04 October 2013

Motherhood … a job well done?

At thirteen, I sank into depression. I became a person no one would recognize today, and I wrote my mother letters that said, “I wish you had never adopted me.” Those words wounded her.

I wouldn’t understand or remember the wounds until the week after her death. Going through her things, my sister and I found one of my teenage-angst-ridden letters. This was the only negative letter amongst every letter I had ever written her, a drawer full of letters from my days in college to our days in Rwanda. Our last joyous days before I became a parent were also there captured in this photograph from her visit in 1998.

All my teenage anger is now coming to the surface as I have my own thirteen-year-old. He’s struggling with himself, and often his words cut me just as mine cut my mother some 33 years ago. 

I am thankful for the friends who have supported me, but at times, it is hard. More seasoned parents will recall their troubles and say, “My mom was such a rock,” or “My mother was there to support me and show me the way.” Most do not know my personal struggles with the loss of my mother. I politely say “Thanks.” It is nice for those mothers and grandmothers to have that final realization that their job was done well in the end.

I wrestle with that. My mother didn’t have that realization, but I know she would have relished it. I am still on that rough road to finding the end … well-done.


Unknown said...

Thank you for your blog!
My Mom would have been 70 tomorrow...she past away from pancreatic cancer in March of 2012-3 months after my son was born. I too am an adopted Korean and being a mother now makes me realize how much our mother's loved and wanted us so bad. Life's bittersweet...

mothermade said...
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mothermade said...

Thanks so much for your note, Sofia. Life is indeed bittersweet, but that is what makes it worth living!