Mom and Me

Today I started cleaning out my very large walk-in closet, which is actually the size of a room, that’s been filled with memorabilia and crap since we moved into our home almost 7 years ago. I decided I’d better get started with downsizing, as I'm not getting any younger, so I dived in.

I found a whole bunch of items from my Mother’s side of the family genealogy, including a chart going back to the 1300s. Wow!

However, I'm not very interested in old ancestors for some reason; maybe because they’ve been gone for so long ? Or maybe it’s because I don’t see any significance or value in learning about them. I want to live NOW.

I did find some interesting things about my Mom, including a couple of pictures. I looked at those pictures and I burst into tears. Why? Because my mother and I were not on very good terms when she passed, and because I had a very unusual relationship with my mother from the time I was born.

Some of you long-time readers of this Love-Letter probably remember the previous story I told about my Mother’s attempted drowning of me before the age of one, when my mother felt she couldn't take being a Mother anymore, nor had she wanted a child in her life This is not about that incident; it’s to set the stage for what follows.

It turns out she needed me to take care of her as I grew older. She loved my Father completely, even though he was an Alcoholic. I believe she came to count on me as a buffer between them, and take the brunt of his anger when he was unmanageable. I was her confidant, friend, and caretaker well before she physically needed one.

As she grew older, and my father was no longer with us, she counted on me to help her sell her condominium and buy a mobile home. She depended on me to make her financial decisions, her healthcare decisions, etc. I spent a large part of my life before age 50 also taking care of my Mom's life.

The day she passed in 1994, I was eating lunch with my husband, James, at a restaurant in Santa Fe, NM when I received a phone call that the people at the home where she was living had taken her to the Hospital. She had been taken to the hospital so many times prior to this, I didn’t feel concerned and finished my lunch before heading off to the hospital.

When I arrived there, they told me she had passed away shortly after arriving, and had already been taken to a morturary. I was devastated I had not rushed there and been there at her death.

We drove to there and I saw her one last time.

I tell this story to refresh my memory of my time with her. I feel so strongly that I must forgive both my Mother and myself for the trauma surrounding our relationship. She was not a bad person; she was not meant to be a Mother.

And I now understand that. I recently found a black paper journal with silver ink that I wrote to my sons that was to be given to them on my death. Some of it stood out for me as it describes my feelings as a Mother of 2 boys, one born when I was 19 and another at 21, 16 months apart:

“ I was so very young when I gave birth to my first son, Michael. There was both great joy and great fear_fear that I would not be a good mother_that mistakes I made would have lasting bad consequences.

I was totally unprepared for the responsibilities of motherhood. I had been an only child, and had felt totally inadequate a few times I babysat as a teenager. Here now was a totally beautiful son who counted on me for his survival. At first, even changing his diaper frightened me. I rarely felt I was doing the right thing for him. And he was so very bright and shining with life.”

Then, before I had come to terms with having one child, I had my second son, Anthony. He was born on Christmas Day, during one of the most difficult periods in my life, right after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Postpartum depression struck, which was frightening in its intensity. There were times when I felt suicide was the only answer to my emotional pain. Obviously, it was not!

I survived and have come to understand some of my Mother’s behavior towards me, and now I know I must let go of my past anger toward her,
and forgive.

This is a journey I must complete before I leave my body.


P.S. Do you have any Mother issues you'd like to share with me? Reach out to me if you'd like to have a friend with a willing ear ready to listen.



My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever.
~Mary Oliver




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P.S. If you find any mistakes in this Love-Letter, ignore them. As you well know, I am NOT perfect!



Taru Fisher
Alive! Fitness Studio LLC/Seasons of Life Coaching