Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my mother, and send her some virtual roses.

Ours was not a storybook relationship for many years, and it's only been in the maturity of my own adulthood that I've learned to appreciate all she did for me.

The product of an unsettled and emotionally unhealthy childhood, my mother came to marriage and parenthood totally unprepared. Being abandoned as a child and growing up in an orphanage hardly qualifies as a firm foundation for loving and giving. And that's what motherhood is all about. Loving so fiercely it-carries you through all the bad times, and knowing when and how to give your children back their lives.

My mother did all of that and more.

Not in the traditional sense, because she didn't know how, but in her determination and courage. When her marriage fell apart and she was faced with raising two kids by herself, it was almost like history repeating itself, except she didn't make the same choice her mother did.

My mother and her sister were put in an orphanage as young girls and didn’t see their mother again for many years. My mother kept us together as a family the best way she could, teaching us something about loyalty I overlooked for too many years.

During my childhood our home life was erratic and unpredictable at best, the makings of a best-selling novel at worst, but we survived. And through it all, she was there, trying and failing and trying again.

Now, looking back, I realize that even in her failings there was success. My sister and I are both reasonably mature, healthy adults and we didn't get there by ourselves. Sure we carry around a little excess emotional baggage from our past, but doesn't everybody?

Nobody is ever completely put together emotionally, and considering the odds against her so many years ago, I figure my mother did an outstanding job.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you, Mom. Thank you for the years, good and bad, which have made me who I am, and thank you for showing me there's more to loving than saying the words we still too often find so hard to express.

8 comments:

Rayna M. Iyer said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother.

Happy Mother's Day to you.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks, Rayna. Glad you enjoyed my post. This is another excerpt from the memoir I'm working on. Most of it is humor, but occasionally I get a little nostalgic. LOL

Helen Ginger said...

It might be just me, but I think most of us don't really appreciate our mothers until our own children are grown. Somehow, we can then identify and understand our own moms.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Margaret Tanner said...

Maryann,
What a lovely tribute to your mother. She sounds like a courageous lady.
Regards
Margaret

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for stopping by Helen and Margaret. Appreciate the kind words about my mother.

Dany said...

...and look what a powerful and courageous woman you've become!

"tuwanda!"

Dany

Maryann Miller said...

LOL, Dany. "tuwanda" back at you.

Ann Best said...

I had a love/hate relationship with my mother too. Well, I wouldn't say hate. She just made my life, and my dad's miserable with her nagging tongue. Now from my 70 years (and she was 97 when she died and I could put my arms around her, she had done so much for me financially especially in my life) I can see her from an older perspective. A good lady who was only 12 when her mother died. Then she had a stepmother whom I knew as grandma who was very dear. Born in 1905 on a farm, she had a hard life. She was tough. I salute her on Mother's Day and every day.

Thank you for this beautiful post about your mother that triggered my own memories. (Actually, I have many scenes of my mother in my own memoir, too.) As the late Frank McCourt said, A happy childhood is hardly worth writing about. Or something to that effect.

Humor, nostalgia. Important for us as we grow older and look back.