I appreciate my mother. She wanted a baby for so long, and finally got me. She was thirty-two, and I was her first child to make it... barely. She had what was then known as uremic poisoning. I think it's called toxemia now. They warned her that I might not live. In fact, there was a chance that both she and I would die.
My mom had such high hopes for me. And I don't think I ever lived up to any of them.
I didn't marry a good Church boy. I smoked and drank back then, although never in front of her. Not out of respect, but knowing I'd get a lecture if I did.
When I finally returned to the Church, it was the WRONG church. So we couldn't discuss religion.
I was never able to bare my heart to my mother. I couldn't be myself with her. She so wanted me to fit the mold she made for me, and I don't fit into anyone's molds. I'm sure I disappoint a lot of people because of this.
And yet, she loved me. She would have laid down her life for me.
She had me in Church at least three times a week. That's a good thing, believe it or not. I learned to listen to boring sermons at a very young age, and actually get something out of them.
For years, I blamed all my faults on my mother. Then one day I woke up and realized I wouldn't be who I am without my unique raising. I enjoy life as much as anyone I know; would I, if I'd had a different kind of upbringing?
So, here's to my mom. I don't think I did half as good a job raising my children as she did with me. I only wish she would have let me be myself. I hope my two children feel free to be who they really are, with me.
Here's the poem I wrote about my mom, the day I finally woke up and realized how hard she tried. She requested that I read it at her funeral, which I did.
(c) Donna Wood
I didn’t have a mother who would party every night,
Or run out to the taverns and then come in late, half-tight.
I didn’t have a mother who would sit in clouds of smoke
And puff on endless cigarettes while those around her choked.
I didn’t have a mother who would take God’s name in vain;
She never said a cuss-word, even when she was in pain.
I didn't have a mother who cheated on her man:
I'm sure my dad was well aware she was his biggest fan!
I had the kind of mother who would read the Holy Book,
And never gave pornography a single, fleeting look.
I had a mom who went to church at least three times a week,
And never lost her faith in God, though times were often bleak.
I had a mom who always made me learn my memory verse.
When I was sick, I had a mom who served me as a nurse.
I got a lot of spankings, ‘cause I had that kind of mother….
But looking back, I wouldn’t trade my mom for any other!