Mom and I twirled through life on separate pages; the distance between us chapters long. Unlike a well written story, we rarely melded in harmony of plot or theme. We never dotted our “T’s” alike; she maintained her own point of view, while I nourished mine - deepening the conflict of our spirited characters.
Without any specific or dramatic declaration, we entered into an unraveling time in our lives where everything changed; I became an adult; an employee, and eventually a mother. I became responsible for others. I set examples. I enforced rules. I loved and I punished. I was adored and disliked. I became my mother.
With her children grown, silent, empty bedrooms filled mom's life; she faced an involuntary and new starting place. As she gravitated towards her senior years, I rooted myself into my own unique mold of motherhood. I told the mother I became, I wouldn't do what mom did; I'd do it different - my way. Somewhere in the middle of trying to nurture others, I came to accept my mother's many character flaws, for didn't I have many? Where battles once governed our wrecking-ball mother-daughter relationship, understanding took over; tranquility at last entered our lives.
She called my busy office to say hello; sometimes just to hear my recorded voice; she said it comforted her. I returned the calls - in time; heard her loneliness and longing to see me - me, the one that she was most at odds with. Then, like the change in seasons - one day, one year, and without foreshadow, my mom and I finally met on the same life page.
In earlier years and angrier moments, my mother cried I would cause her to die of a broken heart. Decades later, she did struggle with complications from heart disease, and peacefully passed. By that time, we had already reconciled. When she passed, I consoled myself knowing that my mom and I had made peace; I wasn't the cause of her bad heart; I had been the cure all along; age and disease had been the culprit - not I.
Yesterday, while shopping for bathing suits, a dreaded task, I noted women shopping for their moms. After all the years, the loss of my mother stirred, causing quiet tears.
Although the rainbow of understanding between my mother and I appeared late in our lives, I'm grateful for its warming brilliance. I'm grateful, as well, to have known my mom - Mary Marie, and perhaps better understand why she choose her life steps. I've learned to accept it all - with the unbreakable love only a daughter can give.
Copyright © 2013-2014 Jeralyn Lash-Sands