Love Your Mother, Hug Your Mother. You Need Her.

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I was going to start fresh with a new post tomorrow, but I decided that I needed to go ahead and get this off of my mind. “Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.” Now Lord, what in the world is this supposed to mean and why is this on my mind?! I love my “mama/mommy/Shirley (lol).” We talk every other day, she is my friend and is an advocate for me. This morning, after talking to my sister about the surreal nightmare she had of my mother being murdered, it brought up some feelings that I struggled with over the years.

Growing up, I used to feel so much anger towards my mother. The yelling, the cursing, selfish ways, authoritative personality, fights and many other personal things. I built up such a wall, that I would not allow myself to connect with her. Growing up, I never heard my mother use the words “I love you,” so not saying it or feeling it was quite normal to me. All of that seemed normal as a child and teen until it finally started to weigh on my heart reaching my adult years. Being away from my mother, not talking to her throughout her stage 4 breast cancer, not being there to take care of her and be there by her side was a painful part of my life. The guilt didn’t hit me until I saw the scar of her mastectomy as she removed her shirt a few years ago. I held myself together until I got to my car and I cried the whole way home. How can a daughter not feel a thing for her mother and how can a mother not show feelings towards her daughter? Are the questions I asked myself. Well, my prayers and questioning were answered last year when my mother broke her silence. For anyone who knows my mom, they know that I don’t mean silence in the vocal sense.

I’ve always learned that the only way to really know someone, is to get to know their life’s story. The thing that I failed at as a daughter was getting to know who my mom was underneath the thick skin and hardened heart. To make a long story short, my mom expressed to me her struggles in her lifetime and boy did it mimic the same scenario with us. She was broken, hurt, wounded internally and did not want to be that person. She wanted to love, but she didn’t love herself and she didn’t know how to give it to anyone else. As she expressed to me what she experienced over the years, I gradually felt my wall lower and I developed an even greater love and understanding for her. Out of all of the people in my life that were “there for me,” my mother has been the only person that had my back no matter what. It may not have been in a way that I expected but when I look back from then until today, my mother has been there for me unconditionally. She is strong and courageous. The average woman would not have endured what she has endured over the years, so I am proud to have inherited that same strength. Just by hearing her story and getting to know who she really is, I have learned that she did the best that she could with what she had. Today, we have a great relationship and I love her dearly. I have learned to live in the moment because I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed. I could have lost my mother at stage 4 breast cancer, but God wanted me to learn a lesson out of our distance. My experience with my mother was flawed, but out of that, I learned how to be a better daughter and a great mother to my own children, so that was the greatest gift that she gave to me.

Life is too short not to fix the pieces of your broken heart. Love your mother, hug your mother. You need her.

Sincerely,

Dominique