but I really wish she would have
I don’t know if was all moms back in that day or just mine, but my mom couldn’t talk about things that really mattered. I don’t know if she couldn’t or if she just wouldn’t, all I know is that she never told me these things. I wish she would have.
- Mom never told me life was so hard. It all seemed so easy for her and very rarely did I see her struggle or have bad days. She was always “up” and seemed genuinely happy. The only time in her life when I really noticed her getting depressed or having any kind of a bad day was after the death of my father. I know she had to have bad day and some terrible times in her life. I just never saw them or heard her talk about them.
- Mom never told me how difficult it was for her when I left my hometown of York, PA and moved to Maryland. Even though it wasn’t that far, I knew to her it was. We lived very close to each other and were together all the time. This move would change that. But she never spoke to me about it. Only when my own daughter moved to Vermont did I know how my mother must have felt when I left.
- Mom never told me she read my diary. I know now she did. How else did she know everything? How did she know I was going to do something before I even did it?
- Mom never told me about sex, or the consequences of having sex. Oh, yes, we had “The Talk”, but all she did was ask me if I knew how men and women had sex. And then made me explain it. Out loud. When all I wanted to do was ask her, “why do you need me to explain it, don’t you know?” But I knew what would happen if I said that, so I told her how people had sex. It was once of the most embarrassing moments of my life and it didn’t really accomplish anything in my opinion. Maybe if we would have really talked about how I should wait until I was in love and also a real man/boy that cared about you would wait until you were ready. Maybe if she would have talked about this in some depth, I would have waited and not wound up pregnant at 15.
- Mom never really told me how she felt when she found out I was pregnant. We didn’t talk about it at all. I was told I would get married to the young man and that was that. I would have liked to talk about it. I had so many feelings that I needed to share with her and felt like I couldn’t, since the subject was pretty much ignored. So I talked to my friends who were also 15 and they couldn’t connect with me on any level about this, so basically I dealt with it myself.
- Mom never told me how she felt when I told her we were getting a divorce. She just said she was sorry we couldn’t work it out and stay together. No motherly advice, no telling me about similar instances between her and Dad, or how to get through the difficult times I knew she had to experience. She just was sorry.
- Mom never told me about how she met my father or her wedding. I always wondered how they met, if they met in school or afterward. He went in the service right after graduation so I wasn’t sure when this had happened. I wanted to ask but thought if she wanted to tell me she would have. And maybe I wouldn’t have the questions I do now about the wedding and why it was so secretive.
- Mom never told me her hopes and dreams, what made her happy and what she would have done had she not married at 18. I knew she loved to paint portraits and that she worked for a while in my uncles gallery. I did ask her once if she wanted to ever paint again and she said no.
- Mom never told me about how it felt to grow older. She didn’t tell me how it felt to lose her beauty and how it made her feel. She was a beautiful woman and men always commented on how pretty she was. I wonder how she felt growing older and seeing the aging face looking back at her in the mirror. I would have liked to talk to her about this. It would help me with my own feelings on aging.
- Mom never told me how it felt to lose her first born child. She had a baby before I was born and it was stillborn. I know it had to hurt her deeply. She was only 19 so I’m sure it was a very emotional thing to go through. I am also sure it was one of the hardest things in her life and stayed with her always. You carry a child for nine months inside of you. You get to know that child and love it. How does a 19 year old girl deal with that loss? Since no one talked about such things, she had to go through it alone. If she had talked to me about it later in life when I had my own children, it could have maybe helped me to deal with the death of my own child and could have maybe helped her too.
We never talked about feelings or any thing that really mattered back when I was growing up. My grandmother did. She shared many stories of losing a couple of her children and the loss of my grandfather. I tried many times later in my life to get Mom to open up and talk about something, something she cared about. Even when Dad passed, she didn’t talk about her true feelings. Not with me at least. I’m not sure she did with anyone. All of my attempts to get her to share something… something that mattered to her was met with a cold stare and a change of subject. I remember one time in particular after Dad had passed, we were at lunch in the mall and I simply asked what do you want to do with your life now. she looked at me like I had two heads and said, “this sandwich is really good.”
I wish Mom and I could have shared more and talked about things. I talk to my kids about feelings and our hopes and dreams. Sometimes we talk too much.(can you really) But we share our feelings, we get them out and that is healthy. One thing I know for sure, being a “Mom” isn’t easy..it’s hard. I get that now!
I leave you as always with a question and a quote. Did your parents talk to you? I mean really talk to you.
“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” ~ Cardinal Mermillod