Sarah reflects on a complicated history she refuses to repeat. “I can tell you that I loved my grandmother deeply, and yet most of the tears I’ve shed over her death were for myself, because I wished that she were different.”
via Her. — Discover
I did not intend to write a blog tonight. I have been so busy with the new book and catching up with house work that I intended to rest tonight. Then I logged on to obsessively check on my social media sites and read the blog above. I couldn’t help it, immediately I was reminded of my own family.
Suddenly, I was thankful as well. While my grandmother and mother never had such extremes there were similarities to Sarah’s story. That isn’t what made me thankful though. I was reminded of the hard time I had with my mother; the years when we didn’t speak for months on end and I never cared. I thought of the hurt feelings because she said something that hurt my feelings without ever knowing, or meaning to do so. I remembered so much more that I won’t tell the world about it’s not important. It’s all in the past now.
Today, my mother and I have the best relationship we’ve ever had. We talk everyday and I can’t imagine my life without her. I look back now and see so many stupid arguments that should never have occurred, most of them were my fault. At the time I couldn’t see it though. I am just like her. I am a strong independent woman forced into certain situations with my family and career that I never wanted. Yet, I always succeed just like she did. I am tough (at 5’2″ you learn pretty quickly) and brave, smart, and witty, just like she is. All the qualities I always admired in her are there in me.
Then I watch how I interact with my girls and I see other resemblances too and I worry. My mother was a great mom. She worked full-time and raised three kids. My father was always bouncing between jobs until I was at last 10, so she was always the main income earner. When he went back to school she figured that out too. We never went hungry or lacked for anything. I never knew she gave up buying clothes for herself that she desperately needed for work because we outgrew ours first.
My mother wasn’t always the most maternal though. She believed in tough love, not coddling and hand holding through life. It’s not a bad thing, I turned out great. But, I have the same philosophy with my children and I wonder sometimes if I am making a mistake. I love my children and my favorite things are their hugs and kisses, but I am not maternal either. I am not the type to do arts and crafts every day, or run to soccer games, and I don’t think I need to be in the room with them all day when they are home. I want them to grow up to be women just like their grandmother and me, so I raise them as such. Yet I look at those sweet faces and I worry.
My mom gave me the best present of all yesterday without realizing it. She gave me a card and inside she told me the truth as she saw it. She said, “You are really a good mom! A lot of the time you have been a single mom and you have done a great job, I am really proud of you. Mom” (FYI My husband is a first year medical resident and works 80+ hours most weeks.) It’s amazing how a few simple words can make a difference in someone’s life. I know that if the two of us are this close now that my girls and I will end up there too.