Monday, January 20, 2014


January 15th would have been my mother’s 78th birthday.  Nine months ago, she passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack while riding in the back seat of a taxi cab en route to a standard doctor’s appointment.
The emotions surrounding my mother’s death are still unpredictable and sometimes surprising.  She and I had grown apart by the time of her departure, but the underlying ties that bind; these threads of my very existence sway from a non-existent tether of mother/daughter to a nagging tug of a heart string, to a jarring jolt of reality. 
As mentioned in RIP Mom, my relationship with my mother was drastically different than your typical mother and daughter union.  My  mother’s mental illness did not allow her to have a standard relationship with me or my half-siblings.  Throughout my lifetime, my mother was on the outs with any one of her three daughters at any given period in time; with me being the most recent (and at my choosing to keep her at an arms-length for MY sanity).  Ironically, I was also the closest to her out of her three children.
The harsh words delivered regularly by my mother (i.e. “You want to know why you are fat……”) are now cushioned by memories of positive occasions with my children instead (i.e. “Did you know that Blueberry Hill was Grandma’s favorite song?”).  The searing pain of the large wooden dowel cracking down my backside and across my skull, slowly being faded by happier thoughts (i.e. “Kids, I bought you some Stella D’Oro cinnamon twists!”  “Oh, just like grandma used to share with us!”).
The pain from the multiple beatings from one of my mother's bi-polar downs is etched into my brain and scarred onto my body.  The sadness of not knowing why or how a mom could hurt her own child remains confusing to me and may have more of an explanation of some of my less than stellar character traits.

My mother’s death, and her recent birthday, just reaffirmed that sometimes I just want my mommy.  Of course, my mother was not that person for me but it’s an euphemism for my desire of having that normal mother/daughter relationship.  Several women around me have strong bonds with their respective mothers, of which I am envious.  However, instead of lingering in my past, I am applying the facets, incorporating the pieces, and establishing the kind of mommy I want to be to my own children.

I am tough and I set high expectations for my children in basic family values such as displaying good manners, succeeding in school and in their activities, and being compassionate and caring human beings.  However, I am soft, cuddly (ask my youngest about my “figgy pudding” – aka squishy belly) and offer them unconditional love.  I am their friend who laughs about farts, burps, inappropriate Seth Rogan movies and wrassles with them until we are all out of breath and pleading for a reprieve.  I am their parent who can dish out a frightening “Momma face” and they know that their actions or words better cease immediately as I do not hesitate to dole out a consequence.   I will be their biggest cheerleader throughout their lives, I will help them cushion their blows, and I will be their Mommy when they may need it most.

Perhaps forgiveness is key.  In 2014, one of my goals is to face my fears head on.  Perhaps, one of the deepest fears is by letting go of the way my mother treated me that I will absolve her of her actions and words.  However, with my mother's recent passing birthday, I have realized that this is not about my mother and post-death, it is irrelevant whether or not her actions are absolved by me but rather, forgiveness of my mother will allow me to move on and create a new chapter.


  1. Great blog and great post. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thank you, Leslie. It was strange to read this again, a year later, and have some residual similar feelings that remain.