Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother. Mostly because she’s awesome and is a rockin’ support system.
There have been quite a few times that I’ve been unkind to my mother or less than compassionate. From time to time, my mother will bring up one of my uncaring moments, and it bums me to find out that I’d hurt her in the past.
It’s interesting… these days I look back at some of those moments and find I’m walking her shoes today. I look in the mirror and I see her. It’s an odd thing for me… because I look nothing like the person in my 20s… the person I expect to see. Instead, I look like her… or my grandmother. 🙂
To be honest, it irritates me to see my mother instead of me. Don’t get me wrong… my mother is beautiful (and that’s not to say I see the same beauty in me). It’s just that I want to be my own person. Despite being annoyed that I look like someone else, I still have days I’m thankful I see my mother’s face in mine. I know one day, my mother will be gone, and my face will be the only living reminder I’ll have of her. When those thoughts enter my mind… I find myself grateful that I look like my mom.
I’ve been watching a lot of Korean shows lately. 🙂 I’ve always thought my mom was the best… certainly better than the moms my friends had. Watching these Korean shows (yes, I understand they’re fiction) has shown me there are other great moms out there also. They come to the rescue of their children. They root for them. They comfort them. For me, it’s a reminder that moms are great.
My mother was there for the birth of my first two children. She was my coach… or rather the panicked woman next to me. Labor is bad… but with my mother it was bearable. I think about the times when women were the only ones in the room during childbirth, and it makes sense. My mother understood what I was going through.
I compare it to my last child, where I only had my husband. 🙁 I don’t want to say he was useless… but I think back, and I still get upset that my mother wasn’t there. That was over 7 years ago, and I still can’t talk about that experience without feeling fire. Whereas my first two labors were bearable, I simply made it through the last ones. Because of my experience, I tell my daughters I’ll be with them during their labor. I just can’t imagine them having to suffer like I did without their mother.
I’m gearing up to have a hysterectomy this year. I talked to my husband first. And even though he cares, his demeanor told me he’d rather just have the problem not exist. I called my mom, who’d had a hysterectomy about a decade ago. Of course, she was completely engaged. She told me how life changing her hysterectomy was and that she wished she’d had one sooner instead of suffering through her 40s. We talked about our similar experiences that led to our decision. She asked me when I planned to have the surgery, so she could take off time to take care of me… like her mom (who had also had a hysterectomy) had done for her.
Until recently, I never really understood how precious my grandmother was to my mom. Mostly because I have the greatest mom in the world, and it never really occurred to me that my mom might have an equally great mom. I guess I didn’t see it.
Growing up, we lived in Washington and my mom’s parents lived in South Carolina. I recall visiting my grandparents in the summer, but seldom did my mom come with us. After I moved out of the house, had kids of my own, and my grandfather died, my grandmother started traveling. She took her first plane trip to visit my mom over the summer. My kids were also in the habit of visiting my mom during the summer (without me). Again, I didn’t get to see the relationship my mother had with her mom.
My grandmother died a couple of years after my mother had her hysterectomy. It was an awful time. My mom called herself an orphan. I still didn’t understand the relationship she had with her mother. To be honest, Grandpa was my favorite. I thought he was everyone’s favorite. In my mind, her reference to being an orphan was because she’d lost her last parent. After all these years, I see it was more than that.
My mom has been sharing the times Grandma has been there for her. She’s told me in the past, but I’ve only recently started to take what she says to heart. I’ve come to realize that her mom meant the same to her as she does to me. Just as I think my mom is the greatest in the world, my mom thinks her mom was.
It makes me feel horribly sad and eternally grateful at the same time. Sad that my mom lost someone as precious to her as she is to me… it makes me tearful thinking that my mom doesn’t have someone (a mom) to care for her like I do. I even feel guilt that I can’t take the place of her mom. Then I think about how my mom has been there for me, and I’m so very, very thankful that Mom had Grandma. My grandmother had been there for mom in a way I had never been.
My grandmother makes me want to be a better daughter. I know I can’t be like Grandma, but I want to give back to my mom what was taken away when Grandma died.