Social media, and media in general have blown Mother’s Day up into a two day event… and then some… making it harder and harder on those who don’t have mothers worthy of celebration, and those who have lost mothers they miss every day of their lives.
I’m one of the former.
Over the years, I’ve simply ignored all the wonderful posts about mothers who are loved, missed, and celebrated, but for some reason this year it was more difficult to stuff my feelings into a tidy little slot and just keep moving forward.
The problem began with hearing one of those radio deals where listeners phone in and have twenty seconds to say something to their mom—for all the world to hear.
I laughed at the first few, thinking, ha ha, nope, nothing like my mother. Then a young woman said, “If not for my mother, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
At that point I started to think of the negatives in my life I could directly attribute to my parents. If not for my mother I wouldn’t be…
But I stopped, because I have learned to live a positive life…I gave up negative when I realized it was a legacy I didn’t want, didn’t have to accept.
Today, I refused to dwell on the why’s behind my shortcomings and weaknesses.
Instead, I chose to look at, think about, and question how the negatives in my childhood impacted me in a positive way, and here are a few that stand out.
If I’d had a mother who got up in the mornings and got her children off to school, would I be such a good self-starter? Would I still be crazy proficient and organized if I hadn’t had to get my own breakfast, get dressed, and on my way?
If I’d had parents I could run to when the bumps and scrapes and hurt feelings happened would I still be this resilient and self-sufficient?
If I’d had parents who put their children first, would I be such a strong and independent woman today?
If I hadn’t had parents who expected me to work as soon as I was legally able, would I have such and outstanding work ethic?
If I hadn’t had parents who bought me a horse so I wouldn’t be interested in boys, and so they had a tool to hold over my head (If you do that we’ll sell your horse. If you don’t do this, we’ll sell your horse. If your grades…) would I have had such a fantastic career as a horse trainer? Would my future have been decided by a boyfriend and not by my own pursuit of happiness?
If my father hadn’t bought himself a puppy, one who grew up to be a dog who loved me, and who I loved with all my heart, would I have had this life blessed with loving and loveable 4-legged creatures?
Maybe, maybe not.
Bottom line? There was always food in the cupboards, a clean bed to sleep in, and a roof over my head… And that’s a helluva lot more than some kids had, so for that I am grateful.
And when Mother’s Day and Father’s Day threaten to overwhelm those of us with seemingly little to celebrate, I remember the gift of independence, of strength, and of resilience. And I think about the sheer joy of loving and caring for animals.
I grew up on my own, and somewhere along the line I found out that I’m naturally compassionate, and although I built a wall around my feelings at a very young age, I have a soft heart.
Today I celebrate the positives that came from parents who had no clue how to love, nurture, and protect their children.
I have a great life, lived in a positive way, and I am grateful!