My mom and I had a challenging relationship. She wanted to be best friends and I just wanted to not be around her at all because I was so tuned into her feelings and took them on as my own.
I had no idea that I was doing this and so turned a lot of anger and sadness projected onto me back onto her. There were times where we were both cruel and unloving to each other because the sad/bitter/deeply unhappy feelings kept recirculating between us.
Looking back, though, I don’t really hold that in my heart. What I do hold is how she loved me without question. Never, not one day in my life did I ever feel less than fully loved by her and my dad. She encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to and that there were no limits even as she herself felt shut down and limited by her lot in life.
My mom was one of the strongest women I have ever known and when she wanted something, she moved heaven and earth to get it. During the time of Lauren’s passing, I was in such a state that I knew I couldn’t take care of her and myself so I chose myself. (I don’t think I was very nice about it, either.) I told her that she had to find a way to the funeral (of someone she loved probably as much as she loved me) on her own and that I couldn’t do it.
Damn if that woman didn’t commandeer a bus from the nursing home she was in + a driver + a nurse to take her 90 minutes away for the funeral and the gathering afterwards. She did what it took to get there and only in hindsight did I see how amazing that was given her physical condition (she couldn’t walk at all) and general health (she died 8 months later).
The things she did for love (for me, for my dad, for all those to whom she gave her whole heart and soul) were amazing and that’s what I remember most about my mom. She gave everything she had within her to others because she loved that deeply.