- Posted May 7, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
In praise of “other mothers”
The Mothers Who Saved Me
I haven’t talked to my biological mother in years. As a child I quickly realized that aside from biology, she was in no ways a mother to me. So as soon as I went off to college, I never looked back. This is not about her. This is about how over the years, Mother’s day has ironically transitioned into one my favorite holidays of the year.
Looking back, I realize that I could have entered adulthood a completely different person. Absent a mother’s care and polish, I could have grown up to be bitterly resentful and really rough around the edges. Yet, I’m not this way, because since my youth, I was fortunate enough to have fantastic women realize that I lacked a mothering presence in my life and they stepped up and filled the gap the best they could. Growing up, these women frequently opened their homes to me, welcomed me to be part of their family, and most importantly, taught me the finer points of how to be a man. Of course, the need for a mother doesn’t stop now that I’m in the depths of adulthood. Today, I know I’ll always have a loving home to go to where I will get a mother’s love and be de facto adopted into a family. She will gleefully be excited to see me and ask about my life, but most importantly, invest her patience to mother me with honesty and care. Year after year, through the life moments and holidays. In more ways than I can count, there has been a collective patchwork of mothering, and it saved me from being a lost wondering soul in this world.
No patchwork will never be able to fully substitute the absence of mother in my life, but it is all that I have. I am grateful that it even came my way in life at all. It wasn’t easy for any of the women to take me in. They had their own busy lives, jobs, and for some children of their own. They took care of me when I needed it most, sacrificing much, especially the most precious thing of all these days, time. This is why every Mother’s Day, I make a significant effort to show my appreciation for their being mothers that they easily didn’t have to be.
I realize the way my life unfolded can be seen as simply strange, or even flawed. It is always rather awkward to explain my family situation to people, even to those who known me for years. Many people try to push me to reconcile with my biological mother. Yes, there are lots of could of and should of conversations abound. However, the conversation I try to have with people is how I was lucky enough to be in a country whereby I found people had the heart and courage to invest in me and make the ultimate difference in my life. One by one, I will tell these women, happy Mother’s Day!