A Tribute to Motherhood: from a daughter with a mother

A Tribute to Motherhood: from a daughter with a mother

A Story by Jack V.

A strained relationship between my mother and I exists. I've written about it before, but here's another side of it. Here's saying: Cheers to all the mothers out there. You are given a difficult job.


            My mother and I don’t function well. We’ve never been best friends and I don’t think we ever will be. She cares for me, I for her; but then that’s it. I wish her well and she inquires about my day-to-day, but we merely gloss over surface topics.

            My mother suffers from a few mental disabilities. Because of these and my inability to prevent an episode, we don’t have the normal relationship I see televised.

A typical conversation between us might go along something like this:

            “Jackie, what’s going on? I heard you were coming up here for a visit. Is that true? I miss you.” And her voice would lower in pitch as a direct relationship to what was happening with her physical features. She’d become downcast in anticipation of what she had heard becoming a falsehood.

            “Yea, Mom. I’m coming up for the weekend.” I’d tell her.

            “Oh, goodie. I’m glad.” And that chipper voice would rise in pitch and she’d tell me about how she would be with her grandson that weekend.

            “Oh I didn’t tell you what happened yesterday/last week/last month,” we’d often go for long periods without having a conversation, “(so and so) died. (So and so) was killed. (Something bad) happened. Isn’t that so sad?” And into her fixations she’d go (some days giving extreme detail of how the event occurred). It’s this I can’t entertain.

It is important to mention these are people we don’t know. These are topics unrelated to us in anyway. They simply matter to her because a life is lost. I respect her devout interest in being saddened at a life lost; it shows she cares about humanity.

If it isn’t the detail of how a death occurred it is the following:

“Jackie, what’s going on? I heard you were coming up here for a visit. Is that true?” Sad voice hoping I won’t disappoint.

“That’s true Ma. I’ll be there this weekend.”

“Oh, goodie. I’m glad.” Voice perks up and she tells me about her grandson and his approaching visit.

“Oh I didn’t tell you what happened. This f***ing b**ch, cut me off on the way to the grocery store. So, you know what I did? I got out of my car and screamed at her car when we got to a stoplight. You should have seen her face,” insert laughter over the receiver, “she looked so scared, like who’s this crazy b**ch?”

“Okay, Mom. Stop.”

“Don’t tell me to stop. Tell her to stop. F***ing…” and on she would continue until I’d raise my voice and tell her to stop.

The mood swings and angry language are difficult for me to entertain. I can swallow the gruesome details of a killing and how people had found the body; but the hard language… I want to open up and be there for her. To allow her a chance to rant and complain, to vent; but then I realize doing this, adds fuel to her fire.

            I’m normally patient and great at leading others away from their fixations. I understand how fixation harms human behavior. But with my own mother… It seems condescending for me to try and steer her clear of these (interests as she calls them) obsessions. Who am I, but her child, to tell her what’s good or bad for her? As the daughter, I can’t. And so I don’t.

            And that’s where she and I lie.

            But then there are the days, the nights and mornings, where she and I can remain silent and still. She as an insatiable appetite for animals, and will question me about their habits, their noises, for hours, never fully satisfied.

            “Jackie, what was that? Did you hear that? What bird made that noise?”

            “It wasn’t a bird, Ma. It was a squirrel. It’s a Grey squirrel. See, there he is.”

            “Oh, isn’t that nice.”

            Every morning her and I have breakfast together, I insist on quiet (A.K.A. no fixation talk). Same goes for evening walks. In the mornings, we head to the back porch and observe the happenings near the dried up marsh bed. My cat will follow us and enjoys the sights and sounds as well. All of this makes my mother happy. She’ll turn her head and just look at me with a toothy smile. She won’t say a word, just smiles. I notice but don’t acknowledge it. I don’t want to spoil the good moment.

In the off chance the hate language begins to come forth, I’ll remind her, “Ma, stop. Remember what I said, ‘Mornings are quiet time.’ Otherwise, I’ll go back inside.” She stops her complaints and the angry language subsides. I don’t know if it is healthy to threaten her of my leaving, but it seems to work. She becomes distracted again and continues her questions about the animals.

            Balance. I found it with my mother.

            Maybe that’s what I’m coming to with this article. We don’t pick our family; it was already chosen for us. With all the problems which come with family, the point is to understand and find your balance. It is within this homeostasis you find your opportunities to experience the best a person can offer.

© 2015 Jack V.

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Added on September 11, 2015
Last Updated on September 11, 2015
Tags: motherhood, moms and daughters, understanding, balance with family members, family problems, mental health


Jack V.
Jack V.

Farmington Hills, MI

I'm a self-publishing, freelance author living in Michigan. I appreciate detailed description, and therefore I must warn my audience, many oeuvre contain graphic imagery. The topic surrounds, physical.. more..

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