Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. - Oprah Winfrey
Commercials on television, adds in newspapers remind us Mother’s Day is next week. Only the past few years have I known the sadness of this day. The sadness of not having a mother who knows why she’s getting a pretty card from someone named Debby.
The first time one of the men in the ARC called me “mom” I bristled. When my dad remarried, I always referred to her as his wife. The word mom, even when attached to “step”, didn’t work for me. I had one mom. So I didn’t understand when someone, someone nowhere young enough even, called me mom.
I wrote about that early struggle of mine several months ago. You can read about it here. I’ve settled into that title, knowing now it’s an honor. When I hear the stories I understand.
Even in the era of Roseanne, most of us have grown up with media mom’s like the ones on Happy Days or The Cosby Show. Bright, loving women who seemed to know the right thing to say at the right time. Whatever the problem, all was well in thirty minutes or less.
Perhaps some have wrongly measured their mother by these scripted women and have felt short-changed by their own. Those aren’t the stories I hear. The ones I hear leave me heartbroken and silent. Unable to find any words to offer comfort.
I worry about this week for some of them. Will it be a trigger? You know, the thing that trips one up? Again. The anger that still burns in the heart of a son who has never gotten past the betrayal of a mother. I will never forget the man telling about his first introduction to drugs was going to the crack houses with his mother. My face silent. My heart screaming.
The other who told of being held like a prisoner in his own house for years.
For most its the damage done by their addiction. The distance between mother and son they are desperately trying to close but it’s too soon. Patience is hard.
It’s going to be a week. Some celebrating and others wanting. It’s going to be a week. A week I hope to stand in the gap as much as one can who is only playing a part.