Anatomy Of A Mom


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To some…..this is probably an odd family photo.

Not all of the individuals….look…..like family.

But alas, they are family.

My family.

This is a tribute to my Mom.

After her and my father got married. They yearned to start a family.

But,

doctors told her there was a higher than likely chance that she would not be able to.

That was not a deterrence in their quest.

The love of motherhood did not have to emanate from her womb, it could blossom from adoption.

My older brother, sitting next to her in the photo, would be their first child.

Fast forward a bit more than a year later.

The higher than likely chance of not conceiving a child turned out to be a false prophesy……

I was born.

That’s me in the top left of the photo…..kind of.

Now she was Mom to 2.

A year and a half later……

2 became 3 with the birth of my younger brother. That’s him with the bewildered look in the Grey shirt that matches my Dad’s shirt.

Raising 3 boys all similar in age was challenging I am sure.

We were more than a handful.

But,

my Mother always longed to have a daughter.

She was an only child.

She has lots of knowledge to pass on that her dirty muddy always breaking things boys just wouldn’t understand.

Fast forward 9 long years after the birth of her last child.

Her and my father turned to adoption, once again.

Through friends of friends they learned of a couple that was having a child that they could not keep.

They and there 4 other children were living in rough conditions and could not afford another child.

My parents were contacted and told them they would be there for the birth and if the child was a female they would adopt her.

Enter my youngest brother, standing next to me and above my Father.

When he was born, my Mother held him and looked into his eyes his newly opened eyes and couldn’t…..not…..adopt him.

That’s how 3 became 4.

Discouraged to be daughterless but overjoyed with her new son, life continued on………

For 1 month and 1 day.

With a single phone call, 4 would become 5.

We have family friends that live in Chihuahua, Mexico.

They knew of my Mother’s desire to have a daughter.

I’m not sure if it is still true or not, but, back then having a child out of wedlock was a big no no in Mexico.

The phone call told the story of a prominent doctor who had a daughter who gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock. She would not be allowed to keep her.  They preferred to have the child grow up in America.

Before my parents could hang up the phone, they were loading up the car and driving to receive the gift she always wanted.

A daughter, standing at the far right of the photo.

A photo may be worth a thousand words.

To the 5 kids surrounding the woman in the center of this one, it only says one-

Mom.

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Dearest Mommy


Today is the day to celebrate the person that brought us into the world.

The person who nurtured, educated, scolded, praised and pushed us to be better.

Mom

It’s more than a day to buy her a card, flowers or a gift from a store or boutique.

It is a day to remember the gift of love that she continues to give whether we deserve it or not.

Here is a short history of me and my Mom-

I was born a mommy’s boy. Her first born but second child. The first, she and my Dad adopted when she was told she would not be able to bear children.

Until the age of 16, I was the one that would make them proud. College, career, the family dream. She was so proud of me.

By 21, I failed out of college 3 times in the first semester, became a daily drinker and routinely stole money out of her purse when I went home to eat. She was disappointed in me but still hopeful of her young son.

By 28 years old, I was divorced and jobless and still a daily drinker with quite the cocaine habit added in.

She was at home, taking care of my ailing father, who had Cancer. She stuck by him through his long bout with alcoholism and would stick by his side until his death. She knew she had a son that was following his fathers sordid past. She still stuck by me.

At 30, my Mother and I were at my father’s side for his final moments. His wife and his firstborn there for his departure. She was strong and knew he was off to a better place. I was drunk and high. She asked me to move home to help her get by. I did, but she helped me get by.

At 33, she had had enough and moved out of state to be closer to other family members. She could not stay and watch me destroy myself. She had had enough and left.

At 36, I was out of jail and into rehab and called her to ask for money to get into a halfway house. She was living off her hourly wage job and my Dad’s benefits and barely making it. She sent the money and said,

“This is it. If you don’t change, don’t call me anymore.”

There is no tougher love than goodbye.

I am now 43. Clean and sober for a few years now. I am married and the stepfather to 2 children and a husband to a wonderful wife and Mother. I talk to my Mom weekly and spend time with her in person whenever possible and tell her of the hardships and joys of parenting and married life. She just smiles.

My Mother’s gift to me is worth more than a card or a flower.

She showed me a Mother’s love DOES have bounds.

One son can only take so much before the ties that bind need to be severed.

But

Severed ties can be repaired. I had to learn that love is conditional.

The condition being-

Learn from mistakes. Grow up. Don’t expect from anyone…respect.

Thanks, Mom.

I’m still learning, growing and respecting myself and others.

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-photo taken before my fall from my Mother’s grace. Sometime before I decided that shaving my head was a great choice.