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It’s Always Mother’s Day In Heaven

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I used to dread Mother’s Day. Like way too many people, I had a difficult childhood growing up and as an adult, I had an inconsistent relationship with my mother. At times it was really wonderful but more often, it was tumultuous. My mother was an absolutely beautiful woman – she looked like a fashion model – she was bright, vivacious, had a great sense of humor, adored animals, volunteered as a Brownie and Girl Scout Counselor, volunteered at the local Veterans Hospital, wrote poetry, loved going to the movies, art museums, live theater, and reading trashy novels. Yet I don’t think that she ever was genuinely happy or comfortable inside her skin. There was always an undercurrent of fear and anger and estrangement. She was extremely critical of her children – on purpose. She believed parents are supposed to point out every single error their child may make or non-perfect trait their child may have. I never once doubted that her intent was good – she truly wanted to help us to be the best we could be – but her way of going about it could really hurt. Mom never learned how to simply observe and listen to her children (or her husbands for that matter) and so was incapable of providing guidance in a subtle, respectful way. Essentially, she never figured out how to differentiate between herself and her family. What I mean by that is, there is a huge difference between recognizing your child may have inherited this or that physical and non-physical traits from you and keeping in mind that you are responsible for keeping them healthy and safe and teaching them the skills and values needed to stand on their own as a kind, wise, loving adult and contributing member to society – versus – thinking your children are an actual extension of yourself. My Mom was unable to grasp this concept and I think she was aware that there was some great important “secret” she was missing and was deeply troubled as a result.

Even as a very young child, a part of me always understood, instinctively, that my mother was hurting and “broken” in some way and I knew that it wasn’t totally her fault. Although I loved her very much and felt great compassion for her, at the same time, I was always terrified around my mother, even as an adult, as I never knew when she would suddenly change from my gorgeous, fun “Momma” to the screaming, violent stranger that lived deep inside her. It got so bad that when I was 14, I was placed in a Foster Home for a year (with a very loving family whom I remain close to even to this day, forty years later.) At 17, I moved out on my own, 1500 miles away, as I feared for my life. Yet I never stopped loving my Mom. I kept in touch with her through occasional letters and phone calls every couple of weeks and we actually were able to grow closer that way from a safe distance. But even then, Mother’s Day was always the worst day of the year, regardless of where I lived. Perhaps it was because of her insecurities as a person and especially as a mother, that made Momma pin such intense importance to the day. Whatever, I knew that for the last few weeks of April, she would begin the harping, begging, then screaming and finally the “silent treatment” when she realized that I would not be coming down to Florida to see her. It was both heartbreaking and aggravating and got worse every year but I knew that it was for the best in the long run that I stay far away.

It’s been a dozen years now since my Mom tragically passed away at a relatively early age. Now, rather than dreading Mother’s Day and trembling inside with terror, I find myself with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, and praying that she can see me and hear me and feel what’s inside my heart. Not a day has gone by in my entire life that I have not spent a significant amount of time thinking about my Mom. Time, distance, and having to face my own mortality has been kind when it comes to my memories and relationship with my Mother. I haven’t forgotten there were bad times, but 90% of the time, I’m thinking about the good times. Although my Mom thought she was a complete failure as a mother, the fact she indeed didn’t always have the best of parenting skills, and found it impossible to live by what she preached, I marvel at how much my mother really taught me and how much I’ve relied on her words of wisdom in my adult life and in raising my son. I talk to her all the time these days – inside my head and inside my heart – and I feel like she is with me – not as she was, but as she wanted to be: relaxed, happy, wise, content, and supportive.

Is there such a thing as Heaven after we die? Logistically, I have a very hard time trying to figure out how that would work and where it may be and even why it would even exist. But spiritually, I like to think that Heaven is all around and within us and that Momma is finally at peace and enjoying Mother’s Day – with me right beside her – every single day.

Happy Mother’s Day, my friends.

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9 thoughts on “It’s Always Mother’s Day In Heaven

  1. O dear, Leslie….you haven’t had it easy in many ways in life, have you?
    I consider myself lucky with my mum…of course, there was that teenage time in which we clashed like mad, I was very wild, but before and after that we have had the best relationship (though I suspect the distance helps LOL)
    Here is a huge, big, warm hugg for you, wish I could be nearer geographically to go give you a real hugg 😦
    lots of love, my beautiful, you more than deserve it!

    • Thank you for the kind, loving thoughts. Yeah, my life has not been the easiest perhaps but I count myself very lucky and very blessed. I have the most wonderful husband and son, a great Dad, and absolblooming wonderful friends (like you). Although I get melancholy at times, I’m basically a very happy person, at peace with myself and my life. And since we are as much a product of our genes as we are a product for our experiences, given what I DO have, how can I NOT see my past challenges in a positive light? They helped make me who I am and helped me to earn the blessings I’ve been granted. That can sound trite but it really is how I feel.

      Hugs to you, too! One day, perhaps we will get to meet one another in person. (My hubby used to travel to Leicester all the time before he retired from General Electric and with all the history books and historic novels I read, I feel as if I already know London. Maybe one day…)

  2. I know what you mean because I m the same, never saw being born paralitic and all the struggle I went through as a child as something bad, more the opposite, it made me a different person, who I am and I love that…
    So yes, I do understand.
    As to London, if you are well enough to travel, Virgin has some great deals, only thing you would need would be the ticket, I ll take care of you & hubby here.
    You can stay at mine and I have a big car, we can take you sightseeing in the car, Sarita and I will cook for you :)I’m serious about this.
    If you guys can come, don’t doubt a minute, well take care of all your needs.

    • Dear Mrs Peel,

      Thanks for the invitation extended to Leslie and me for a visit with you in London! I would love to plan such a cool adventure, pending continued good health for me, and improved health for Leslie. It would be a real treat if we could summon the strength for such a trip.

      As Leslie mentioned, my job at GE took me to Leicester during the late 80’s and early 90’s, so I have a tiny bit of familiarity with that small part of England. We would fly into Gatwick or Heathrow, take a small plane to Birmingham, and a taxi to Leicester. I usually enjoy driving, but could never get used to the left hand lane, roundabouts, and continuously curving roads. Went everywhere by taxi. We stayed over on some weekends, and had fun going to the Donington race track and countless pubs.

      One omission was that we never ventured to London. Sad but true. I look forward to having the opportunity to rectify this travel oversight, with your help.

      Best regards,
      Don Javorek

  3. My Dear Wife,

    How lucky I am to have you for my loving, thoughtful, beautiful mate. I read with interest your expression of heartfelt feelings surrounding your relationship with your mother.

    Even though I shared of few of the experiences you had with her, your writings today gave me a new understanding of why she expressed herself in certain ways that were “foreign” to me. I could tell she cared deeply for you (and you for her), but the sparks could really fly during conversations, and I now have a better understanding of why that behavior happened. Bless you for the sincere expression of how much your mother meant to you, and how complex the relationship became.

    And lest we forget; Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    With love, your hubby.

    • Hubatron-
      How easy it is to think that you already know everything about me – especially with how much we jabber on with each other – but I guess 36 years is not long enough. May we have 36 more years to catch up!

  4. Mr Javorek 🙂
    I will be praying especially now for your health (both of you)as a visit would made me very happy….
    I found Leslie by what some would call *coincidence* but I know such thing does not exist…I’m so blessed to be able to come read her, and have you guys in my life even if through a piece of fibre optic wire…
    Funnily enough, I have been to Leicester, a few years ago….and I mpore than understand the driving thing: in my first 10 years in London, I would not drive, though my ex husband in the beginning tried to encourage me, I was not scared, but terrified of the Lodnon’s traffic and tricky, narrow 2 way roads…so I used buses, underground and he gave me a tricylcle, 50s model, with a basket in the back, which was my best means of transport when I was pregnant…
    Then life took some turns, and when I finally came back to England and we split up,life threw a difficult hand to deal with…my conition was worsening and public transport was out of question,and as the Brit givernment has some excelent deals giving cars to disabled people, a friend encouraged me to take one up and I HAD to learn…
    these days it takes me a day when I go to Brazil or Argentina to get used to driving on the other side, same back here…so we could say life will always make us into a winner when we need to be 🙂

    People like you guys give me hope in this almost hopeless world.
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your lives with us.
    And we are looking forward to having you over 🙂
    Huge huggz to you both

  5. I hear your pain, Leslie. My mom passed October 13, 2009, so this is my first Mother’s Day with her being in heaven. I know it’s heaven because she did her penance here on earth in her last months. Our relationship was non-traditional also. My mom often intentionally did things that I wondered why she did them. She loved me . . . in her own way. I always loved her and miss her so much. Go figure! That’s just the way it is. Sometimes we just don’t have as much to give as we do at other times; our lives are pulled in all directions. I have a terrific husband, three nice kids, and a classroom full of 2nd graders each year I eagerly look forward to meeting each September (sentiment changes from June to June!)

    All that we are today is because of our moms — or we wouldn’t be here. I like to think that we do the best we can with what we have at the time. I hope your heart finds the peace it craves and certainly deserves. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

    • Thank You Carol for your empathy and for stopping by my blog. I am sorry about the loss of your Mom. I hope you will be able to feel her presence always, though, in a sweet supporting way. Enjoy this Mother’s Day with your little family – that is a blessing that cannot be topped!

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