Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, my bio Mom and to me! I heard a radio program the other day that was asking listeners to call and relate something that demonstrated the specialness of your Mom. My bio-Mom was fairly easy. I did eventually meet her but the sacrifice she made in giving me up for adoption was such a selfless act. I’m not sure how much input she had in the matter – 1961 was a different world but she made a series of decisions that gave me life and then a wonderful childhood. I eventually wrote a letter to that effect to my bio Mom and sent it to her. I won’t go into the providence that allowed me to find her – I think that was a gift from my Mom after she died. It was wonderful meeting her and talking to her. Sadly she died a few months after I met her. I sorely miss her and the opportunity to get to know her. But I will always be grateful that I met her before she died. I’ll write a post another time when I’m feeling nostalgic and sentimental about the uncanny resemblances that linked Kate and me.
Then I turned my mind to my Mom. My beautiful, sweet Mom that was far from perfect but definitely had her heart in the right place. What memories still define her in my mind? This was hard for me but I’m glad to go through the exercise. Unfortunately, the last few years of my Mom’s life left her in confusion. She forgot she was a smoker and woke up one morning and never smoked again (which I’m convinced, gave her extra time with us); she would forget that my brother had died and would tear up anytime she did remember; often thought that my little boy was Danny and would chastise him with all the frustrations that she remembered about Danny. But going back to remember my Mom got me past those memories. I remember sitting in the living room drawing pictures of my two mommies – one that loved me and carried me in her tummy, and the one that was there for my scrapes and hurts. She never hid the fact that I was adopted and she made me feel very special because of it. I remember asking what it means when someone says to “go screw yourself” and her sending the boys away (Dad and Danny) and going over the facts of life. I remember my Dad always telling me he would get me a car when I turned 16 and when I turned 16, it was my Mom that wouldn’t let Dad forget his promise and wouldn’t let him put it off even one more weekend after my birthday. I remember the patience she had for her own parents that she brought over from Holland so that they would not have to live in a home for the elderly. I could focus on all of these positives or I could remember the mistakes that were made as I grew up but as a Mom, I know how hard a job it can be. I choose to go with the positives which far outweigh the negatives. She continued teaching me even through that last year of her life. She was an amputee and had some problems that caused her to need urinary protection. I would go by and help her get dressed in the morning. I worried that it would be awkward but she made it easy. She would forget going out to the doctor, having had a meal but she never forgot me and we had some really good moments during those quiet times.
Now I have to worry about my legacy to my kids. I have been going through a divorce and it has really affected my moods. I’ve been irritable, I sleep more and I just feel like I haven’t been engaged with them. On the other hand, I’m at all of their performances, I’m at the school when they need me, I help with homework. That is what I would like them to remember but we can’t pick memories for others. I need more patience and internal happiness. Then the memories will take care of themselves.