My Mother. Those two words are so loaded with emotions and memories that are so a part of me that I don’t think I could ever share them in a way that would convey their depth to anyone listening.
What spurred this post was watching an episode of “Oprah” that I recorded. The Judds were the guests and a large part of the show centered on the complicated relationship between Naomi (mother) and Wynonna (daughter). At one point Oprah mentioned that they were just at the point where they could see each other as people. I was immediately struck by the thought that my mother and I never reached that point because there was never time when we didn’t respect each other in that way.
Our relationship was something that began with my mother making the conscious decision that ours would be very much unlike the one she had with her own mother. That one was based on fear, manipulation and guilt. Honesty was never part of their relationship and true feelings were rarely shared. It was always about keeping the peace, making sure her mother had her needs filled.
I don’t have any recollection of my mother ever telling me how she wanted our relationship to be, but I do remember…as far back as my memories go…that being in her presence always gave me the feeling of love and security. She was the person I could go to when I was happy, sad, confused, scared and needed to talk. And we sure did talk!
As a child, and well into my adolescence and young adulthood, I was insecure and unsure of myself. After some years of therapy and thought on my part, I’ve come to the realization that the fact that I was adopted contributed greatly those feelings. Suffice to say that I’m not alone in those feelings, that many, many adoptees struggle with those feelings.
Mom and I spent most of my adult years living many miles apart. From 1987 to 2010, 23 years, we never lived less than 150 apart. Some of those were spent a great distance from each other – 3000 miles when we were in Seattle, 2000 miles when in Phoenix. In spite of the miles, we kept our conversations going several times a week. Sometimes they were short, just a quick call to say hello, see what the weather was like or to talk about something we bought from QVC; other times the conversations were long and emotional.
I don’t know what else to say. My mother was also my friend. There was never question that we occupied to very definite roles, mother and daughter, but we also had an enormous amount of respect for each other and had an unspoken desire to be to each other what we struggled to find in the rest of our worlds.
I lost my best friend on January 27, 2010.