Being a Mother
The greatest joy and the most heartache come from being a mother. Nobody ever tells you what it’s going to be really like. It seems that you can never really know the feelings that a mother has in her lifetime unless you are one. For years I was a single mother, raising 2 girls. When I divorced their father, I was devastated and not knowing what to do. I was in a strange state, having moved for my husband’s career. I was totally oblivious to the fact that he had been cheating and wanted out of the marriage. Fortunately, I was working as a teacher at the time. After the initial shock, I made the decision to move myself and my daughters to Florida. The year was 1998 and I had an eight-year-old and a five-year-old. I was lucky that my mom and dad were already living down there, and I really needed my family. I did a lot of thinking before making the decision. Would it be the wrong thing to move my daughters away from their father? He wasn’t that interested in being a father, but my girls needed that figure in their lives, didn’t they? And what about my job? I loved teaching and I had no idea if I could get a job in Florida. I also had just bought a new home by myself. Was I ready to leave? I prayed and prayed for the answer. I knew in my heart what I had to do, and I made the decision to pack up the u-haul and get out of North Carolina and made my way down to Florida.
Looking back on it now, I feel as if I made the right decision. We did great, the three of us. The girls were happy to be near their grandparents and I eventually got a job teaching fourth grade in a catholic school. Life was good. Over the years, I did meet someone and remarried. We all moved to Ohio. For a while, we were okay, but the girls were getting older, meeting boys and deciding their own directions in life.
My oldest, Amanda started dating a boy and moved in with him. That eventually ended. Now, at 27, she is with a new man and I feel that she still is unsure of what to do in her life. She works two jobs in the food service industry, but I know as her mother that her love is art. There are times that I wish I could help her, that I could tell her that this guy is just not the right one for her. I want her to be happy, successful and glad to be doing the thing that she loves. I guess like everyone, she must figure out her own life. But as her mother, I want to fix everything and make her life easy. It hurts to know that I have no control.
The youngest, Jessica is the most like me. Impulsive and looking for adventure. I feel like she never stops to think about what she is doing. She ended up dating a man who lead her completely down the wrong path. That path included drugs, living in a car and being totally distant to her family. The pain associated with this still makes me unable to breathe. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I drove around looking for her, sought out old friends and tried to find out what she was doing. The best thing about this pain was that my relationship with God became stronger. Believe me when I tell you that I wanted to give up, wanted to drink a lot and just wanted to cry all the time. But I turned to God and church and prayer. Eventually, Jessica was arrested and that seemed to turn life around for her. I believe it was a wakeup call for her. She got away from that man and moved in with her sister. She has not talked to me, saying that she is not ready to forgive me yet. This statement makes me crazy. Forgive me? For what! All I did was try to get her away from that man, away from the drugs, away from the bad people. I want to go to her and scream and beg her to talk to me. But instead I wait and trust in the Lord’s timing. I try to remember the blessings. She is safe. She is free from that man. She is living with her sister who I know loves her. She is not living in a car. I make it a point to pray for her every day, to trust in the Lord and to tell myself that there are good times ahead.
I wonder if my girls will ever be mothers. I wonder if they will ever know the pain, pride, heartache and joy of being a mother. I wonder if they will ever know of the sacrifices and worry I did and still do over them. I wonder if they will forgive me for the times when I feel like I didn’t know what I was doing. Only God knows that and only God knows of the strength, faith and hard work that it takes to be a mother. Country singer, Luke Bryan has a song out now called, “I Believe Most People Are Good.” In it, he sings, “And most mamas ought to qualify for sainthood.” Well, I know that I am not a saint, far from it but I believe what Luke says is true. Moms are the backbone of any family. They keep the pain, joy, heartache, tears and laughter of their children deep inside their hearts forever.
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