I often lament during this time of year, that I have a hard time finding an appropriate Mother’s Day card for my mom. I peruse the aisles at Hallmark, looking for just the right sentiment to describe the way I feel about her. I see dozens of beautiful cards proclaiming things like, “Mom, you were always there for me … ” or “Mom, we’ve always been so close … ” but we just can’t find anything that fits. Inevitably, I end up in the funny card section and buy something that contains a fart joke or a quip about keeping your room clean.
So, what would the perfect card for my mom say? How about:
- Dear Mom, even though you didn’t pay much attention to me, I still turned out ok!
- Dear Mom, thanks for bringing your loser friends around for me to use as a bad example!
- Dear Mom, I realize being a single mom is tough, because I’m one myself, so thank for teaching me what NOT to do.
All kidding aside, having a real mother-daughter relationship is something I’ve never felt. At thirty-nine, I still crave that relationship, but my mom just isn’t someone I can feel close to. What’s it like to feel safe in the arms of your mom? When she hugs me, I feel nothing. What’s it like to have a mom you can call and cry to when you get your heart broken? My mom would just tell me it was probably my fault. What’s it like to be friends with your mom as an adult and really WANT to spend time with her? My mom lives 300 miles away and, honestly, talking on the phone now and then is good enough for me. What I do know is how it feels to love your mom, but not really like her.
My sister and I talk about this a lot, and sis feels the same way I do. Mom is now in her sixties, lives alone, and seems to be getting more and more bitter every day. I’ve confessed to my sister, and to God, that I really want to change my heart when it comes to the way I feel about mom. After all, she bore me and raised me as well as she could, I guess, so shouldn’t I feel SOMETHING towards her? Gratitude? Respect? I don’t know. I’ve prayed about it over and over and I still don’t know what to do. On one hand, I feel guilty for not wanting to be with her, as I know she’s not healthy and probably won’t be around much longer. On the other hand, spending time with her stresses me out.
Though Mom is older now, she’s still the same in a lot of ways. She’s rude, judgmental, dishonest, always ready to point out someone’s faults yet never looks at herself. And she’s probably going to die sad and alone. If she wasn’t my mom, and I knew her from somewhere else, I’d probably not like her, either. I guess I’ll just keep praying.