I have too many moms but I don’t have enough of them.
I don’t remember the mom who gave birth to me. I’ve never had a burning desire to meet her because I’m not sure it would do anything for me emotionally. Her existence made my existence possible and for that I am grateful. However, that first breech of trust, no matter the circumstances, doesn’t ingratiate me to her.
I don’t remember the first adopted mother. Or my family. She stands as a sort of place holder in time. I realize the calendar says I was with her for a bit, but that is all I know. She holds space on the calendar. Nothing else.
The second adoptive mother is the one that was the most formative. I learned how to work hard, be creative, make the most of little, be passionate about learning and have table manners fit for a queen. I also learned to appreciate old music and furniture and to love traditions and ritual. Unfortunately, from her I took in first hand knowledge of fear, pain, rejection, humiliation and how to keep secrets. Because of her, or rather the fear of her, I learned to mask my emotions and my scars and with every day that passes I learn about loss. To absorb the loss of the mother who chose me but then didn’t want me is soul numbing. I miss her the most.
There is a guardian mother who protected me at my most vulnerable and kept me safe until I could enter the adult world and who loves her children and mine. The safe and kind foster mother who agreed to take me, a 16 year old runaway, even though she was only licensed to care for children under the age of 2. Rounding out the set is the mother-in-law who we had the privilege of making a Nana first.
Mother’s day has always been difficult for me. It’s a holiday I wish I could avoid every year. While I have gratitude for the moms I have, the memory of the moms I have lost overshadows the day. One would think the appreciation of our five beautiful, talented children would satiate the longing I have for a mommy to call my own, but it doesn’t.
These children bring me joy, make me so very proud and always, always honor me well with their lives and their words. They help me to look forward and anticipate the future. However, the sad fact is, I have too many moms but I don’t have enough of them to fill the chasm that the loss of a mom has made.
Fortunate for me, I have my faith and hope in God that levels out my emotional ground. So, this week I will sit on that level ground and be grateful for all I have, which is so much more than I deserve.