Mother is strong. I’ve seen no match to her strength, and I’m sure I do not know the half of it. I cannot speak to a father’s strength because I’ve experienced severe weakness from the men in that role.
Not having experienced the benefits of a family consisting of both husband and wife in a healthy, happy union sparks a curiosity of what it might be like to have had that type of parental guidance, as well as a wholesome father-daughter relationship. Dysfunctional families are a result of the human condition. In what is considered a healthy family, including both parents; it would still be made up of individuals, which is why relationships don’t always function well; not all individuals do justice to the roles they play and titles they are given. This caused some damage.
Being the child, I was coerced into calling Mother’s husbands, Dad though they were not well suited to the role; it was in name only. We are only as good as what we are made of; our background. What is cultivated in us has much to do with who we are, how we develop, how much, and what degree of damage we endure before we end up back in the ground.
Less than healthy marital relationships meant shouldering full responsibility for raising children fell to Mother and took immense faith, even if she was unaware; I am convinced she relied less on skill, and more on hope, and in the belief, things would work out somehow (blind faith, i.e., knowing all would be well without knowing how). Circumstances made her a master of accepting and facing struggles; courage in the face of overwhelming despair rises from hope and perseverance. Undergoing the arduous challenges throughout the upbringing of children is incredibly stressful without the burden of being a single parent. Even when she partnered with, and sought refuge in a mate, it was upon her, demand was placed, and from her, resolution expected.
Though she did not outwardly profess or express belief in a higher power; no doubt, “Thank God”, was thought, or uttered on plenty of occasions, as children are a tool for the testing of faith, manifesting hope and bringing a mothers heart to sigh in relief and humbling thanks.
I thank God Mother was designed to nurture. Like the rest of us, her dues are paid as she goes along, and the cost is high; we pay with our lives. Once she became a mother, her lifes road was paved, and for her, a special destiny engraved. After all of her toils, are children her only riches and spoils? Mothering became her way, working hard day after day. Now older, more relaxed, and unexhausted, I pray she still has hope, despite this cruel worlds breach of trust, in which she dove deep, beyond the surface crust to where riches lie; using up her strength because a mother is determined to soothe her baby’s cry.
Does this mean she is selfless? No, and I hope not! Mother is a self, as much as any other. Once again, she has time to exhaust her energy caring for and enjoying herself; children grown and more often far away, she’s still a mother, everyday. When she tells her stories, I’m given a glimpse of someone I wish I knew, to know how she became the, who, she is. Her former, other, before-her-mother, life remains a mystery, a part of history. I want to know the “back and back and back” as written in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. I am blessed with love Mother shares. I long for the rest; but it’s enough to know Mother cares.
I love Mother, back and back and back!