My Mom: Just the facts

When I was younger, my mother tried to always put a superhero themed-spin on my birthday. One year, she brought Marvel Superhero shrinky-dinks to work and her co-workers helped her color and cut them out. Then they shrunk them using the heat of the photo copier and she brought them home and put them on my birthday cake.

*****

My Mom, immediately after I came out to her, made me tell all 3 of my siblings that were home (it was during the holiday season in December in 1989 – I wrote a letter to the 4th sibling who was not home at the time.) She told me she loved me and I was still her son no matter what. I, many years later, found out she spent a lot of time crying out of fear that I would be lonely, unhappy, hurt or killed by bigots, or I would get AIDS and die. She never told me any of that while she was going through it.

*****

My Mom, I believe, hates that I am the one child that presented her with something she could not advise me on and did not know more about than I did: homosexuality.

*****

My Mom worked for, and retired from, the same state agency I work for, although for a different department. We never actually worked together, although we did once work in the same building, on different floors. Many people in the agency still refer to me as “Pattie’s son.”

*****

My Mom smoked her whole life, but quit when she was given an ultimatum by one of her children that she could smoke or be around her grand children, but not both. She chose being a grandmother over her addiction and quit. She has never relapsed and has a great relationship with her 9 grandchildren.

*****

My Mom survived an abusive spouse of umpteen years, and managed to raise, educate, clothe and feed five children with what little money she earned from her paltry paying part time jobs, much of which was spent on alcohol by my father.

*****

My Mom admitted to me, several years back, that her best friend (her now-deceased-second-husband’s sister, ironically named “Mary”) referred to gay people as “those people” and “faggots.” When I asked how she could say that to my Mom knowing my Mom has a gay son and son-in-law, my Mom told me her best friend did not know I was gay or that Jeffrey existed, despite Jeffrey being my husband and part of our family for years. I cut my mother out of my life and did not speak to her for months. We eventually did reconcile, and she has since become a more loving and accepting and out Mother and mother-in-law of a gay son and son-in-law. I have forgiven her, but have never forgotten.

*****

My Mom is imperfect, flawed and human. I have known this from a very young age and I have loved her, anyway, for who she is and what she has done with her life and for her family.

*****

My Mom and I disagree on many things and she is often baffled by my life and choices, as I am by hers. We mostly agree to disagree.

*****

My Mom is OK with me being gay, now. I do not believe she is OK with me being an Atheist, although I see the efforts she makes to acknowledge that and show respect for my beliefs, or lack thereof.

*****

My Mom, sometimes, says and does things I do not like, but I try to understand her and why she says and does them.

*****

My Mom does not control my life or make my decisions, although she still can manipulate me and make me feel guilty. I fight her on it – a lot.

*****

My Mom and I are not alike in many ways, but I do have some qualities that are similar to hers.

*****

My Mom and I are not as close as some Mothers and Children, but we are closer than others.

*****

My Mom frustrates me sometimes, but I am glad she is part of my life.

*****

My Mom is in her sixties, but puts me to shame with her energy, spunk, initiative, self preservation and independence. I would argue she has more energy than I do and a comparable active social calendar.

*****

My Mom instilled in me a strong sense of pride, cleanliness, organization, work ethic and independence.

*****

My Mom is a great “grandmother” and babysitter for our dogs, Harvey and Rita. I always feel safe leaving them with her.

*****

My Mom will do anything she can for anybody who asks, even to her own detriment. I am like her in that way, though I try to fight it.

****

My Mom was and is a “good Mom”. She makes mistakes. She makes me angry. She hurts me. She helps me. She supports me. She frustrates me. She scares me. She challenges me. She relies on me. She teaches me. She learns from me. She’s my Mom, I’m her son and, for better or for worse, I’m glad for her and all she has taught me and done for me. She’s not perfect but she doesn’t need to be. She just needs to be my Mom, plain and simple. That’s enough for me.

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12 Responses to My Mom: Just the facts

  1. the cajun says:

    Never had a relationship with my mother. Your post made me cry, but in a good, positive way. She raised a very good guy.

    Cheers

  2. Raybeard says:

    An inspiring litany of feelings towards your mother – the praise made more believable by your warts-and-all honesty.

  3. Sluggy says:

    A lovely and warm acknowledgement of your mom, warts and all.
    Enjoyed hearing about her.

  4. Kelly Stern says:

    I am amazed at you sometimes. You are such a good person and your mother raised you well… this post hit my heart as my mother and I went through similar situations… this year for the first time my mom actually sent Jeff a birthday card with a check in it… our mom’s love us not matter who we are… awesome post.

  5. Urspo says:

    A blessing (non-demoninationl) onto your Mother – and you too!

  6. Mark in DE says:

    This is lovely. I’m envious of your honest and ‘imperfect’ relationship.

  7. javabear says:

    Lovely acclaim of your mother. The good and the not-so-good, like a real human being.

    You say, among other things, that she scares you. Interesting. As a mother, I wonder if and how I scare my children. And as a daughter, I cannot conceive of my mother scaring me. Interesting thing to think about.

    • Sassybear says:

      Java: I meant she scares me in that she does things she probably shouldn’t do and I worry she will hurt herself or push herself, physically, too far. (Moving furniture, yard work, etc.) Also, she is starting to forget things and do things that could be bad for her, like locking herself out of the house in winter and losing her credit cards. That’s what I mean by scares me.

  8. Sean R says:

    That is a very nice ( and honest) tribute to your Mother. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  9. Tony D says:

    a lovely and touching way to highlight all the ways, both seen and unseen, that our moms are heroes to their children every day. after reading this, it makes me feel as though every day should be mother’s day. your mom sounds like a remarkable person.

  10. Jay M. says:

    A really nice tribute to your mom. Wonderful lady!
    Peace ❤
    Jay

  11. a nice tribute to your mom, dear. raise a cosmo in her honor tonight!

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