“I do not owe anything to my mother”
That the phrase is very strong, especially around the holidays, but let me explain myself. I’m getting older each day and the truth as I remember, almost anything of my mom, my earliest memories are of when my mother forgave my punishment (sent me to my room). It means that previously she had punished me, and I do not remember it. I remember a few smacks that I got for hitting my sister–although I had good reason to do so, since I wanted her to play football with me, and being 3 years old gave her no right to refuse.
I remember a lot of hits, and believe me there are many, but I remember nothing of the resentment I’m sure everyone carried at the time. There was always more an apology on the side, although I really do not remember much about the word “forgiveness.” So yes, I remember her attitude towards me full of apologies and a commitment to do so ever.
I remember a lot of crying, pain, frustration, but also lots of laughter, caresses and a single excess of alcohol, which I did not enjoyed. With the things that went so hard with my mother, from economic problems (and there were many) to personal problems between her and me, I did not understand what I now understand. I believed that dad saw things from a rational perspective while my mother was just temperamental.
Now with my children, I realize (as all new parents) all that my mom went through with me. A child with poor grades in school, repeating the year; I remember once expecting certain death because my notes were always so bad. And in the car, back to the house, changing her entire strategy, desperate to see, probably, that her son would not be able to be anything in life was a good conversation. Now I understand all the love there that day for me.
One of the most difficult times for my mother must have been when it was confirmed I had cancer. I never saw mourning, I never felt sad, she was always with me, and you know what’s more? I was only 15 years and trust me when 100%, what must have felt that first night I spent after my first chemotherapy session, and it was not me because I asked her (my dad was with me that night and most nights). I knew if my mother had not rested, I already knew that was silly. Now I do not think I can bet that she ever rested until 5 years after my treatment ended. There are two moments I remember about those days, the first when I applied the medication through a path in my vein, and as a result of this my arm was chilling me and my mom was trying to warm it with her hands. Not that I told her but it never worked, but how good it felt to have my mother with me touching me and trying with all she had to make me feel good. The other time was when I received my last chemo treatment, and only lacked the dextrose (intravenous hydration) to end it, and I saw and counted every drop, and as I hugged my mom, proud to have won the battle, that feeling will be with me forever.
Well, I think after that, things were quieter, with business to help with the maintenance of the house with the confidence to lend the car, knowing that a child coming out of adolescence, might have a high possibility an accident, not to “destroy my life” when his car crashed again, with the gall to come home late “this is not a hotel!”. For the great lessons when I needed it, I respect those who taught me, for teaching me to dance, for allowing filth like a friend, by category that do not call and understand my reasons why I do not, do not have much validity, but the means.
Now with a career, a family, I’m sure the life I had “smiled” and I want to stay that way, but to be realistic where I am now is a lot to do with my mom (I know my brothers too). For all she did and more, “I owe my mothernothing!” may seem a paradox. But it’s not, mind you:
I owe nothing to my mother, first, because it would be impossible to pay the debt that I generated with her. I could never give back even 1% of what she gave me. And, second, and also most importantly, my mom never charged me something (or a stone, as she says) of what I owe her for everything she gave me unconditionally. Gentlemen, to take an unpayable debt that will not accept payment is the most absurd thing in the world, so I can only state that I don’t owe my mother anything.
To finish, I’ll just say that because I owe nothing to my mother, I only want to offer all I can give and hope to do so every day of my life. Thanks mom for everything I am and will become.