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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Yes, indeed, it is still another blog that will sing the praises of someones mother.

I am absolutely sure that most people skip over these kinds of entries. I am certain of this because, well, I usually skip over them. I am hardly unique. What I have learned through my years is that there are people much worse than me (they will read the blog, pick out one or two things they find objectionable and then slam you about it on your facebook page) and there are people better than me (they will read the post, think about it and then really give you some honest feedback about what you have written). I fall somewhere in the middle. Once in awhile I will read it, pick something out I don't like and then stew on it for about six months holding a resentment against the writer that the writer never knows about but that I can nurse like a double shot of single malt scotch. Other times I will read the post and usually gush about what a wonderful mother the writer has as well as take the time to share something wonderful about mine.

Most of the time, however, I just skip over the entire thing and assume the person has written glowingly about their mother.

Doesn't everyone love their mother?

The answer to that question is a resounding, "NO!". I have been in the rooms of my 12 step program long enough to know that there are a whole bunch of lousy mothers out there. I mean REALLY lousy mothers - abusive, criminal, profane, loud, promiscuous and plain old neglectful. They have wrought havoc in the lives of their children and those kids, now in their late 30's and early 40's, make some of the lousiest life decisions as a result of that havoc. They are doing their best to straighten up and fly right but they truly have nothing upon which to judge their own behavior unless, by the grace of God, they are lucky enough to get a really awesome sponsor.

Others I know have held on so long to the anger and resentment against their own mothers that they refuse to see anything wrong with anyone else. EVERYONE has had it better than they have and if you were to DARE to point out that their mother, while hardly perfect, was not a monster they will literally freak out. How dare you suggest their mom was doing the best she had with what she was given by Providence? How dare you suggest that she was stronger than she looked, that she loved as best she could and she never ever ever meant anyone any harm?

My mom is not a perfect person. What she did do, however, is she tried her very best to dedicate her life to the two people she chose to bring into the world. She is still dedicated to family - willing, even at the age of 92, to run errands, drive grandchildren, spend money and otherwise 'be there' for people who often treat her with great disrespect. She never stops loving us, even when we make incredibly stupid life decisions. Neither does she take responsibility for our decisions. We want to be stupid? That's our choice.

Mom and I do not agree about much these days. She has a very different world view from mine. I am not allowed to express that view out loud without being told I am wrong and, quite frankly, her logic is often flinty and faulty. However, she is my mother and she gets to be that way.

Someday I will be alone and able to express myself at the top of my lungs, naked, while dancing with the cat in the living room to Gregorian Chant if I want to but for right now I am OK with just shutting up and saying, "Hmm. that's one way to look at it".

I am, I know, a huge disappointment to my mother. However, in that respect I am not any different from anyone else in that I did not live up to my potential and I made some horrible mistakes.

I am grateful for her love and support. I am grateful for her guidance and her wisdom. I am grateful she is not perfect.

I could not imagine anything worse than knowing your mom is wonder Jesus suffered.

(just kidding).


1 comment:

R.L. G said...

Well, said, Leslie!