…to three mothers.
If you’ve read anything I’ve written, there’s definitely an underlying theme to what I write about: my mother.
Even now that she’s gone, her influence surrounds me in almost every way. Sometimes, it’s a positive, nurturing feeling; most times, it’s a bit disappointing. Our relationship was often riddled with tense silence and uncertainty. We didn’t talk much when she was alive. Not really. We didn’t see each other often, especially when I moved out of the house for college and did everything I could to not move back in. So these days, even though I know that my mom has definitively passed from this life, because of how little we interacted when she was alive, it still feels like that tense silence and insecurity is still hanging there between us.
My relationship to her created a lot of distrust in me. For a long time I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t fully trust the people around me, and I definitely didn’t trust anyone who came into my life emanating any semblance of mother energy.
Now that mom is gone, I find my soul wandering around with less timidity and suspicion, seeking a mother figure. And it is only now that I’m realizing that I already had them in my life. I didn’t see them clearly because I was actively rejecting them out of fear.
To the First Mother
You were not a part of my life for a very long time, though I realize now that you desperately wanted to be. When we did finally connect, I feared being truthfully, fully honest with you because I was intimidated by your firm sense of security in who you are and what you believe.
You love God with an intensity that I simply cannot. I’m only now realizing that you knowing this would in no way change how you love me. And that gives me strength.
Thank you for being my light. Thank you for being a wonderful example of how to shine your light and spread love to everyone you meet with no reservations or fears. You are a beautiful woman, and though we cannot catch up with the time we were disconnected, I am so glad we’re together now.
To the Second Mother
You call yourself the wicked step-mother, but frankly, I hope you let go of that joke someday. It doesn’t do you justice. You are a beautiful, empathetic force to be reckoned with, and I see you as anything but wicked. Also, you’re so hilarious that your humor would not be lost on anyone if you let go of that one joke.
You live life and own your successes and regrets equally. From you, I am learning that it is okay to lean into the bad times and moan, but it is equally important to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and move forward without looking back for too long.
Thank you for building my confidence. You are the only person I know who actively reads everything I write and not only that: you talk to me about it. You were the first mother I had who actively took a genuine interest in something that I am passionate about. I didn’t have that before you. I don’t think you’ll quite understand how much that means to a woman who was emotionally starved for so long.
To the Third Mother
You are a quiet, gentle spirit that I resisted for so long, even fought against, because I feared you the most. Through it all, you remained patient and forgiving as I lashed out at any bit of love you tried to throw at me, as I remained illogically suspicious of your motives for asking me questions about my life.
You give so much in your life and are fearless when it comes to making changes that help yourself as well as others. And though we may not agree on everything, I can see now just how genuine you are. That gentle honesty and peaceful compassion is something I’m learning to build up in myself through your example.
Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for always seeing the good in me, even when I was showing you the worst parts of my personality. You are the mother I wanted when I was a little girl: someone full of compassion and gentleness who would allow me to be myself, to make mistakes and to come back to you with no fear when I was ready to trust again.
I am finally finding myself in a place where fear no longer rules, where vulnerability is actually a strength and where I don’t feel quite as motherless as I did in the past.
There are mothers out there everywhere; if you find yourself in a place where the one who raised you, who you loved and cherished has passed from this life or if you find yourself realizing you didn’t have enough mother to begin with, I firmly believe you won’t have to look very far to find one ready, able and willing to be a mother to you. They’re probably in your life right now.
Just open your eyes and take a look.
(And don’t wait as long as I did to see the blessings you have right in front of you.)