(this picture makes me happy. these are some of the most awesome women in my life)
Have you seen that new show on WE TV called, "The Locator"? It features a man who is hired by people to find long-lost family members. Fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, mothers, etc are all looking to find peace, which they feel is not possible "until they find the missing pieces". Almost guaranteed to turn me into a puddle of goo, every episode.
Anyway, on one episode, a daughter is looking for her mother. As she tells the Locator of her childhood recollections, she pauses, through her tears, to ask a heartfelt question, "Does she even think of me on my birthday?". Rough stuff.
As I watched the show, I'm thinking, "Of course, she does. How could she NOT?", trying to imagine the scenario that would lead to me experience amnesia about my daughter's (or son's) birthday.
But, hey, apparently that's just me, because, as the show unfolds, it turns out that for reasons that are not at all clear to the Locator, the daughter or the viewer, Mom does not want to reconnect with her adult daughter. Ugh. Disgust. Eye roll. Pffftttt.
So as these kinds of thoughts are prone to do, I randomly remembered this TV show scene on my way to work today...on my birthday. And my first reaction was to dial up my original bewildered, bemused, bafflement again: that whole, "How could a mother...?" thing.
However, this was quickly followed by a new thought, "Why has this question never occurred to me about my own life?" (insert cricket chirping here).
Because the truth is, is that I will not hear from my mother on my birthday. I have not heard from my mother for more than 12 years.
Is she dead? Nope. At least she wasn't 2.5 weeks ago, when she came to my daughter's graduation ceremony, but sat across the auditorium from my husband and I, as she did two years prior, at my son's graduation.
Well, if she's not dead, what is wrong?
Long story, obviously. No estrangement happens over night. The roots go back to my childhood, but more accurately, likely began in my mother's own childhood. Unlike other bloggers, who lay it alllll out there for their readers...I will not be airing and sharing the dirty laundry of my family here.
Friends and well, friends (cuz other than my brother, I don't really have any family) IRL, all know the story, so this is not about shame and secrets and skeletons in closets. It is about respect and boundaries, I guess. So, if you were hopin' for some Xtreme TMI Oversharing Festival, NEXT! Not happening here.
Instead, I guess this is where you can be a witness to or eavesdrop on my thought life. About this subject, this question, that, honestly had not occurred to me until today.
Does she think about me on my birthday?
I'm not sure. But if I had to guess, I'd say...no. I don't think so. I highly doubt it.
And by the grace of God, that is not (nor has it ever been) devastating to me. Puzzling? Yes. Unfathomable when I think of my own daughter? Yes. But, it does not consume me with grief. It does not define me or my worth.
Because, I know the broken, frailty of my mother's soul.
Because, before Jesus (and even for awhile afterward), I was her.
And her choices, although they would never be mine now; were the same as my own for a season.
So, is it sad that a mother, any mother, MY mother, does not think of her daughter, ME on my birthday? Of course.
But, I made my peace with my mother and father and their choices, a long time ago.
Happy Birthday to me.
Really truly sincerely.