One thing I am certain of is that we ALL have a mother!
After that simple fact, the stories vary greatly! You might have a magnificent relationship with your mom – she may even be your best friend. Maybe you have an average, acceptable relationship with your mom – but you know or wish it could be more. Or perhaps you have NO relationship with her, based on a variety of possible circumstances.
My friend Amy Volk recently blogged about the loss of her mother and challenged her readers to write a letter to their mother. She gracefully granted permission to feel whatever emotions arose and shared that the exercise of writing this letter was intended for each of us as individuals – and not for that person we call ‘Mom’.
The history and details of my relationship with my mother are too long and complex for one blog post – but the end result is that we have been estranged for 16 years (with just minimal email contact). Prior to that, although we weren’t estranged, it was far from a normal or healthy relationship. My story doesn’t have a good beginning followed by a bad ending. So the lack of relationship with my mother these past 16 years doesn’t occur as a loss to me – but rather a freedom! And yet, she’s still my mom!
I did my share of self-reflection and spent years attempting to fix or change the reality of our relationship, until I finally came to a place where I believed I was complete. I could accept the lack of relationship with my mother, knowing that I would most definitely, absolutely, positively do things DIFFERENTLY with my children!
Then I read Amy’s blog post ‘Letters to My Mom’ and the tears slowly began to swell in my eyes until one drop at a time they gently spilled over and trickled down my cheeks. As I continued to let her words sink in I was blanketed in a flurry of emotions that quite frankly startled me. Maybe I wasn’t as complete as I had previously believed I was. In that moment, I decided I would not only personally take Amy up on her challenge, but I would pay her message forward and make sure I too challenged everyone I could to take the opportunity, regardless of the circumstances and their story, to write a letter to their mom.
I will share my letter with you in my next post.
If you accept my challenge, I would be honored if you shared your ‘Mom’ letter with me (confidentially or publicly – your choice).
with Joy & Gratitude,