I can’t move. I came back from serving my girls their breakfast. We are having a great chat when I went to put the milk away. The fridge handle feels hot under my right hand and my left is cold by the half-full milk jug.
I almost forgot what today is. Stunned, I can’t believe it has been 31 years ago today that my mom died. For the first time in all those anniversaries, today is the first time I didn’t wake up crying.
I always hated the term ‘motherless’ ever since I saw Bambi’s mother got shot in the first minutes of the film. It reminds me of what I’ve been missing since I was 10 years old. My childhood ended the day my mom died of breast cancer at 38 years old.
Two weeks after she died, school started. As we walked to class it felt like there was an arrow sign above our heads announcing ‘Motherless Kids Coming Through.’ Kids would stop talking when I would get to my desk, to the library and to play at recess. I felt like a circus act. Friends would corner me in the playground going on and on about how they felt and how they would hate to lose their moms.
Over the next few years were dark, going through the beginning of teenage hood, I always wondered what mom would have told me.
When I got married, being motherless had grown into a thorn in my heart. I also had endometriosis, which meant I couldn’t have conceived naturally. After all the heartbreak, I didn’t want to have kids anyways. My two girls changed that plan.
The minute the doctor confirm my pregnancy, my first, I was wrapped in fear. I didn’t know what else to do to care for my baby, other than the books I devoured. When my first baby arrived the motherless grief return instantly. I had trouble breast-feeding. The baby would cry and cry. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t hear my mother’s voice anymore.
I became what is known as a helicopter parent before it was a label. I focused every ounce of energy I had for my baby. I am all too aware how painful it is to want your mom.
On the good days, I do not hate being motherless anymore, I am going to do what Bambi did and move forward. But if I had that other life, one with her in it, would have I have met my children, I wonder.
“MOM!!!” My thoughts are interrupted by my seven-year-old beauty is yelling from the kitchen table.
I jumped out of my thoughts and answered, “What is up?” My heart starts beating again. The feeling of my legs and voice returns.
She is looking at me with a look of curiosity in her smile. “Close the fridge. You are wasting energy, remember?” I nod as I close the door with a smile on my face.
I know that my mom was there for me for as long as she could. There is one exemption; I haven’t let my kids see Bambi, yet. All this time I worried about being a mom when the whole time I already had the best mom to model by.
I hug my girls with the familiar arms that I once craved. I will always miss my mom. I didn’t need a parenting book to rely on after all. I have my children’s hugs to remind me of what I can do.
Being motherless does suck and that is okay to say. Motherless may be what got me here now, but it doesn’t define who I am today.