Without a net

So Mother’s Day is well in the past and Father’s Day is creeping up and I realize that my new job and real life is getting in the way of writing a new post.

I feel a little guilty (okay, more than a little) that I couldn’t find a single comprehensible thing to write about my mother, who passed away 2 years ago this coming September.

Sure, life is hectic with a new job and worrying about the twins moving to another city and worrying more about whether or not my kids will forget me when they only see me only every other weekend.

But I write a blog so I should be able to plumb the depths and write something about my mother, like other people who write blogs, right? I should be able to write something about my mother on Mother’s Day, one would think.

The thing is that even when my mother was alive, I was ambivalent about Mother’s Day. My mom left my dad when I was 5. My dad was always the person missing from my life. Getting his attention was always such an important goal.

My mother, on the other hand, was always around. Sort of.

When my parents split, especially in the early years, she was working 2 or 3 jobs. She cleaned houses and worked in a factory and it seems like she was gone from breakfast time until about the time my little sister and I went to bed. My older sister shouldered a lot of the burden of caring for my younger sister and me in the first year after my parents split. A lady from the old neighbourhood would make us lunch when we came home from school. (Yes, in the old days we would walk 5 minutes to school and come home for lunch. And lunchtime was well over an hour long. We had it so tough.)

Aside from that, I have no recollection of anyone helping my mother out. Yes, my dad would see us every other weekend, but that was for a couple of hours. As the years went by we would spend more time with him and the visits became more frequent, but there was never any doubt that mom took care of us, pretty much on her own. There was no family to take over when she needed time. I know she was often lonely and likely depressed, but she never asked for anyone to look after the kids or complained. There was no other family to lend a hand. It was all her.

She was not a saint. She battled demons often and sometimes not privately, but we were always fed and clean.

And she did that on her own.

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11 thoughts on “Without a net

  1. Really powerful post, so honest and clear-eyed. I see both real admiration and some genuine ambivalence here. Also a strong sense of loss. *hugs* Speaking of loss, you’re a huge presence in the twins’ lives and because I know you, I know that will continue, even if you’re physically not with them as much as you’d like.

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    • Thanks, OMum. You see both admiration and ambivalence. I don’t think I have given myself the time to grieve my mother and make sense of what my connection is to her because of all the other losses since she passed away. I know I needed to say something about what a remarkable woman she was. As for the twins, the past year and a bit has meant spending less time with them and I wanted to admit my anxiety about even less time. Thanks for commenting.

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    • Hey, MTM. I am sure I know that my kids will never forget me. I didn’t forget my father and he had less time with me than my kids will have with me. It is my fear. It’s also compounded by knowing that for the first time in Daniel’s life I will not be the parent most closely involved with his therapy. So a little fear, some disconnectedness and some feeling on not being useful to tell the truth.

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  2. We have a love/hate relationship with our parents and it is okay to acknowledge that. Your children will not forget you and you are taking all the right measures to be in their life (new job that is closer to them) a lot of fathers don’t do that. There are no rules in life but the ones that you write and which are much more important than what anyone else thinks.

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  3. As others have said, your kids will not forget you. They love you and know they’re loved.

    That’s a very honest post about your mom. Sort of a nice break from the greeting card version. I see the admiration, and also regret for what necessity cost all of you. And bottom line, we all just do the best we can.

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