Ain’t No Love Like The Love Of Mama

A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking. ~Helen Rice

1970

“But I don’t want to play with her.” With arms folded I stomp my foot and glare at her.

“I don’t care if you want to or not. She doesn’t have a mother, and you WILL be nice to her.” Her eyes drill right through mine with the same defiance I inherited from her.

“I can be nice to her at school. I don’t want to play at her house.”

“You will be nice to her at school and at her house.” Her eyes never falter while mine bounce from my dirtied white tennis shoes to her cold blue eyes and to the horse and hounds picture above the mantle.

“But she plays with stupid baby dolls. Not Barbie dolls.”

“You can take Barbies to her house.”

“She doesn’t like those kinds of dolls. She only likes baby doll stuff.”

“It won’t kill you to play baby dolls this once.”

“But her nose is always snotting all over her face, and she gets all red and crusty.  And she threw up on the bus once. It was really gross.”

“You will play with her tomorrow whether you want to or not.”

I am already well aware my mother’s mother died when she was two, so I am not surprised when she adds the  famous line I know not to cross. “You don’t know how lucky you are to have a mother.”  I want to retort that I bet her mother would never have made her play with kids she didn’t like, but I know I’ve lost the battle. Then I remember there is a sandbox in Lucy’s (not her real name) yard and figure maybe it won’t be so bad after all.

1980

“No you’re not going to her house for the weekend.” She says this from behind the paper grocery sack she is unloading.

“Why not?” I only want to stay with my friend for the weekend. They actually go places and do things. Here I am stuck with three static television channels and no telephone. Oh, and my mother for company.

“Because I said so that’s why!” The tone is sharp and I know better than to push her buttons, but I do it anyway.

“That’s not a reason.”

“You’re not going and leaving me here all alone. You’re staying and that’s final.”

“That’s not my problem. You’re just mean.” I slam the door of the kitchen cabinet as hard as I can just as her hand slaps my cheek.

“You treat me like a dog. You don’t know how lucky you are to have a mother.”  I run to my room crying, not because the slap hurt but because I can’t believe she dared to strike me. I lock my door and think about how sorry she’d feel if I ran away from home.

1990

I am a married woman with a toddler and an infant. I live almost four hours from my mother, and I miss having her close by. I call my mother often asking for advice. I KNOW I am lucky to have a mother.

2000

My parents celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They renew their vows. I think of how sad it must have been for her not to have had her mother with her on her wedding day. Her father was there for all of her important times in life, and though I don’t ask her I wonder if she is missing him today.

I KNOW I am lucky to still have both parents. I KNOW I am lucky to have had them both as my parents.

2010

My parents celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary. We have family portraits taken, both parents and all six grown children. We joke and laugh among us and smile for the camera. We enjoy the party. We have no idea it is the last family photograph. We don’t know our parents and all six of their children will never gather together again. I am lucky to have my parents and my siblings, but I am so busy greeting and mingling with guests I don’t take time to tell them.

2011

The phone rings, and it’s my mother. She can hardly speak. She chokes and stammers through tears and gasps. “Your brother has cancer. It’s terminal. He might only have a month.” I feel like I’ve been socked in the stomach. I’m at a loss for words. I’m trying to find hope where I see none.

Cancer steals my brother quickly. Though we each get to say our goodbyes we are unable to meet as a family until we send him on his final farewell.

Tears flow as we are all hurting and dealing in our own way. I can’t imagine the pain my parents must feel in losing their son.

Though we’ve had our ups and downs, I know we have been blessed as a family. I know we mustn’t take one another or life for granted.

2012

Mother’s Day is only a few days a way. I know being a mother is the single most important thing I’ve done in my life. I am thankful for having had a mother and for being one. Yes, I know how lucky I am to have a mother and to be one. I can’t imagine having had to grow up without her…again she was right; back then I didn’t know how lucky I was.

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”  ~Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

Spin Cycle: Mother

Living in the Gap

May 11, 2012 – Scents and Sensibility

The sweet smell of clover envelopes me as I run over the weeds with the lawn mower. Their tiny little crowns of fluff crumble and disappear into blades of lush green. Occasionally the sharp odor of gasoline overrides the clover aroma. The scraggly lawn quickly takes form as the fresh scent of cut grass fills the air.

50 thoughts on “Ain’t No Love Like The Love Of Mama

  1. This is exactly how i feel as well.. thank you for posting this, i always feel that i get put out as a hero, i am nothing more than woman that just wanted to be a mother so badly, i felt we where by far the lucky ones, considering we played for a child and got blessed with 3 in total through foster/adopt, yes as i learn more about my kids previous life, i do understand that wouldve not made it long in that life style at all, but i am so lucky every single day to have them in my life and love them with everything, just tell ppl when they tell me “how lucky they are to have you”, i say it goes both ways, we are egually as lucky here.

  2. Pingback: Learn to Live in the Now | Personal Growth and Self Improvement Site

  3. Oh, get ready for your email to explode with comments on this one. This was beautiful, funny, sad and poignant. I think we all can relate to every word. Happy Mom’s Day, my friend. Hope it’s a blessed day for you and yours.

  4. Poignant, beautiful, a marvelous depiction of how mothers get smarter as we get older, and how we finally learn to appreciate their being.

  5. You’ve nailed this one, Suzi! So many memories, so much growing-up! When we’re kids, we just want things done OUR way and we truly don’t appreciate our parents’ wisdom. As we mature, suddenly we realize how smart they are! And when we, too, become parents, we know their time is short, so we try to make amends, often hearing their words come out of our mouths when we’re talking to our kids!

  6. You have me in tears once again. Truly beautiful words about 2 beautiful women I am lucky to have as role models! Love you!

  7. Beautiful, beautiful beautiful! I identified with so much here! My Mama lost her mother when she was 10, and often reminded me of it, and it took me a while to realize how lucky I was too. SO glad you have your mom still!

    You are linked!

  8. Having lost a brother and a mother your words are dear to me. Family is precious, even as its members annoy us from time to time. xo

  9. Suzi, this is perhaps the most BEAUTIFUL Mother’s Day post I have ever read.

    And I adore your comment response to gold price….

    “Motherhood is special…it is not blood that makes a mother but LOVE!”

    Amen! I was blessed in having TWO mothers: one that birthed me, and then passed away five years later, and one that raised me. And you’re right….it is not the blood that makes a mother but the LOVE!

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, my friend!

    ((((( You ))))

    X

  10. I love that picture of your Mama, and the words that go along with it to describe her! How lucky you are to have such a wonderful relationship with your mother–I know some people are not as fortunate as we are. :)

  11. This was the sweetest post about your Mom. I like how you wrote a little story of what you were going through in each decade. I’m glad you know how lucky you are to have a mother :) Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mother!

  12. You had me crying rivers again. Thinking back over all those times. WE truly are very blessed to still have our parents and as frustrated as we may have gotten at them at times we were blessed that THEY were our parents. Lovely post. I love you!

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