My Mother’s Daughter

 

It's not nagging; it's love!

Early in the morning, on the day my mother left this earth, she called me. It was not to tell me the secret of life, or ooze with gushy words over my greatness at being her daughter; it was to remind me to go to the financial aid office to make sure my paperwork for my student loan had been processed for the next semester. While she certainly remembered to end the conversation with an “I love you,” her call was a purposeful prompt for me to get things done. This wasn’t because she found me too incompetent to take care of my own shizz, because thanks to her, I’d been handling my own shizz for quite some time. Her final reminder was an example of who she was; a woman who endlessly worried about her children. I am SO my mother’s daughter.

On a daily basis you can hear me say such phrases as: “Did you eat lunch; what did you have?” “You have that paper due on the 11th; are you making note cards?” “Be careful at that blind turn on your way to school!” Do I think my daughters wouldn’t eat lunch, turn assignments in on time, or crash their cars without my input? Certainly not! I know, from my own experience, that after my mother’s death, I turned in papers in a timely manner, unplugged the coffee maker before leaving the house, and that I always remembered to not buy cheap bras, “because they’ll make your boobs sag!” Oh, but I missed her unnecessary input, and I still hear her voice at the crux of any decision I make.

Yes, I’m a serious nag, and during my daughter’s teen years, my advice and questioning was often met with eye rolls. Now my ceaseless guidance, in most cases, evokes a smile, because they know. They know that my badgering is one of the ways that I stay enmeshed in their lives. It’s one of the silly ways that I say “I love you,” and show that I care so deeply about them that I want even the most miniscule details of their lives to go smoothly. Even in my mother’s last hours, she was tangled up in the routines of my life. She was giving me orders that voiced her love and expectations of me. I am SO much my mother’s daughter.

Thanks, Mom!

Do you nag your children unnecessarily? Was, or is, your mom a nag?

 

Day 20: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty

 

 

 

 

Day #20 Question: The book that I read that has altered my perception of life is…

via hopeedelman.com

This is the question that I’ve had to put the most thought into. I am a voracious reader. Since January 1st I have read 32 books on my Nook and at least 10-15 non-electronic books. I feel like every book I read leaves me with something: a thought, a feeling, a lesson, an inspiration, or an answer. It’s really difficult to choose one book that embodies every qualification required to be life altering, BUT, since I have to pick just one, I’m going to choose, Hope Edelman’s, Motherless Daughters.

I read this book way back in 1994 shortly after it was published. At the time I read it, I had been motherless for nearly a decade. I lost my mother, when I was a junior in college, to a horrific disease called scleroderma. Returning to school after her death was a study in awkwardness among my mothered classmates who were unsure of how to address my loss. For years, I was unsure of how to address it myself. Outwardly, I remained my friendly, smiling, bubbly, responsible self, but on the inside I felt like an island with no bridges. In my early twenties, no one in my group of friends was motherless. I was an oddity, an outsider, who no longer had the gentle, guiding presence of a mother in my life. I smiled with eager, envious, interest as I listened to their tales of shopping trips, meals, holidays, and other excursions with their mothers. Those were things that were mine no more, and at times I burned with silent resentment, especially if they would forget and complain to me about some ridiculous fault that their mother possessed. To me, even a flawed mother was better than no mother at all.

Then one day, while browsing in the bookstore, I ran across Hope Edelman’s book, Motherless Daughters. Even before I’d finished reading the blurb on the inner cover, I felt my eyes brimming with tears. I bought the book, holed myself up in my bedroom for the day, and read the whole thing cover-to-cover. Edelman got me. Absolutely everything that I’d felt in association with my mother’s death was written on the pages of her book. Alone in my apartment, I think I cried to the point of dehydration that day, but when I was done I felt more whole, more healed and more understood than I had in years. I no longer felt alone; Edelman’s book built the first of many bridges that would reach my desolate island.

**On a more cheerful note: I’m heading to the beach tonight!!! I’ll be bringing my computer to check my blog, as well as my subscriptions. I may write a post or two if I have time. I might even post some pictures! I hope all of my readers have a safe and fabulous Memorial Day weekend and a wonderful week!