I watched Grey's Annatomy today, one of my faves. There was a patient sub-story that reminded me of my mom. I just broke down. She died two years ago this Wednesday and my dad died two weeks to the day after her.
I think about why I am so moved by her death and don't feel quite the same way about my dad. Maybe it has to do with how I interacted with them, maybe it is how a child feels about their mother as opposed to their father. I don't know. But I think there is a special bond between girls and their moms. They take us through a lot of ritual, life's milestones, and present a miror for us on sexuality, beauty, againg, and parenting. I had plenty of growing up issues and disagreements with my mom, but later in life we came around to find a peace with each other - as most parents and children do - and I took care of her as best I could in her last years.
My mom was tough and resilient and creative. She was a real model for me on how to get through life. She made mistakes and some were whoppers, but she found her way through her life and lived a life she could be proud of. I hated that I found the best option was to put her in a nursing home. Not something that she ever wanted. But her husband could not care for her, she was not ambulatory, she could not care for herself and I could not care for her nor afford full time care. The only way to care for her was to put her on state assistance and find the best accommodations I could and visit her regularly and frequently. As you can read, I still beat myself up over this, knowing I had no other choice that I could make work and that I did the best I could for her.
When we are young, we never see that we might be in such a position. Our moms are always our protector, our friend, our adversary, our oppressor. Anything but our mom. It's only now that I realize what that role was and how hard it was for her to do it and how she did it anyway and usually with great love and care. I miss my mom. And even though I am not a mom, I still try to behave as she would and live up to what I will never formally be.