Nothing special planned for today other than have to go for some blood work. Feeling pretty good, will try and get outside for a little fresh air and exercise.
Mother’s Day passed a short while ago and I have been spending a lot of time thinking of my own dear mother. In some ways it is hard to believe it has been 17 years since she passed over. I can remember some of our talks like they were yesterday. In other ways it seems almost like forever since I last got to see her. Isn’t it almost strange how the passing of time can seem different. Maybe it is just our mood at the moment that determines if 17 years ago seems like yesterday or like it was forever ago.
My mother was an amazing lady. She had such a great internal strength that just kept her going through anything and everything. To say she had a hard life would be an understatement but nothing kept her down or really even hardly slowed her down. She worked outside the home full time and yet still came home and did everything in the home. It is only now with my more mature and I hope wiser eyes that I can really look back and see things as they were. It is only now that I can look and really see and appreciate how strong she was, how much she endured, how much she gave and how much she loved. How much I selfishly seemed to expect her to sacrifice of herself for me. I always felt love to my mother but those feelings just never even seemed to enter into the equation. I just knew what I wanted, what I expected and was mad if it didn’t work out the way I wanted. OK, granted I am talking about when I was a kid. From my youngest memory she was always just there and did everything for us. That she was there and that she would do everything was just taken for granted, just automatically accepted as the norm, was expected as who she was and what she was there fore.
I can see that when I was really young that would be natural. I kick myself so often now, when I think back and really wonder why when I grew into and advanced in my teens wasn’t I able to see this. I think I was just so self absorbed in my own life, my own wants and desires I just didn’t see things for what they were and just accepted that this was the norm, as it was the way it had always been, and as the way it should be.
It truly wasn’t until I had been out on my own for a few years that I began to really see things more clearly and I suppose in fact stop taking her for granted. I experienced life for myself, I worked full time and had to come home to the house hold stuff. It was only then that I began to take on an appreciation for all that she was doing and of how hard it was on her year after year. As I advanced in my teen years I did a few things to help out around the house, but any effort I put in was pitifully small.
I look back with feelings of guilt, wondering how she must have been made to feel realizing that somehow she had been lowered to an almost servant status. Somehow, I don’t even thing she ever likely saw it that way, more as her role in life as a mother. I know in my mind I certainly never saw her or thought of her as a servant or anything of the sort. It is just I realize that really that is how she was so often treated. Never did I see it or realize it at the time.
I think of the times she must have felt so disheartened, so frustrated, so tired and maybe even so unloved. I can’t remember any specific examples but I am sure there were many times after a hard full day at work when she came home to 3 complaining teenage sons. Hungry and complaining about the minutes late she was. “Didn’t she realize, how inconvenient this was for me. I may have had plans for the evening and here she was late. Didn’t she know I had to have eaten and be out by a certain time or my plans might be delayed.” “Why couldn’t she understand how I had every right to be upset with her?”
I regret it so much, how could I have allowed myself to grow into that mindset. Embarrassing as it is to admit it I did.
Reality didn’t hit me until a couple of years after I had been on my own and I went home for a visit. I was likely feeling pretty proud of myself for my new found independence being off on my own. I went home for a visit. The bank had transfered me a long distance from home and visits weren’t able to be often. I remember arriving late afternoon, just before supper/dinner time. There were my 2 bothers and father (on one of his visits) sitting, complaining of being hungry and wondering why mother was late getting home from work to prepare the meal. I guess I had been transformed, because I remember being shock, thinking what is the matter with you guys. You can cook for yourself and why aren’t you cooking supper for mother when she gets home. You are just sitting here, what is the matter with you. Somewhere in there it came to me that just a year or two previously I had been sitting on the same couch waiting in the same impatient way. Here I was questioning what was the matter with them, huh, the same thing that had been the matter with me. It was like a light had gone off in my head, the realization had set in. I remember that during this conversation my mother in fact arrived home and immediately began preparing the meal. Well with my new found insight I was in there trying to help but she just kept shooing me away.
That truly was a life changing moment for me a great moment of learning. Never did I treat her the same, or even see her with the same eyes again. She was elevated back to her proper position as my respected and loved mother.
My mother was a wonderful Lady, she taught me so much. So much that makes me who I am today. The lesson she taught me here was to look at all relationships in my life and make sure I am treating everyone with dignity and respect. I learned that lesson that day, and it has stuck with me.
I will write again of the many other lessons I have learned from her.