The Tale of Two Moms

I have thought about this blog all week. Now, I don’t ALWAYS think about my blog all week. Sure, sometimes, something will happen during the week and I will see a life lesson in it and think to myself that the lesson could turn out to be a good blog at some point so I tuck it away in the “log of blogs” in my mind (actually I put it in my notes app on my phone). But, today is Mother’s Day. And I have thought all week long about possibly writing to share just a little more of myself and what has shaped me throughout my life with you, my readers and supporters. This isn’t a topic I think about all the time. If I am honest, it enters my mind once a day, at least, but I don’t dwell on it and spend much time on the subject. But it is there, nonetheless. I have had two mothers in my life. And really, like most of us, when you count the “other mother-figures” who have also shaped who I am, I have had more than just that. I have had mentors and other spiritual role models who have truly had a hand in my becoming the woman of God, the wife and mother I am today. But, I want to focus on two mothers today. The one who “brought me” and the one who “got me” . . . to raise. I feel like I need to say this right off . . . The point of today’s blog is not to make anyone sad or for me to gain anyone’s sympathy. It’s actually to give some hope and love to those Moms out there who are struggling with any aspect of “mothering” and that is all I am hoping to do.

My birth Mom, the one who “brought me” into this world, DeAnna (DeDe or Deed to those who knew and loved her) died in a motorcycle accident when I was 3 years old. My little sister, Carly, was 15 months old. Dede was 20. A whole 20 years old. (Wade and I have been married for longer than she was even alive.) I remember very little about her. I have some memories around her, but can’t remember her voice, or see her smile (outside the photos of her), or remember her scent. I remember events with her . . . I remember her as she left for work and I would stand at the door and tell her to, “Honk me, Mommy!” I have a memory of her in a striped sweater outside in the backyard of the house we lived in pushing me on the swing set. But I don’t have many memories. And that’s okay. My second Mom, the one who “got me”, has done a masterful job at filling in all the blanks my questioning mind has ever had. In fact, I just asked the Mom who “got me” the other day how tall DeDe was and what size of bra she wore. I know, strange questions, but they come up. Did she have pretty nails? Did she like to paint her toes? Were her toes as ugly as mine? What about her eyelashes? Did she wear a lot of makeup? Did she love me and Carly? Did she have any allergies? Was she as quirky and strange as I am? Her Mom, my second Mom, has answered all of these questions and more. And I’ve been fortunate to be able to know and see some of her friends on occasion and they have told me stories and shared things about her also. 

I have always had a hard time figuring out how to love the Mom who “got me” and remember and honor the one who “brought me”. I couldn’t have been blessed any more than I was with the Mom I “inherited” after DeDe died. Betty, DeDe’s Mom, stepped into a role she wasn’t exactly sure of and has told me she didn’t think she deserved. She and I have talked at length about the pain of losing my Mom, for both of us, and that she felt that she never really deserved any of the “praise” for raising me and Carly. People would compliment her on an accomplishment that Carly or I had worked for and she would thank them, but not really let herself enjoy it. And I think that has been the hardest part for her. The Mom who “brought me” has never been forgotten. She has never been replaced. She was just gone and no one was to blame and no one could change it. So, you know what you do, you just keep moving forward. You take what you know and you do what is best for all involved. And that is what Betty, my Mom, did. I remember the day I finally asked Betty, still my Grandma, if my Mom, Dede, after she died was ever going to come back. I was sitting on the dryer as she was folding clothes. She told me that God had taken my Mom to Heaven. I asked when she was coming back. She told me that she wasn’t going to be able to come back but that we would see her again someday. I remember feeling a little panicked . . . like, EVERYONE needs a MOM. I need a Mom. I remember asking, “Well, then can I call YOU Mom?” And from that day on, she was my Mom. I don’t even remember calling her “Grandma”. It’s been “Mom” for so long. We would confuse people often because they didn’t know whether to refer to Betty as our Mom or Grandma. And by the same token, I remember well telling people I needed to ask my Grandma, then turn and say, “Hey, Mom, can I . . . ? But we knew. And that was all that mattered.

Through the years, I have missed the Mom who “brought me” . . . high school graduation, my wedding, the births of my children . . . you know, the BIG things. And everytime, I am more grateful for the Mom who “got me!” And even still, sometimes, in the small things I miss DeDe. I have felt guilty sometimes for feeling like there is any sadness or any kind of void there because let me tell you, I won the mother jackpot when it comes to the Mom that “got me”. But I know she feels that sadness sometimes, too. And that, to me, is one more level of connection for us. We both miss the same person. The one she knew and loved and the one I loved but didn’t have a chance to know. I think on some level, we both have lived our lives trying to make DeDe proud. Mom, because of the way she was raising her daughters, and me, because of who I was and wanted to become. My mom that “got me” tells me all the time how much like DeDe I am. And that makes me smile. 

I want to encourage all moms today to keep on doing what they are doing. We are going to screw things up. Sometimes, I think that’s part of the job. We are not perfect. We are not always going to make the right choices when it comes to our kids. But, at the end of the day, if they know you love them, then you’ve done your job. Keep working on YOU. Keep loving yourself through all the hard times; all the times when you question what you are doing. Mothering doesn’t come with a manual. Well, I mean, I have always considered the Bible the manual for all things that don’t actually have a manual, but, you know what I mean. Keep praying, keep trying, keep loving. That’s all you need to do. And when it gets really tough, just remember, your kids could be here doing life without you. And that would be worse than any “screw up” real or imagined. 

There are a lot of things in life that we as humans, no matter how close we are to friends or family, just never really talk about. I have said from the beginning that this blog would be healing for me and help for others, hopefully. And, if nothing else, it has been healing for me and that’s a fact. And I feel more free to talk a little about some of the things that have truly shaped who I am and where I am headed. I have grown and healed a lot in the last year. And I really wanted to share with you the amazing woman who “got me” and raised me to be the woman I am today. I owe so much of who I am to her. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Those moms who have loved and lost; those who are mothers to other people’s children through adoption; those who were unable to have children of their own and never adopted but loved and nurtured and blessed other people by pouring themselves into them instead. I am honored to know some of the most wonderful moms out there. And I truly hope I have been and will be even half the mother to my boys as I have been blessed to have and know. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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