A letter to my mother – for Mother’s Day and every day

My mother, my flesh and blood, we are bound together by coincidence, forever, no matter what happens. You didn’t choose me and I didn’t choose you. In life, we have a lot of choices, but we can’t choose our family. We can’t choose our mothers. For better or for worse, I am yours and you are mine.

Sharing DNA doesn’t guarantee you get along. In fact, it sometimes becomes the biggest conflict that can never be solved. Sometimes, being so alike is a curse, not a blessing. I have wondered how you really feel about me, your baby girl, the child you never planned, the “surprise”. I can only gather from your actions that I mean more to you than I could ever imagine. Nevertheless, our relationship hasn’t always been easy. At times it has been a thing of impossibility. It was fraught and destructive and icy. I have pushed you to your limits and you have irritated me and made me mad. You loathe my idiosyncrasies: my stubbornness, my reckless determination, my passionate drive to never give in or give up. I don’t like that you’re too nice, too forgiving, and always think you’re right. We’re generations and miles apart in many ways and yet so alike in others. When I was little you were my everything, my world, the centre of my universe. You turned into my biggest enemy when I was a teenager. Trying to work out who I was – it wasn’t easy. We screamed, we yelled, we made each other cry. I pushed boundaries so far they fell off the planet. You despaired. And yet you never changed your point of view. You never went anywhere. No matter how far I ran and pushed you away, you remained there, waiting for me to return. I always did.

Now, grown up with my own children, you still radiate safety and security that no one else can provide in quite the same way. In moments of exhaustion, despair and feeling low, I always wish you lived nearby. I wish you were here so I could put my head in your lap like I did when I was 5 years old, feel your hand on my head, singing soothingly, making me feel at ease and immediately better. Your hands, your wonderful hands, how often did they comfort, stroke, show love. How often did they heal, feed, nurture and tend to all my needs.
You’re not my best friend but that’s OK, because that’s not your role. You’re my mother, and that is so much more than any friend could ever be. You hold a very special place in my life, reserved for only one person: you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, wondering how you are, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling. Sometimes I call you but often I don’t, out of fear I miss you too much after we have spoken. Sometimes it’s better to ignore feelings, to pretend I’m OK that you’re so far away from me. Sometimes it’s easier to pick a fight to make out that I don’t really need you. And, even though I have learnt to be self-sufficient early on, I still need you, I’ll always need you. Because, paradoxically, the older I get, the more I need you. I need your advice, your presence, your love, especially when times are tough and I need someone to be on my side, unconditionally and completely biased – because you’re my mother and you are always on my side, always have been, and always will be.

Today, and every day, I think of you with all my love, my mother, you wonderful, amazing woman. Today, and every day, I am forever and eternally grateful for everything you have done for me. You have given me so much more than my life. You have given me anything I could have ever wished and asked for and more. I thank you for your love, your loyalty, your advice and your support. I thank you for your selflessness and your faith in me. I thank you for your acceptance and tolerance, even when we disagree. I’m glad coincidence picked you and we share the same DNA. I could not have wished for a better mother and I am proud to call you mine. I love you more than you could ever imagine. Always and forever. Happy Mother’s Day Mama.

Mother daughter

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