Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday's Words for March 18, 2009

Mothers are very special people.

I know that I sometimes do an essay about mothers in preparation for Mother’s Day. But a friend of mine recently lost his mother, and though that loss was expected, the reality of it has hit hard.

I don’t care what anyone says, you’re never really ready for the loss of a loved one; and I think that the loss of one’s mother must be one of the hardest to bear.

For most of us, our mothers are the very first people to love us. It is into their arms we are given after being wrenched from the womb, after suffering our first major trauma of life, birth.

This turning to mother after life’s traumas is a pattern that, if we are blessed, follows us for most of our lives.

Our mothers are the ones who bathe us, bandage our cuts, and stand us in the corner. They are the ones who sit up nights with us when we are sick. They are the ones who watch over us at the kitchen table making sure we do our homework; and they’re the ones who take our successful test papers and stick them on the fridge.

Mothers are the ones we turn to when our hearts are broken, the ones we go to when we’re faced with a dilemma we don’t know how to solve, and the first person we want to call when we fall in love.

Moms love us, no matter what.

If we are very lucky, and if we’re very smart, we take all those wonderful lessons mom taught us and use them to go forth unto the world and prosper. If we’re blessed, we have families of our own, and infuse our own children with the wisdom of our parents. This is their legacy to us, and one way they remain with us when, as nature intended, we are one day faced with carrying on without them.

Years ago I remember having a debate with a friend, about whether it was easier to lose a parent as a child, or as an adult. I used to think that suffering that loss in childhood was harder—an opinion colored not in the least by the fact that I was eight when I lost my father, and twenty-one when my mom died.

But I’m older now, and I’ve watched several friends and my own husband and his siblings cope with the recent loss of elderly parents, and I’ve changed my mind.

Life is a progression. We start out relying on our mothers to do everything for us when, as helpless newborns we can do little more than scream in outrage at the strangeness of the world. Then we begin to grow, and almost immediately we fight our mothers for our independence. We want to stand on our own and run on our own—that is, until life jumps up and bites us in the butt.

Then, again as nature intended, our Mothers become older and if we are fortunate, we have the opportunity to return some of the nurturing we were so freely and lovingly given.

Blessed are the adults who get the opportunity to care for their parents, to show these progenitors not only how much they are loved, but that their investment in us was not in vain.

No, it’s not easy losing your mother. Only those who have experienced that loss truly understand. Yes, the sun rises and sets every day afterward, and life does go on.

But it is never, ever, the same again.


WANTON WAGER – brand new from Morgan Ashbury

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