I think I would have been happier had I accepted reality. Right to the end, I continued to hope that even though she had a long and difficult life, my mother would suddenly become the warm, nurturing mother that I needed. But just as I would not ask a person who had no money to repay a debt, I could not have expected my mother to give me what she simply did not have to give.
As I think and pray about it, I understand that her shortcomings were filled in over the years by other people God sent my way – friends, mentors, counselors, family members. Because of them, I’m healthier than she was. And I hope my children are healthier than I.
I never would have had a Mother’s Day mom – not if she’d lived to 190. But I am ready to put that fantasy away. I can accept and forgive my real mother. For I am one, myself.
This message is adapted from “A Mother’s Day Mom – Or a Real One?” written by Wynne Gillis in the May 1998 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.