Yesterday was a sad day. I went to a funeral for a friend’s father. It was a dad not a mom and a son not a daughter, but the loss of a parent is the loss of a parent. It certainly brought back memories of losing my own dad just over 3 years ago. And it also keeps top of mind the inevitable loss of my mom. I feel in some ways that this website/blog is a sort of tribute or “love letter” to her. If not for her, it wouldn’t even exist! I know I talk a lot about the struggles and challenges in our relationship and often about how I wish things were different, but that’s part of what makes our relationship special.
Let’s face it, mother or daughter, we’re all human, with our own issues. We all make mistakes and don’t do things just right. We all just do the best we can.
As I’ve certainly mentioned before, even with our problems, I’ve learned a lot from my mom. Not too long ago, in a down moment, she lamented to me that maybe she had been a bad mother. But I told her she wasn’t, and I meant it. She did a lot right and I let her know that. I know that my own relationship with my mother is based on love. I was wanted and planned for, I was held and coddled, fed and clothed, treated with respect, and taught right from wrong. I know from books I have read and stories told on this website that I have been very lucky indeed. It doesn’t make the day-to-day conflicts much easier to bear….and, yet, maybe it does. Maybe that’s why it’s important to hear other people’s stories. It puts your own into perspective.
I’ve gotten to that age now where I know more and more people losing their parents. I used to think that if a mother or father died in their 80’s or 90’s, “well, they had a good long life” and maybe it wasn’t so sad…certainly not like someone cut down in their prime or someone who was so young they barely had a chance to live. But that was before I lost my dad at the age of 87. He was still working and driving and just wasn’t “ready to go” and I wasn’t ready to lose him. He was my dad no matter what his age. I view adult loss of a parent totally differently now.
I’m not really sure where this is leading. I’m not going to tell you that you should appreciate your mother no matter what because she won’t always be here. I do try to do that myself, but it may not be an appropriate sentiment for everyone in their own situation. It just may not be helpful. But there is certainly something profound about losing a mother, no matter what her age, your age, or your relationship with each other. And that relationship, good or bad, is what helps shape you into the person you become.