Mother Mother, are you listening?

9 Nov

I have a mom, and a mother.

My Mom is dead, long gone to the rot of cancer in her breasts. My mother, the woman whose heart I rested under for 9 months, does not speak to me. She bore me a sister I never see as well.  Perhaps she once loved me, somehow, somewhere.

I was watching the rain on the bus last night and thinking how I have 2 mothers, and yet I have none. I float alone as a woman, with no guides, no mentors, just me, trying to pick my way through, decide how I shall be a mother.

I meditated on the subtle difference between “Mom” and “Mother”

My mother birthed me, suffered my kicks and punches, held me briefly. My Mom wiped my tears from my eyes, hid my presents on birthday mornings, talked to me about how I was soon to become a woman. She never got to finish that conversation, yet I remember the camisole with the wolf eyes I loved so much.

My mother signed papers to relinquish me to the arms of another woman. My Mom’s arms gladly, joyfully filled that void. My Mom’s hands held me, pinned me into patterns, showed me how to do my nails. My mother moved on with her life, somehow.

I think about both of them daily. I think of who I would have been with either of them in my life, or both of them. I think of how different of a woman I would be for their influence, instead of being molded by their lack of being, by the void they have left in my life.

My Mom had to leave. My mother had the chance to be part of my life again, and refused.

The rain doesn’t give me any answers I didn’t already have. I have become a mother, and a Mom. I set my own example now.

8 Responses to “Mother Mother, are you listening?”

  1. Joyce November 9, 2006 at 10:14 am #

    I hate to leave words here, in fear of minimizing what you’ve said here. But I want to tell you that you’ve been heard.

  2. Missy November 9, 2006 at 10:54 am #

    That was really beautiful.

    We don’t get to choose the circumstances of our life, they are thrust upons us. I grieve for the lack of women in your life–especially intelligent, strong, older women.

    But IMHO you bear up beautifully. You’re a blessing for your daughters.

  3. Jason Dufair November 9, 2006 at 11:58 am #

    Weeping. If only I could fill that same void my kids now face. If only I could be a mother and a father. I can’t though. I can make a stew in a pumpkin like I did last night, I can help my daughter pick out a pattern to sew a costume for her friend’s stuffed animal and help her sew it like I did last week. I can read stories to all three of them every single night. But I can’t be their mom. I guess I can only help them acknowledge the void. How do you fill it? Have you managed to fill it at all?

  4. thordora November 9, 2006 at 12:01 pm #

    Gawd Jason, don’t make me cry at work.

    You’re filling it, but retaining normal. My father fell apart, but in that “old school” way of-if I work work work and put food on the table, it will all be fine.

    It wasn’t. I needed someone to do the stuff you’re doing. He foisted me off on the wife of his friend who I HATED. She took me shopping and made me buy clothes I hated with the money my father gave me. I would have much rather gone with him. I wanted my DAD with me.

    Be present, and be with them, and they will likely have much less of a void to fill.

    I fill it now by being the best mother, and person I can be. As cheesy as that sounds.

  5. Jen November 9, 2006 at 12:59 pm #

    Reading your words about your motherloss enables me to cry a little about my fatherloss, and I really owe you a debt of gratitude for that. It’s nice sometimes to be sad and not just angry. Thank you so much.

  6. Jason Dufair November 9, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks for saying that, Dora. It’s funny. I’ve always been fairly career oriented – I take a lot of pride in the work I do and while I’m not into the career ladder, per se, I’ve wanted to be the best software developer I can be, and it’s paid off, career-wise. Since Anna died, however, work is just work now. I have a job for benefits and a paycheck. I switched to part time and intend to stay that way. It’s 100% about the kids now. Not that I don’t care about the work I do, but I leave it at work. Thank god I have an employer that is allowing this.

  7. thordora November 10, 2006 at 1:52 pm #

    Since having children, it’s solidified that work is just that=work, a paycheck. I like my job, but I’m not going to sacrifice my family for it. I know how easy it is for it to slip away.

    Jen, one of my “hopes” is that I can help others. I had no one who “got it” when I was hurting-I hope to be that for others.

  8. joy21 July 9, 2007 at 4:17 am #

    OH honey, you know about our forum?

    It is for people like us.

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