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Monday, January 27, 2014

Sadly I Remember.

I have been so unfair, and so judgmental, and totally blind to even acknowledge what I was doing. The target for my hurt, anger, and feelings of unworth was my adopted mother. For the last years of her life, I came full circle with all the feelings, and all the hurt. All the while she was in a nursing home, while visiting her every day, I still never got any appreciation, motherly love, or even respect. God worked me through it every day, and slowly, He made me see that she was what she was, and that she did the best she could. I was adopted at a year old, and she was full of fears and her own insecurities. That came out in never saying a kind word, never encouraging me, and always letting me know I did not measure up. I never even saw that I was affected until I was an adult, and dealing with all those insecurities and lower than low self-esteem. I got to the place where I could really forgive her. When she was dying, I sat by her side all day that day. She was not conscious, and her breathing was labored. God was so gracious and allowed me to be with her. At about 2:00 in the morning, I read to her from the Bible, I held her hand. I did tell her I forgave her, but as our Pastor said in yesterday's sermon, I doubt if she even knew how she had hurt me. As I read to her and prayed, her breathing quieted, and with one big breath, she was gone. I was sad, but by that time I had found my birth family, and it was all of them that made me feel loved. I am sad and ashamed to say, I was very unfair to my adopted mother.

Although it is true we never bonded, and I felt like a stranger in her house, she really did not know what she was doing. She did not know all she did was criticize me and how I was. She did not know that by praising other's children, and fusing over them, she hurt me. She did not know she only wanted a clone of herself, and nothing else was good enough. She did not know how to have fun, enjoy life, or be happy with the only child she had. Today as I was looking through old pictures, I was heartbroken again....this time, not for me, but for her. In almost every picture she was not smiling. She was always so concerned with how things looked, or reflected off her, that she could not enjoy simple pleasures.

She came from a wealthy family of eight children. Her father was what was called a gentleman farmer. He had hired help to take care of his land and herds. Her mother had girls to clean and cook. My grandfather never wore work clothes, but opted for suit, shirt, tie, vest, fancy shirt buttons, and whatever a gentleman wore in the early 1900s.  To say my mother was a snob seems harsh, but she was. She never learned to relate to ordinary working people. Her world was all material. She actually turned her nose up to anyone or anything that did not say "money."   She grew up with the best of everything. Her father owned race horses, and a trip to the nearest city, was fancy hotels of that era. Then just as my mother was about to head to college, my grandfather lost all his money in bad investments. Her world came crashing down!

Today, as I looked at pictures! for the first time in my life! I felt sorrier for her than for me. All the years I lived with the hurt and pain of rejection and not being good enough for her, I never even wondered about her. Even the last years of her life, I was not thinking of her....only me. Today, after all these years, I feel so bad that I didn't understand sooner. Even though I forgave her, I have carried all that with me. I will always regret I didn't understand Mother, I am so sorry. I know you can't hear me now, but I know you were a sad woman all your life. I know you needed perfection in everything, and I know I misjudged you. You carried your own scars and hurts, and I know we would have never been normal Mother and daughter, but I could have tried to love you, and understand. Today I shed tears for you, and I am grateful to Jesus that He took me through this process lasting years. Now I lay it all at the foot of the cross once and for ever. Rest in peace Mother, I am at peace.