I hate Mother’s Day. I used to be ambiguous towards it, before he came into my life, but after, it becomes a battle wound that has yet to heal. It’s a poisoned scar demonstrating that sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into loving someone, no matter how many sacrifices are made, that person is still under no obligation to love you back.
You’d think I’d have learned that from my failed marriages, but not this woman. Instead, I like to put myself up on the cross and completely forget who, how, and what I am. I like to think that they are more important than me. That I deserve to be put second because if I love them like I should be loving me, they might do that for themselves. What an idiot, right? But don’t we all do it in a way?
Don’t we all put our what if’s and could’ve beens up as the sacrificial lambs we wish we were? Don’t we all think, on some level, that if we love enough, or bemoan what we have done in the name of love, that somehow that other person will turn their life around and do us the same way?
My Uncle Alvin used to be a religious fanatic. I don’t just mean faithful, but over the top to the extreme. He went to church seven days a week and twice on Sunday. When we were around, we, my brothers and I, loved to go with him to church. Mostly because they served delicious food at a lot of them, but we also got to watch the holy rollers going at it.
I was nine at the time, so my motives were suspect to begin with, but I got to see snake charmers, people rolling around on the floor in their good clothes, people speaking weird words while dancing at high velocity around the preacher whose hands were raised up towards the ceiling in holy bliss. I once watched a woman kneeling at the prayer bench snuff a train of snot that would nearly touch the floor before the cycle repeated. I have no doubt, in retrospect, that those people believed with all their hearts they were lost in the holy spirit. Although I write about it comically now, then, it was serious business.
They poured every bit of themselves into their faith, but their lives went on as they always had in one way or another. I figured out then that that was not my path despite the idea of faith being intriguing.
I wanted to believe in miracles and prayed for my loins to bear fruit, but they didn’t. I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. When I was, I put every bit as much faith as those holy rollers did into making it work. I wanted to be the perfect parent since I’d had the opposite example in my father and I barely remember my mom’s parenting.
But life never comes about the way one hopes, prays, or wishes, does it?
What I don’t regret from my foray into the world of being a mother is the many hours I spent teaching, guiding, showing, living, exploring, but most of all loving him. I did everything in my power to make him a home where he wouldn’t have to worry about the words rape, horror, trauma, anger, violence, abuse, or tragedy. I dedicated myself to giving him as much opportunity as I possibly could. I tapped every resource I could find to help him. I, essentially, lassoed the moon for him like George Bailey did for Mary. I gave him a fighting chance.
I have blamed myself for not being good enough for him to love me. But it wasn’t how that was. I was good enough. He didn’t feel worthy of what I was giving him. What I offered was more than he felt he deserved. He’s tell anyone who listened how shitty he was/is. He’s make sure anyone that wanted to hurt him could. He’s mock me for defending him. He’d throw his addiction to pain and suffering in my face as if it were my fault, but it never was. It was always his own view when I could AND couldn’t see it.
Now, it’s again Mother’s Day and I have cried all day. I’ve sat in my home with my chickens on my lap lamenting the life I used to have. I won’t even go into how the loss of Carly hurt, but suffice it to say, that was a raw humdinger of a shaft too. I hope they look back at the time they had with me and know how much I loved them. I hope they know I’ve never regretted them, just that they walked away.