It’s been a little more than a year since I lost my mother, and this has been the hardest year of my life. When I was a child, I was a mommy’s girl. If you look at old pictures, you will immediately note that I was always close to my mother’s side. As I continued to grow, there were tragic circumstances that drove a wedge between us, but still, I loved my mother fiercely.
When I was twelve years old, I remember calling my mommy in desperation, to tell her that my daddy had touched me where he shouldn’t have. I thought she would rush home to be with me and hold me, protecting me from all evil, but that isn’t what happened. You see, she was more concerned about what people would think of her if they found out, and so she didn’t leave work early to come home and comfort me.
Still, I reasoned in my twelve year old mind, she needed to stay at work, because she couldn’t risk losing her job. After all, it was just going to be her, me and my sister. I remember planning it all out while I waited for her to come home. I would work extra hard to do better in school, and I would help her take care of my little sister, so she wouldn’t have to worry so much.
Things didn’t turn out according to my plans. Of course, things seldom do work out according to our plans in real life. The reality was that my mother didn’t let my stepfather know that she knew what he had done to me, and each of them came to talk to me separately, instructing me not to say anything to anyone else, because if I did, I would be responsible for destroying our family, and I didn’t want to do that, did I? I was also told not to say anything to my younger sister, because she would be hurt if I did.
What does a little girl of twelve do in those circumstances? In my case, I took all of the blame for what was done to me, and I learned to hate myself. I also came to the conclusion that everyone else’s feelings were more important than mine.
Did I resent my mother for choosing my stepfather over me? There were times when I did, but I always loved her and yearned for her love in return. Yet, no matter how hard I tried to win Mom’s love, I always felt that I was less important to her than everyone else in her life.
As an adult, I spent many years separated from my mother. What I wanted was for her to call me and tell me those three little words I was so desperate to hear… “I’m sorry Cheryl.” Mom was pretty tough though, and she was not one to give an inch on anything. If there was to be any peace or forgiveness between us, I would have to put forth the effort, and so I did.
During the last few years of her life, Mom was unable to walk, and she also had dementia. Now she was the needy one, and I loved her. What happened in the past was in the past. The only thing that mattered was for her to know how very much I loved her.
Yes, it’s been more than a year now, but I still miss my mother, and though I’m nearly fifty-three years old, I’d give almost anything to hear her say, “I’m sorry Cheryl. I love you.”
Cheryl A. Showers
This post was written for yeah write #153 weekly challenge.
Here are some of the rules:
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