This morning I woke up missing my mom. It’s not a special day … it’s not her birthday, or anniversary, or even the date that she passed, but I’m still missing her. (Blah, that was one heck of a run-on sentence!)
I’m not thinking of her passing, or even of her living. I am thinking about all of the secrets that I kept from her. The pain that I held so deeply inside of me for years upon years. I hid so many monsters, afraid to tell; afraid of judgment and blame. Most of all I was afraid of her not understanding why I reacted to things the way that I did.
My husband was an amazing father and spouse, or so my mother thought. Until one night, she and I were on the phone and he began to yell at me and the children. I quickly terminated the call and within days my husband was on the road to being my ex and sitting in a jail cell for assaulting me. I had to tell my mom, and she said, “I had no idea until we were talking the other night. It was then that I began to wonder who he really was. Laura, you have no idea how helpless I felt knowing that you and your children might be in danger 800 miles from me.”
“Helpless?” Yes, she said, “helpless.” I knew the feeling all to well, and powerless as well. For the first time in my life she didn’t judge me, or even blame me for what I was about to do … rip my little family apart, take their daddy away … find safety. In her few words I was empowered to be me.
The irony of all of this is that within weeks, Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Her life was coming to a close, but her faith was in her God, and her fear in me finding safety.
Some days I still want my mommy, I want to hear her voice, and to say, “I love you,” just one more time. Yet, I know that she is here, with us, and she understands.
She is who I want to be when my kids remember their mom. Strong, determined, and most of all loving.