Here we go, a little food for thought! Not long ago, a very dear friend lost his Mother. Now, he had no warning, it happened suddenly, and needless to say, he was devastated. His Dad passed some years back, so..now he is an orphan! Isn't that how it goes, you lose both parents and you are an orphan?
Generally we think of orphans as children. How very sad, a young child, without their Mom and Dad. Well, surprise!! Orphans come in all ages. I became one in my late 40's, my friend was "licky" enough not to experience this until he turned 60. Does the age matter? I suppose in some respects. Of course children are not capable of making their way into adulthood without support, so we have that. But, in truth, becoming an orphan is painful no matter how old one is.
As most of you know by now, I lost my Mom at the age of 26. I had a small child, and I was clueless. My Mom was my go-to person. O.K. granted many times she offered "suggestions" and many time I ignored them, but when incidents occurred, she was the one I called, and she was the one I would find comfort from, even if she didn't have the solution, I was no longer in something alone, I had my Mom there, and somehow everything was going to work out fine.
As I have aged, along with my good buddy, who was blessed to have her Mom a phonecall away into her mature years, both of us have come to realize something others probably do not understand until it is too late. That woman who we saw as a Mother, was also a person. See, the older I get, as a Mom, the more time I have to think back, and regret. I regret that I never had the ability to allow her to show me the person. In truth, perhaps she tried, but, I was unable to look past the title she held from the moment I met her. She had a position I expected her to uphold forever, well, I suppose most Mom's do. She did an amazing job, but..I just didn't understand there was someone else behind the job.
I am not sure if I am putting this in the correct context. I certainly do not wish for my children to think this is directed at them, because it is not. I actually think my kids have far more insight that I am someone beside their Mom, than I did with my Mother. Maybe because I scream and holler much more? Maybe because I complain so often? Maybe because they have seen me break down on more than one occasion?
See, My Mom just didn't do those things. O.K. in time, and with memories, I can remember little tiny hints of the person beyond the title. She must have got fed up often. She worked far harder than I have, she kept a spotless home, cooked, baked, sewed (well buttons and rips). She broke my Dad's shoes in for him..Yep, I remember her wearing a couple of pairs of wool socks, and his new shoes, so he didn't have to risk a blister. She did the dishes every single night..because her kids never stepped up to the plate. When she was diagnosed with Cancer the first time, I remember her making meals and freezing them, so my Dad wouldn't have to worry when she was in the hospital.I do remember asking her why she was doing this, because in my mind she should have been thinking of herself, but she didn't. Even then, she considered her family.There had to be a selfish bone somewhere inside her, but I don't remember seeing it in the 26 years I knew her. I wonder, if she had not left so soon, would I indeed have become her friend? Would she have told me of her dreams, and regrets? I wish so much now, I had the foresight to even inquire.
My friend was given the gift of becoming his Mom's friend. He knows who she was beyond the title Mom. I know he doesn't think he is lucky, I understand he is overwhelmed by loss, but, he will see, as time goes by and the pain lessens, he was given a chance many of us never had. He saw the woman, and was given a glimpse of the child she had been, and a lifetime with a Mom, who was able to simply be a friend without all the pressure of raising a family and supporting a working husband. She was able to be herself with him, a person with feelings, and dreams, and memories.
Trust me, my kids hear my moans about the loss of dreams, and the complaints about the inability to be selfish, which basically is just being selfish.. I am certainly open with the fact that the person beyond Mom is screaming to be recognized. They have met my golden friends, so they know I was Me, long before I was Mom, and yes, I admit, there are times I miss Me, but not near as many times as I regret, not knowing the "Me" behind my Mother.I was selfish, it took me decades of living a split personality, to understand, behind every Mother, there is a Me, and I never knew the most important Me in my life!
So, in case you are lucky enough to have the woman who has spent your lifetime as Mom, still with you, maybe ensure you take a moment or two, and remember, before you, she was a person. She had a life, she had dreams (goodness maybe her dream was simply to be a Mom?) and the moment she was given the title MOM that person did not disappear. Mom's are people too, just like you!!