I Am My Mother’s Son
My wife was talking about my mother today and it got me thinking that I have never really talked about my mother on this blog. I started thinking about the last year of my mother’s life after my father died. To understand my mother I have to give a little background and doing that you may understand me better.
I was born late in my mother’s life, she was 43 years old and my father was 48 years old. You may say that’s not old but, in 1963 it was old and having nine kids and one miscarriage even I thought to myself, what were they thinking? My mother has an interesting story but what I am going to share is what I saw in my life.
My mother was the glue that held our family together. She set aside herself and took care of my father because he was sick and took care of us. I never understood how much my mother did until I started working on myself to better understand myself and my emotions. As I started looking deeper into myself I could see that I had a strong will. I always thought it was from my father, seeing him going to work sick (and almost died) and keep on going, I thought that is where I learned it. But looking closer, no doubt my mother was tough. She had 10 kids and she had her own mind and at times would show it, but she always stood behind my father. It took a long time to see that my mother was my father’s strength and she pretty much carried our family on her back. She supported my father by controlling his world so all he had to do was go to work and make money to support the family.
When my father died (I am talking minutes after my father died) my mother looked at me and my brothers and said “I want this bed and medical stuff out of this room. I need to start my new life”. In that year I spent a lot of time with her and got to see a side of her I had never seen. She began to open up, she was funny and smart and strong willed. I never saw this person before, she was always under my father’s shadow. I asked her one day during a visit about dad and her and about their relationship and she looked at me and said “that was what a wife did back then. I needed to support your father and I did and why fight with him over something that really did not matter?” She went on and said “I knew who I was and my job was to take care of your father and you kids.”
I saw that day a mental toughness that I thought my father had but, in that moment I knew who really was the mental tough one in my family. Even as my mother died, she did it with strength. She said bye to my sister and turned her head and smiled at me and took her last breath.
I am my mother’s son.