The last time I saw my Mom was about twenty five years ago.
It is a day I remember so well.
Hot summer air, the sensation of sweat breaking out on my neck and the taste of salt on my lips. The breeze did little to soothe the unbearable heat I felt as I stood on weak knees. She sat on our porch and I shifted my weight from one foot to the other.
Things are about to change. Today will define my past, present, and future.
I watched my Mom as she stared past me at an empty space.
My beautiful Mom! She had the face of an Angel. But she brings my death today.
I listened as she spoke. Her words were barely audible though I was sure it had the sharpness of a million swords. Capable enough to kill me a thousand times...I wished to disappear before it happened. But the words are out there now, loud and clear. And I heard it too, finally.
"I don't wish to see you again, sweetheart. It is best for you and your brother to go live with your Dad. Hope you will understand..." She looked me in the eye the whole time as she said it.
I crumbled. Is this really happening? Is it possible for a Mom to forsake her own children? I am incapable of handling this. I was only 10, you see? My eyes became blurry. The tears made it difficult to focus my vision. I watched as the outline of her figure slowly started fading right in front of my eyes. Wasn't she supposed to be compassionate? Aren't all moms compassionate?
I looked at the face that will haunt me for the rest of my life one last time. And walked out.
Looking back, I realize walking out that day was easy. But she never stepped away from my heart. My mom is an elusive, but dominant figure in my life still. Have I forgiven her for what she did to us kids? I don't know.
She is alive, in case you are wondering. Which makes it difficult for me to answer people's questions.
Me: "I don't have a mom."
People: "Oh, sorry to hear that. When did she pass away?"
No sir; my mom does not make things easier even in her absence! Some days, I feel very close to her. Other times, I try to run away from it all.
Motherhood has baffled me many times before I became a mom. I didn't understand the bond between a mother and her daughter. I was convinced that a mother's compassion for her child is nonexistent. Experiences tell me so.
My mom never loved me enough to stay so believing in the power of motherhood and the compassion it represented was hard.
Anyways, the day my mom left changed my life for the worse...or so I thought!
I was broken and weak. There was a gaping hole in me that was dark and ugly. I was drowning in it. Relief was not in sight...
It seemed like God opened the doors of heaven and dropped a gift - I became pregnant! Something warm stirred in my heart and I began to feel alive. I recognized compassion for my unborn child. I felt my soul again.
Letting go of the sadness after the great abandonment twenty five years ago seemed easy. As my body got ready for my baby, love and compassion fled through planting the seed of motherhood in its wake.
And as I held my baby for the first time in my arms, I forgave my Mom...
For the YMC Voices of Motherhood 2015 contest, we asked mothers from all over Canada to submit their story based on the theme “Stages of Motherhood: Past, Present, or Future.”
We received over 100 thought provoking stories that made us laugh, cry, and nod our heads in agreement. Our judges had their work cut out for them to narrow it down to the Top 10.