It is Mother’s Day and I am missing her. We never talked about important things. After years of viewing her as a sympathetic victim, I pushed her away during my teens and blamed her for her very victimhood. Later still, myself a wife and the wiser thanks to therapy, I relieved her of all that and granted her the agency she no doubt always had. But we never talked about any of it.
Throughout, however, she made me feel safe. I remember many tender moments: she, unpacking the snow from between the cuffs of my much-despised snowsuit and my mittens as I melted all over the kitchen floor; together, with my sister, preparing the treats that would go onto the paper plates we handed out to neighbors on Christmas Eve; my pleasure at the clothes she sewed for me, replicating labels we couldn’t afford to buy; the solace I felt while she rubbed my legs after a long shift waitressing during that first summer job, while I cried and told her how mean the line cooks were to me.
I was lucky, I know it now, and felt loved—even though no one in our family ever said “I love you.” I am missing her this Mother’s Day. Could she make me feel safe (or I her) during this pandemic? At the least, we could sit and talk about important things.