Did You Ever Think of Your Mother
By Bernadette A. Moyer
Earlier today I received an e-mail from a reader asking me if I ever thought about my mother during our estrangement. What a great question! I told her the short answer was “yes” and that I would blog my answer in greater detail.
So here goes …
In the beginning of my estrangement from my mother I thought of her every single day. And like a child I couldn’t believe that she didn’t come for me and try and make it better. I held out hope for many, many years. And like much of the grief process I went through the many stages of grief until I came to acceptance.
I was so hurt and angry in the very beginning. Partly because I had nowhere to go. I didn’t do anything wrong, nothing. My mother’s husband was accused of child sexual abuse and I believed the child that made the accusations. I still believe it happened. Once it became known to me I wasn’t going to allow any of my children in his company. There was no big fight only one time that I told her and her husband. He sat there at my kitchen table and neither admitted it or denied it. That would be the last time that my mother ever came to see me in my home. I didn’t know it at that time, but I would be erased from her life.
When days, weeks and months passed and it silently became clear to me that I was now being excluded from all holidays and communications I was blisteringly angry. In my walking away he got away with it. He was held in high esteem by my family. My sisters all sided with my mother and with him. I was now a complete outcast.
Because I was a mother myself I was certain that one day she would come around and seek me out. One day she would find her heart for me. But that never happened. Through the years I tried a few times. Not a word from her. Nothing. Not ever.
After anger comes acceptance and I had gotten on with my life, I met a man, his wife died and I adopted his pre-mature infant twins and together with my then pre-teen daughter we created our own family. It was healing. We married and he loved me and loves me and I love him.
Did I think of her? I thought of her often. I thought of her when I met my husband because I knew that she would have liked him. He was Italian Catholic and so was she. I thought of her when my daughter was Confirmed and graduated from the eighth grade. I thought of her when it was grandparents day at my child’s school and when my child went to prom, and graduated from high school. I thought of her when I changed careers and was successful in life. I thought of her on my birthday, on her birthday and on mother’s day. I thought of her at Christmas and at Thanksgiving and at Easter.
I thought of her when I made homemade spaghetti and meatballs. I thought of her often. I cried many times. I prayed and I prayed. When her husband died I thought okay maybe now that he is gone she will finally find her heart for me. So once again I wrote to her and once again no response. Not a word.
Her death was sudden and I know exactly where I was and what I was wearing when I received the news of her passing. I can’t say I grieved the loss because I had already grieved losing her. What I grieved was the hope that we would ever come together again in this lifetime.
I only saw her once during our twenty-three year estrangement and it was around the ninth year of our estrangement. Her sister was getting married at the same church I attended as a child and where I was confirmed. My mother was holding the church doors open when I arrived with my husband. I looked her straight into her face and she looked down at the floor as I walked past her. She knew.
I don’t cry for her at all anymore. I have much peace in her passing. I believe in God and I believe in Angels and I believe that my mother knows the truth about her husband now. I also believe that she knows that I never once tried to hurt her.
So to the writer who asked “the question” “did I ever think of my mother?” Absolutely yes, yes and yes. Today I have moved far past the disappointment and the hurt and the anger. Of course I could wonder how it might have been different but the truth is I don’t go there. I know that for whatever reason(s) it wasn’t meant to be for us. This is my life and this is my story.
A story that has never changed … a story that I have lived and shared and helped many others who are also walking through estrangement. It is not easy and it is not ideal but for me it was a part of my life and I survived it. Today I am happier than I have ever been and much more at peace too.
Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer