Motherhood. What does it mean to be a mother? In the coming days, I’m going to explore motherhood from the only view I can – my own. It’s not going to be the same as everyone else, but it’s my view, my version, and I’m the only one that can tell it.
I had a beautiful Mother’s Day this weekend, surrounded by people I love, and by people who love me. I love them so much. It’s odd how and who comes into our lives. I still cried Sunday evening because I miss my own children who are grown and don’t need me anymore. I tried to be a good mother to them, show them I love them, to protect them the best I could from a world I knew as violent and dangerous. It sometimes meant they were angry at me when I had to tell them no, hated me when I had to intervene when they were making decisions that would lead to danger or mistakes, and have them think I was the meanest person on the planet because I wouldn’t let them have or do what they wanted. But, I never thought they’d just forget me altogether.
It hurts to know that I meant nothing, that I’m so forgettable and expendable. But, I’m no stranger to being rejected and unloved by those meant to love me most. Yet, I’m still blessed and thank God for His love and mercy. I love my children, all of them, even the ones I didn’t give birth, even the first children I raised, my brothers. I was born a mother. I was forced to be a mother; a protector. I just never could get the whole nurturing thing down. For an artist, a writer, I had a hard time expressing my affection. I’m much better at it now, but that’s forty years of working on it. For many, many years I could never even allow anyone to touch me, and I NEVER said the words, “I Love You.” Those were the words I didn’t trust, and I suppose I still don’t.
My story starts with a violent beginning. But, it’s my beginning. In order to understand my point of view, you’re going to understand that there is an evil world out there. A world filled with violence, real violence, not something only in movies or on tv. I’ve seen it. I can still remember the sound of a hollow ring and the smell of sulfuric gunfire mixed with the coagulated pools and metallic smell of blood, the screams of violence, the whimpers of pain in the dark, and the growl of hate behind a set of gnashing teeth. I’ve felt the blows of anger, I carry the scars of degradation, and I remember staring into a pair of defeated eyes of a broken spirit and crushed will. I have seen the devil. He has seen me. Evil is real and I wanted more than anything to protect those I love from it, but I have failed. I have failed so many times.
This is where my story begins… this is my story of motherhood and it’s a story born in the middle of violence. But, that is not where it will end. I’ve tried to tell this story many times, and I’m not going to promise I’ll be able to tell it now, but I’m going to try. Stay tuned.
Till next time,