Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things My Mother Never Taught Me

Through the years my mother taught me many things, but there was a lot she didn't teach me.

Things My Mother Never Taught Me

My mother never taught me about the thrill of a first kiss or the hurt of that first breakup. She never told me about the love between a man and a woman and the joy of standing at the altar, vowing before God, family and friends to love him forever.

My mother never taught me about the emotions of holding my newborn in my arms for the first time, or the feeling of responsibility for the new life. She never told me about the overwhelming awe and love I would feel, knowing that this child came from within me. That I created this life, nourished it for nine long months, and now had to nourish and care for it in the real world.

My mother never taught me the feeling of swelled pride at watching my child take their first step or hearing their first words.

She never taught me about the combination of pain and pride I would feel as I watched my children waltz off to school, looking so grown up and yet so young. So independent. She never told me how I’d feel when they came home and said “But Miss so and so said it was better to do it this way.” and the realization that I was no longer the sole influence in their life.

My mother never taught me about the fear of having a child in the hospital undergoing tests by a neurologist after a normal eye exam discovered a problem or sitting in an emergency room while your child undergoes an emergency appendectomy. She never told me how difficult it was to watch your child suffer through typical childhood illnesses, stitches or broken bones.

She never taught me about the fear of letting your child go down the street to play or crossing the street for the first time by themselves.

My mother never taught me about dealing with my daughter’s first crush and heartbreak and lost love. She never told me how hard it would be to watch my children struggle to get good grades or make the team or try to fit in.

She never taught me about the pride of watching my children march down the auditorium to receive their diploma or hearing about their first job. My mother never told me of the deep fear I’d experience when they learned to drive or getting that phone call that told you they had an accident.

My mother never taught me of the excitement of their engagement and the trials of planning a wedding. She never told me of the happiness and pride I’d feel watching them walk down the aisle to stand beside the one they vowed to spend their life with or the worry that this child was now totally independent of you.

She never taught me of the sense of wonder I’d feel holding my newborn grandchildren for the first time.

She never explained that these feelings of worry and concern never go away when my children grew up. My mother didn’t tell me the worries would only strengthen as my children married and had children of their own. That I’d have more to love and worry about not only my children but their spouses and my grandchildren.

My mother never told me how it feels to be a mother. She never told me about the joy, pain, and overwhelming awe of being a mother and grandmother. I now know why my mother never taught me these things. Because these thing have to be experienced to understand the wonderful sense of being a mother.

But the biggest thing my mother never taught me was how I’d feel when I no longer had her to talk with, to share my feelings with after she passed from this world. She never taught me how to deal with the loss at losing a loved one or the pain deep within that I would carry through the rest of my days. My mother never told me how very much I’d miss her.

My mom's been gone fourteen years now and I still miss her. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her . Sometimes I go to the phone to call for a recipe or other advice. She still lives in my memory, and I still hear her voice sometimes when things aren't going well. Mom was a beautiful woman with a wonderful sense of humor and she loved to play jokes. I think we all inherited that from her. I remember her in the kitchen singing while she cooked or baked. Mom loved to bake. In fact, I remember her singing and humming no matter what she did. She used to make up her own songs. Everything Mom did, she did with love. Oh, don't get me wrong, she wasn't a saint and she had a temper. We had to tow the line or there'd be heck to pay. She didn't take back talk from any of us, no matter how old we were. I remember our Friday night games while my dad went bowling. Oh yes, even though she'd be 100 if she were still alive, I still miss her.


Unknown said...

I love you Ro. Your mother seemed like a beautiful woman. She certainly has a beautiful daughter. Happy Mothers Day dear friend.

Jenna Storm said...

That was beautiful. I had tears in my eyes reading your tribute and I'm not saying that lightly. I have experienced several of the moments you spoke of and some are still to come. I'm very sorry you lost your mother and wish you had her with you now. It makes me ever so thankful that I still have mine. Happy Mother's Day and thank you for a moving post.

Sharon Sullivan-Craver said...

This is such a lovely tribute. It was heart tugging. I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing.

J.Q. Rose said...

Written from your heart. I experienced many of the same situations. Joy, sorrow, tears,'s all good when we get through it and can look back on it.

Jan Verhoeff said...

Roseanne, I couldn't read all the way through it, the pain is still too fresh. But, I did save it for later.

What a tremendous tribute to your mother. My mother passed away last October. There were so many blessings, because she's no longer suffering. But... so much pain.

God bless you, my dear friend.


Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Roseanne, thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful mom.