It is with a heavy heart and tears that I write one of the most difficult pieces I will ever have to write. My Mom passed away, unexpectedly and of course too soon.
Sometimes Death is standing there providing a warning through an illness and long term sickness; or sometimes it is a subtle subconscious warning, only to be made devastatingly clear after it has come and taken a loved one away. Death’s message is always the same. Life is precious, and it is because of Death that Life has meaning.
The relationship with my Mom was not always filled with laughter, shopping sprees, and Saturday lunch with punch or lemonade. It was, for a while, turbulent, through the life of struggle, the strict and hard up bringing, and the sleeping in one room at my grandparent’s house with her and four of my siblings for seven years.
There was no time for demonstration and elaborate gestures of Love, because my Mom’s younger years were stripped away. I was born kicking through her womb while she was a young teenager, whose life in an instant, changed from a young teenager to an adult mother. An adult mother with the mind of a teenager.
It was I who came and changed her life— forever. I took her teenage years. Her life took a course that she was never mentally, physically, or emotionally organically prepared for.
She missed the lessons she may have learned, like: how to love herself, to travel the world, living a life like a normal teenager, going to parties, having a fatherless boyfriend, learning how to make money, and to build character in stages where her psychological and emotional well being was able to process and develop her in to a woman who would choose to have children in a time by which she was prepared.
That is not what happened for her.
Life with five children was hard. We lived off the kindness of those who were living life and doing well, or at least better than us. I wanted more, and did not understand why life was so hard. I asked God, and he never answered. Or maybe I did not hear the answer.
But it was not until I became of age, where I planned my children, and became a mom myself, that I began to learn what she might have dealt with being forced to have adult responsibilities, so early in life.
I never really considered, when we were in need, that, just maybe, she too, wanted so much more. She never complained.
As a growing teenager, it was too early to grow into the maturity and the tools to take on triple responsibility with children, when she herself was just a child. She missed the organic opportunity for growth of attaining wisdom, education, and the good rewards of experience. She had to have regrets, and I as the start of it all, served as a constant reminder. How could I not be?
Iyanla Vanzant taught me this: “When we know better, we do better”. We do.
My learning didn’t come from the foot of my mother whose life was easy, normal and fulfilling. Struggle does not provide intimate settings to learn hard lessons.
My learning came from everything she went through, and her struggle. She never complained, because deep inside, she felt she deserved what happened to her. How could she not? There was no time for her to learn self esteem, confidence, and grow into the levels of maturity.
I am sure, if she could have, she would have done it all so differently. But I am, in a way, her. Maybe the “her” of what she would have been, if it had not been for me. I know I didn’t ask to come here. But I did. My arrival was, perhaps the reason, why she never really got the chance to live, and had no time to get motherhood down packed; as I am still learning everyday of my life with my two children.
I learned many things, like loving myself in order to provide love to my children and a nurturing environment. I learned self confidence in order to make the right decisions to avoid bad repercussions. I learned to be more, and to work harder to get more. I learned I can do anything, because I know I can. From her life, I had the opportunity to construct mine differently; and this is the greatest provision and gift any mother can provide.
The purpose of a parent’s life is to provide and pave the way for a better life for their children. And she became a better Mother the second time around. As a Grandmother, she was a Mother to my children, especially to my daughter. So I mourn for the loss of not only one Mother but two Mothers.
Thank you Mom. I love you until the end, even beyond life.