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It’s Gonna Be a Week

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.

Given to my mom by one of “her boys” at church.

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.

21 thoughts on “It’s Gonna Be a Week

  1. I was lucky to have a good mother. I know that many others are not so lucky. My husband is almost 16 years sober and he is not fond of his mother. But the better he works his recovery program, the more acceptance he has of her.

    • Joanne, it seems those of us blessed with a good mom just never imagined everyone else didn’t have the same. It’s heart-breaking, isn’t it? I have seen the same. The more they work their recovery program the closer to acceptance. It is work. I’m so happy for him and you benefit from it too!

  2. I have my own sad stories of missed Mother’s Days when my son was physically and emotionally absent. Today I have truly forgiven, and moved on. That is something I hope the men can do. It’s an important and necessary step toward healing and recovery.

    I know some have been written off by their mothers, and that kind of “detachment” was never possible for me.

    • There are many sad stories, aren’t there Lou? Some made of our own choices. Forgiveness is the key factor I think. One must forgive themselves before they can forgive another it seems, and I wonder how many really consider it. I know we say it and that’s all we can do.

      I’m so glad “detachment” was never possible for you. It’s not judgement on others. Never that. Thank’s for sharing your heart Lou.

  3. Debby–You’ve touched on a huge issue here… it makes me so happy that you’re still in the ARC community and able to repaint the pictures of mom-likeness. For years I just wanted my mom and dad to disappear. But that said more about me than them. I have forgiven and moved on to a really okness with my mom. She is who she is. I was blessed to be ‘adopted’ by Debbie’s mom and Dad. i was only one of many that felt like family with them. They loved me like the Hallmark picture! You are someone’s picture of the possibilities, the love, the truth of what God has for them. You are really part of that. It’s very cool that you’ve allowed yourself to become what they need to see. Thank you so much for this change of heart.

    • Heidi, I’ve not been one to shy away from the hard stuff ;) We’re about healing. All that read this blog are, I feel sure. But healing doesn’t always come easy. The wounds are tender. I hope to move through this week delving deeper. I’m not sure where it will lead or how it will look. I’m trying to be open to God for that. I am most grateful He changed my heart!

  4. I have to agree with Heidi in every way (not hard). I feel for you and your mom. It is quite difficult. I will be with dad on mothers day (at least for awhile). I hope i see Jen, she may be able to keep dad and i from sobbing during my whole visit. However, Mom really didn’t identify with being a mom, and i never thought of her as a mom, because SHE didn’t think of herself that way (admitting ad naseum) That’s ok, mom, RIP, knock on wood … should not speak ill of the dead. Dad is the same way, only (course) he’s a dad. He may just spew a litany of apologies for being such a bad dad during mother’s day. Guess who’s in charge. Me!

    Here’s to positive thinking!!! HA HA HA!!!! No, truly, all is well … i know who i am, I know who dad is for the most part, so we will NOT go down that alley. I hope we go shopping actually :-) Love to you, melis

    • You said it Mel, when you said “guess who’s in charge? Me!” How I need that reminder again and again. We get to decide how to react. It takes some work and you have and are doing that. YAY! for you! Keep it up and share your bargains with us ;) xo

      • I’m tellin’ ya .. Dillards can have some crazy deals!!! Especially the men’s department. I could go on … but i won’t. XO Mel

  5. For the longest time I never knew what Mothers Day was about, I had too many Mothers. Then when my real mother came along, it’s sad to say that she didn’t fit the script. I’ve since learned that resentments can go along way, and I have one with my Mother, but now I look at it in a different light. I can forgive, but it’s hard to forget. Thankfully I have Miss Major under my wing and she helps to guide me just as a real mother would. So I wish you a Happy Mothers Day because you are the closest to a Mother I have.

    • Kevin, you’re one I was thinking of as I wrote this. I won’t forget a short conversation you and I had at the piano after chapel one Sunday when Major was away. I’ve kept that prayer for you to be able to forgive on my heart because I know it will be a big part of your continued successful recovery. Let’s do this together, Kevin. You, God and the rest of us :)

  6. I, too, have been the position of someone wanting me for “mom”, but it was a woman, and her mom was good! Her dad was the bad one and she cannot see that. Anyway, if I felt she had actually accepted the mom God gave her, it would be different to me. Also if she could realize what all horrors her dad did, I would feel better. But I bristled, as you said, knowing her mom was getting the short end.
    And now, ha, This Sunday I am initiating a new site, TheConqueringMom.com. You are the first one I have told. On it I plan to adopt whomever is willing. Hmm. How the Lord can change us!
    We shall see. :-D

    • Katharine, we definitely serve an unpredictable God. Actually, it’s just my limitations that make Him seem unpredictable. He does, indeed, change us and isn’t it wonderful?

      Yes, the mother figure is sacred to many. Sometimes I think too much so but the importance can’t be understated. Can’t wait to glimpse your new blog!

  7. oh my….

    I hate this week and I love this week. Being a Mother and a stand in mom to my Godson is a blessing. My sister and I have a complicated relationship too: am I mom or sister? I fill both roles and have all of her life. I am a very lucky woman. Kathy is 100% right; mothers are holy and that is a blessed responsibility.

    And the truth is I am one of those who wander without a mom; even before she passed; even before the dementia. I can relate to what Heidi said and Mel too. THis is the first year without my mom: no sad difficult hunt for the card or gift that said “I love you or I try hard to love you or I try really hard to get you to love me. Why do you hate me?” It was all so confusing. I had to go to the store the other day and it just was a gut wrenching thing: no need to buy the gift that was always so hard to choose anyway.

    I thought of you the other day with Mothers Day coming. I hope it is a happy one for YOU. I know the watching my mom in her transition was hard. She did not know why I gave her the card and the treats. She smiled in the way a sad woman can. I will remember that.

    I have to confess that I have found mothers here: you, Heidi, Debbie. I confuse Mentor and Mother here perhaps and I will work it out. You all have so much love and wisdom and humor…. I feel blessed to have you in my life.

    It is a weird and wonderful blessing: we will be together Mel on the first mothers day without for both of us. How is it that that happens? Harper Power. Thats how!


    Debby you really hit it here. You SEE how things are for people and you fill the gaps.

    Bless you.

    I hope your mothers day is EVEN better than your birthday!

    XO Jen

    • Jen, you and Melis were in my heart much as I wrote this. Knowing it will be an especially tough Mother’s Day this year for all the things you said. Seems fitting you will be together. I know you will hold each other and find your own way to celebrate. I continue to be thankful you’ve broken the cycle of pain as you mother your son. Against, the odds, Jen, against the odds you’ve done it! Celebrate that, Ms Winkle-Woman :D Let’s say a prayer of thanks for each other this Sunday. In spite of our sorrows and heartbreak, God’s love shines through! xo

      • Jen and I will celebrate in our crazy way: A new crazy way. Maybe we’ll put aside some time to talk about our families as they exist today: How grateful we are for who we have left. And, there may be some mom talk. But OH, there will be dancing. Yes there will! XO mel

      • I am dancing challenged but would so love to break out in some confident step so please dance for me too, Melis!

      • We will dance until we are really sweaty i assume. We both dance pretty well for old gals! I will be thinking of you. I’m sure we’ll be chatting about our new friends too! xo

    • And sometimes the distance helps. I’m sure you know what I mean Jude, from your work in other countries. It’s amazing how God fits us for his service!

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