When I was 18y/o there was an incident that occurred that drove a greater wedge between me and my mama than the wedge that already existed–and the existing one was already quite wide.
She actually created this incident by not communicating with me something that I REALLY needed to know. As I scrambled to find a way to correct the mess she’d created without her help, she told me something that summer of my 19th birthday that I will never forget.
My mama told me that I had to find my own way in life and work it out.
I remember being so upset with her that I vowed that day that I would never ask her for another thing for as long as I lived. I remember saying these exact words to my Granny: “I don’t care if it’s burning up outside and I don’t have any shoes, I won’t even ask that woman for a pair of socks!”
Of course, Granny tried to diffuse the situation as only a grandmother could, but I was too upset, felt too betrayed, and was yet once again, too let down by my own mother, to be consoled or calmed.
Years went by and I kept my word. I didn’t ask my mother for anything. She’d ask me what I wanted for Christmas, or my birthday, or whatever, and I would just come up with something…but nothing too much. I didn’t want to have to hear about it later.
Once, while talking with my youngest auntie, I learned that my mother would, on purpose, get me…let’s call’em “not so expensive” gifts because she thought that I didn’t take care of my stuff. Yeah, I guess.
(I won’t mention that there was a ring that I’d purchased her that I had to argue with my then-husband about every time I paid the lay-a-way bill on it that she no longer has thru her OWN means of getting rid of it….. LOL I won’t detail it then.)
And then, there did come a time when I did need to go to my mother for help with a bill. She helped…that time, but she made sure I wouldn’t be too long in paying her back.
Fast forward to now…………………………….
The relationship continues to be a bit strained, but as we’re supposed to do, Mama and I try to work at it. It’s at once more difficult and easier to do because she lives in Arizona and I in Texas. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder…” but, let me add…”only when that absence is understood.
I titled this blog as “Lessons Learned” because I have learned quite a few very important lessons from my mother. You can’t help but learn if you pay attention. And since I have a 12, almost 13, year old daughter, I want to make sure that those lessons get passed on with the right message attached.
- From my mother I learned how to take care of me first.
But, I also learned that when you have kids, ME first doesn’t exactly begin with MY personal self. First, you’ve got to make sure that your child(ren) are straight first, and then get to YOU.
- From my mother I learned that you’ve got to make yourself happy; no one else is responsible for your happiness but you.
And you cannot assume that just because you go out of your way to make others happy that they’re going to turn around and look out for you in that regard. (I learned that the hard way…thru watching her and thru my own personal experience.)
- From my mother I learned the most important lesson of all…NO relationship is going to prosper if you don’t have a solid relationship with God, our Father, first.
You can do all the things that look good, feels good, sounds good, and is so called “appreciated” by those you’re in a relationship with, but if your relationship with God isn’t straight,, everything else is going to be crooked.
My mama taught me how to stand on my own two feet and take care of myself. She taught me that I had to find my own way in life and work it out. She only indirectly taught me how to work it out, though. Sometimes, I resent her for those lessons, as they were not easy to learn; they were difficult life experiences, with her around and without, but I praise God that He put her there to somehow teach me the lessons that I needed to learn.
One thing else I learned (not that these are the only lessons I’ve learned) is that life keeps going.
Sometimes, it’s easy.
Sometimes, it’s difficult.
Sometimes, it’s downright hard as heck!
But, it never stops.
Life keeps going, and somehow, some way, you’ve got to keep going with it. If you stop, you just might get run over.
Life keeps moving and you’ve got to too. Pause, take a break if you’ve got to, but keep going.
To all mothers out there: Happy Mother’s Day and don’t skimp on passing on YOUR “Lessons Learned.”