Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bottom Line...I've Wanted a Mom

For as long as I can remember I've dreamed of being close to my mother. And by close I simply mean, I wished that she wanted to be with me. Of course, there was also the hope that we would know each other, laugh together and make some great memories, but none of that has happened.
The dream of being close to my own mother, has been just that, a dream.

I was just a freshman in high school. It was a cold, New York winter morning and I was rushing to get ready for school. I had woken up late and on my tight schedule that couldn't happen. You see, the high school I was attending was one-and-a-half hours away and took three city buses to get to. I had to catch the first bus at 5:35am exactly, which would drop me off at the next bus stop at 6:10am giving me about a five minute wait for the next transfer. The next bus dropped me off at Main Street, which lead me to my last bus ride at 6:50am to drop me off right around 7:25am giving me a few minutes to prepare for my first class. Needless to say, the commute to school each day was stressful as my promptness relied on the transfer of each New York City bus being on time no matter what the weather. So, on this particular day, as I was scrambling around the house, gathering my things up to head out the door, my mother said to me, "Stop worrying. I'll drive you." I breathed a breathe of relief, but still thought that even by car my school is still 1 1/2 hours away. I urged my mother to hurry and go, but she replied, "No, I know where your school is. We do not need to leave until 6:45am." I sat back and rested.

As we drove along together I could see, from the highway, my little bus and it's route. I stared out the window with a bit of excitement budding in my heart. I thought, "I can ride with my mother each day to school. (I had just learned, that morning, that her office was minutes from my school). I thought to myself, "I can be alone with her each day and get to know her and she could get to know me. We could share our days together." I also thought about, NO MORE BUS RIDES! My heart was filling with more and more excitement that I couldn't stop looking out the window. I didn't want my mother to see. I wanted to play it calm. I wanted to act all grown up, not a child panting for her mother's affection. As these thoughts whimsically filled my mind, my mother broke the silence and shattered my dreams when she said, "Don't think I'll ever do this again. I'm not. I will drive you today, but that is all."

My heart sank. Tears flooded my eyes. I couldn't move. I hadn't wanted my mother to see my excitement and I certainly didn't want her to see my broken heart. I allowed the tears to roll down my cheeks until they stopped on their own. Then with one touch I wiped my face and left the car.
She never did drive me again.

Years later, when I was old enough to drive, I remembered that horrible day. I dropped what I was doing, got in my car and started off to visit my alma mater. I had to know how long it actually took to get to my high school by car. It had plagued me. I set out to time the car ride. Was it actually a short drive or was I so happy that day when my mother drove me that it only seemed like mere minutes? When I arrived at the school in less than twenty minutes, I parked the car and  I began to cry--again. Those years, months, days, in the rain, and freezing snow, that I had trudged to school taking three buses and traveled almost two hours when it only took twenty minutes to drive in a nice warm car. Then it hit me, I remembered my mother worked in the same neighborhood as I went to school.  I could drive around to check out where my mother worked in relation to where my school was. I found her building- she worked but three blocks from my school. She worked three blocks from me. Everyday for years we were steps from each other. Tears that were filling my eyes were immediately rubbed away and anger filled it's place. How could a mother do that to her child? How could she care so little about the welfare of her own. How could she have no compassion for me as she watched me day in and day out wake up early and go to school alone? I knew that day that my mother very clearly did not want a relationship with me, but as I drove home and cried and even yelled I realized I was crying because the desire to know my mother and be loved by her was still not dead. I still wanted her and yet I knew it would never be.

Without my mother...
I muddled through my childhood by leaning on some of my older sisters for help.
I struggled through my teen years without guidance.
And I think I was okay with all that, until I became a mommy.
Being a mom brought up so many questions in my mind and heart. I tried to ask her questions, but she would act aloof and would say she didn't remember. As time went by, and I had more children I had more questions.
I felt alone.
I felt like a failure.
I wanted advice. I wanted help.
I needed encouragement.
I wanted my mother.
I wanted a mom.

So, when I finally realized, about ten years ago, that the dream of a mother/daughter relationship was never going to be a reality, I began to search for other women in my life to fill the emptiness. I tried one friend after another, but none could match the perfectly shaped hole in my heart that was meant for my mother to fill.

To be honest, and as ridiculous as it may sound, I still hope that there is someone out there that will be a mom to me. Someone to advise me. Someone to pray with me and will pray for me. Someone who will teach me how to sew like my grandmother or knit like my mother. Someone who will come and hang out at my house and be family. Someone to mentor me. But more recently I have had a revelation that I have not even asked God to fill this void in my heart. I have not allowed Jesus to fill my emptiness. I have not given Him the chance to be everything to me.

I forgive my mother. I forgive her for her selfishness. I forgive her for not trying to get to know me. I forgive her for cutting me out of her life. I forgive her for the wasted years. I forgive her for not being there for me when I needed someone, family, to confide in and advise me. I forgive her for killing my dream of having a mother who truly loves me. I forgive her for not being a grandma to my children.
Lord, I ask you to fill my heart. Fill in the empty place that I reserved for her. I ask you to be everything I need. I ask you to satisfy this longing in my heart for a mom. I love you, Lord, with all my heart. I want to be healed so I can raise my children in wholeness.
Your Ellie

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