I think it goes without saying that a lot of us, daughters that is, have complicated relationships with their mothers. I know I did. It wasn’t without problems, flaws, and a great deal of misunderstandings on both our parts, that resulted in a very long love hate relationship that never really resolved itself till much later in life for both of us.
It would not be a lie to say I think my mother loved me best between the ages of, oh, being born and probably up to the age of about 6 or 7 years of age. That time when I was a small, pretty, blond child with a happy sunshine personality. A perfect little girl she could put a pretty dress on and take everywhere with her, and people commented and complimented.
From there on in, the change started, and because of what happened, our relationship also changed and was never the same from that moment on. So that, by the time I hit puberty I was a plump, sulky, withdrawn child who hide away from everyone and everything and lived my life hidden between the pages of books. Day dreaming of escape.
Escape from my mother, my family, and my life.
At this point, my mother was entering menopause as I entered my teenage years and, well, let me say this, the two were a combustable combination. Nuclear fission had nothing on us. Two deadly nuclei coming into close proximity that sparked, and then, exploded with the force of 10,000 suns!
During this time anyone comparing me to my mother with an, ‘oh, don’t you look like your mum!’ was treading dangerous ground.
As it was, at 17, when leaving school with a dream to go onto higher education—I wanted a degree. My mother said to me, I either had to get a job and pay rent if I wanted to stay at home, or, the implication being, leave.
Four months later, I left home.
It took years before we finally found a place amicable enough to talk to one another. And then, a handful more before I was old enough to finally let go and move on, at least, with my life. And even though we were talking at the end, before I finally moved continents again, she never really fully understood. There was just too much hurt and pain between us for the rift to heal completely.
And yet, despite all that, even now, some 20 years after her passing, I have fond memories of a woman who was so many things, including the most important, being my mother.
The lens of time has been kind and now, during this weird time, I find myself able to say…
Mum, I miss you and I love you.