Sunday, May 13, 2012

Inspired By My Mother

So a few days ago I wrote a brief post about my mother. One letting her know that I was thinking of her, that the songs she loved when I was a kid still moved me and made me think of her. Wondered if she were alive if she would have forgiven me for the hard truths that I shared here on this blog two years ago. Been feeling her presence and seeing there was no way for me to tell her I did the one thing that has, in recent years, brought me much peace and clarity at times when I can't seem to sort through the gray layers of emotion, memory and resolution...I came here. I wrote.

Something else happened though. Others wrote back, both figuratively and quite literally. Got an overwhelming response, albeit privately, from that post and my silly heart has once again been split wide open, in a beautiful way, by the words of support, encouragement and absolute understanding. The women that have contacted me, told me that reading my somewhat confessional piece inspired them to think of their own relationships with their mothers, well they have not only made me feel far from being alone, they have bestowed upon me a gift that I have, historically been too stubborn or shy to take....they made me feel proud, of myself. No easy task I assure you. I am my worst and most brutal critic and while that shan't change anytime soon, on this Mother's Day I will indulge in your miraculous words and very open hearts. Walk just a bit higher on the balls of my feet, shoulders strong, back straight, extra twist of my hips, let the confidence ooze from my flesh....let the scent of whatever talent I might have flow from my pours. Don't think there is a greater gift than that of making one realize that they have to power to make people truly think and feel. You, your letters, your comments and visits to The Wine Country...they give me that. 

I have only this one voice, this laptop, this one shot at living the life I've always wanted and the very real desire to bring us all closer by sharing myself and my stories in the hope that at least one person doesn't feel alone. Not much to offer you all I know, but it's what I have. 

I wrote a series of posts about my mother and our somewhat tumultuous, sometimes painful, often fearful relationship two years ago. They were some of the hardest pieces I've ever written but also ones that I am very proud of. Not the way they are written, but the freedom I had to finally be able to say those things, and the ultimate resolution and clarity that came from looking at her for what she was. Mother's aren't Super Women, we are just women and so very human. She did the best she could and in the end, she raised two daughters that were far stronger, and happier than she ever had the chance to be. I was lucky to have her....wouldn't me this me without all the lessons that came with being her daughter. 

Here they are all together and in order for those of you that weren't reading back then. Like I said, you make me feel incredible, like all the time and all I have to repay that are my words, my stories and my heart. 

I'm grateful for the love she gave, the struggles she endured, the sadness she made me see I never wanted. I would never be the woman I am without her....the mother I am without her. 

Thank you Mom
Thank you all.... 


Tessa said...

Since you are so public with this, I will be too. I can honestly say when you wrote those posts I was in tears. So angry with you posting those things about our mother when she could not defend herself. Not knowing if it was true. Actually telling myself some of it wasn't true. So upset that you would put MY mom in this light, people finding out how angry and well, mean she could be and knowing how embarrassed she would be the world know that she wasn't "the coolest mom ever" something I heard way too often and rolled my eyes to.

I now see it wasn't about her, or me, but about your healing. Sometimes you just need to tell people the things that have happened to you to heal from them and I am so glad you have this outlet to do so. I never said anything because I didn't want you to think that I wanted you to sensor yourself because I don't. Sometimes things are just hard to hear even if they are true.

You know I am a rose colored glasses type of person and I don't like to think about the bad even if I know it was there. But as I start my own family it is probably good to have a reminder that even though mom messed up, a lot.. we still love her and appreciate the things that she didn't screw up.

I love you and thing that you did a great job raising Jeremy, he is my #2 favorite person in the world (Don't tell Wayne, I still tell him Jeremy is #1, and sorry Jeremy that Wayne took your spot...he can give me sex)

Thank you for being so open even though you were closed for so long.


Samantha Dugan said...

My Sweet Sister,
Okay, well guess who is in tears this time around. I sensed when I wrote these pieces that you were upset by them, we never talked about it...not that I feel like we had to or should have, but I know it had to be so hard for you to read. In fact I wasn't sure I knew you read them all. You have always been a fierce protector of mom and it is in fact one of the things I've grown to admire about you. Our memories are not the same, for many reasons and you and I have chosen to heal in different ways.

To hear that you now understand why I had to write these pieces, to free myself from the rather chocking grip of all that, means more than you can possibly understand.

You made my day sweet girl and I know that you will be a wonderful, loving, supportive mother...unless you have a ginger. (Wink) I love you Tessa, more in this second than ever before. Thank you....

webb said...

So there it is. We each experience our life in a different reality - even from our siblings. I suspect that if you could get to the core you would find that we ALL experience our families differently.

How lucky you are that your sister is willing to have her own reality about her relationship with your mother, and still allow you to have yours. Both are authentic, even if different.

You are both special. Happy Mothers Day to two good daughters. xoxo

Samantha Dugan said...

I think the 11 years between Tessa and I have made our experiences and relationship with our mother very different, although Tessa too can share some stories that as a mother, make me cringe. Not sure we were/are good daughters but I know we are good people, strong women and of that no matter what, our mother would be proud.

chris said...

"She did the best she could."

She would be so proud of you, Sam.

Love heals.

Samantha Dugan said...

I can only hope.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Mothers and daughters--so different than mothers and sons. Jeremy surely influenced your views on motherhood, and when Tessa has children, her views on your mother will almost certainly change as well. Love doesn't just endure, it evolves.

On a personal level, all of your writing about your childhood and about your motherhood has changed me. The compassion and intelligence you bring to your own life and the people who have inhabited it is inspiring; and your work makes me endeavor to do the same for the cast of misfits and wackos that have filled my time on this lonely planet. Thank you for that.

I only wish your Mom were still alive so she could tell me about you when you were a child. That would surely be incredibly entertaining and enlightening.

I love you!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
I would be very curious to hear what she had to say as well. She struggled a lot, had a hard time ever telling me she was proud or happy for me. Not sure why that was but I'm assuming some of it had to do with her envy of my youth and anger, disappointment, with the choices she made in life. I wasn't always an easy kid, there were times when I was profoundly selfish and full of rage, much of it directed at her, although I never really told her that. She supported me through my most difficult times, begrudgingly and never not without often making me feel like shit for it but, well it was still support and I'm not sure what I would have done without her.

I cannot express enough to you how much you have helped me with all of this. Pushing me to keep writing and exploring this craft that I've grown to love. Wouldn't have been doing it this long without you Love, and I sure as hell wouldn't be nearly as good at it....which aint saying much but I'm working on it! You inspire me as well My Beloved Ron and I love you for that.