As life would have it, my mother never taught me the idiosyncrasies of dating, or the art of make-up. I didn’t get fashion sense or faux pas, never got the tutorials of being a lady or the seminar on the birds and the bees. I sought out my surrogate mothers, aka teachers for those endeavors in life- if I happened to unearth the bravery to inquire, which most times I did not.
However, I loved my mother but more than that, I felt immense grief, sympathy and anguish for my mom. As I’ve relayed previously, she was the victim of extreme intense domestic violence with not only my father but the man who was the father of my three elder brothers who also decimated her heart with harsh words and volatile actions. She tolerated constant criticism upon her being as a person, condemnation as a woman and conviction as a parent who couldn’t do enough.
Fast forward to today and through years of therapy for the ramifications and consequences of the abuse I witnessed, endured and suffered as a result of her choices in life, I realize the significant value of the lessons my mother taught me, although unknowingly. These lessons have been the momentous qualities a mother can implant.
My mother taught me that whatever state of affairs we are handed, we do the best we can and move forward. She trained me to be strong and study mentally—to fight for myself and no man is worth anything if he has to love you with his fists and his explosive temper. She schooled me in the desire for knowledge through reading and the paramount offerings are home-made that come from the heart.
She has educated me to love God and pray to Him for all His infinite wisdom that regardless of the untimely knocks in life, I can march through life with my head held high and take pleasure in whom I’ve become as a person. She has instilled in me a sense of humor to laugh at myself, observe the light-heartedness in life’s situations and to seek the positive in any and all circumstances. I can extend a hand to others who are hurting and offer hope and a kind word.
She gave me the knowledge to take care of me because no one can or will do better at knowing what I need or desire. She passed on a fierce sense of independence, coached me in intricacies of the human race in understanding people and their actions, as well as care and compassion for our fellow human beings. She cultivated empathy, sensitivity and devotion to life, but most of all, my mother taught me forgiveness; the greatest gift of all.
I love you Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!
“The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.”
By Erich Fromm