimes with why. Supposedly God only allows things into our life that will bring about a greater good, that will bring about His will. I should be grateful. Yet, in this life, it's hard to see - why did He pick them as my parents? why did He allow the abuse? why did it have to be so hard? I see the broken lives of my siblings and the struggles I have had. I feel like my entire childhood was a cross to bear, and I ask - there's more? more suffering ahead? You mean, the entire Christian life is about crosses? I digress.
Then there's the nagging question - when and how will I ever be a mother? People mean well, but they can be insensitive. Much like the sting of Mother's Day, the sting of "are you pregnant yet?" or "when is it going to be your turn?" hurts a little less now too. I know they mean well. I don't have the emotional energy to give to each and every drama that could be, each and every remark, each and every assumption. I can "let it be" a little more easily than in the past. But, suffice it to say, when you look at another person's life circumstances, things may not be what they are for the reasons you think. Many single people would love to be married. Many childless people would love to be parents. As each day, month, year slides by and time flies and marches on, I do wonder what life will hold for me. For me and my husband. For me and my womb.
My comfort is that we have a spiritual mother. As foreign and mysterious as she is, I know she's also very close to me, that she probably helped bring me into the Church, and that if I could only receive her love, I'd receive more of God's love. If I could follow her way, I'd find The Way.
"Lovely Lady, dressed in blue, teach me how to pray."