Mine died. In rearview memory, she hasn’t changed. We clashed, thrashed and argued – a lot. Rejection of her in so many ways by me at eleven, perhaps typical puberty phenomena, never self-repaired. In weeks before her death fifteen years ago I saw her softening, a little. I saw myself, letting go of angst, a little.
As I view my daughter, I ponder how my grandchildren will see their mom. In their babe-hood my grandchildren have bonded to their mother – though they are quite young, I have seen it already. And she to them. Not as property or possession, but creations she has the joy of nurturing, teaching them to reach, stretch and grow in all their potential capabilities in life.
They will not recall her endless hours, sleeplessness and fatigue. They will speak of her, throughout their life as my mom. She will call them by their lovely names – but mostly I expect she will think of and call them my daughter, my son – my children.
Like every mom with so much to do, a babe and a tike with sleep schedules and needs-timing that would defy logistical capabilities of any factory scheduler – she fights through the fatigue and gives joy to her children, is kind, sensitive and wise.
That gives great joy to me.
I see my daughter and her children having a most enviable relationship – and my hope for them all is that it is a better, happier and more fulfilling relationship than the one I had with my mother.
I can’t be a different son, she couldn’t be a different mother. For the most part we evolved to a more peaceful co-tolerance.
It is difficult to mouth these words – wanting a different mother.
I felt that, often.
But what I wanted was a mother who was different, which is different entirely.
I miss my dad a lot.
My mom, not so much.
I am sad about that.
We both lost a lot compared to what we could have had.
The reward in all of this – there is one – is the pride I feel in my daughters, and two grandchildren, all four of whom have a far better relationships with that person they call my mom.
column written/ published from Calgary
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