My mother is an extraordinary woman. She is a classic bleeding heart. When she gets angry, she cries, a trait she has sadly passed along to me. When she gets sad, she eats and drinks and takes drugs like an addict, a trait I did not inherit though sometimes I over consume. When people have a need, she graciously meets it no matter the cost, something I have never forgotten. I miss her a lot now that I don’t see her. I miss her being close when I need someone I can depend on. Yeah, she’s forgetful, but if remind her that she said she’d help she will.
In an argument with my mother in law, I needed to leave the situation. It always worries her when I do that because she has an estranged son and daughter-in-law. On my way out, I told her that I would be back, but I needed to leave right now. I am my mother’s daughter, I told her, I’ll be back. I am the daughter of a woman who was raped repeatedly by her father-in-law and who’s mother did nothing to stop it. I am the daughter of a woman who put aside her past and let her daughter get to know her grandparents on her terms. And I loved them.
When my mother-in-law is supposed to babysit and calls to cancel even though I tell her it’s an emergency (my friend tried to commit suicide) and she says that she has an errand to run that doesn’t need to be finished for months, but that she wants to get it off her mind, I miss my mom. I wouldn’t have to ask twice. My mom would be there for me. I wouldn’t even have to tell her it’s an emergency. She would be there for me.
My mother raised me to believe that sacrifice and giving are the number one priorities in our faith and our lives. She is the woman invites alcoholics to live with her because they need it. My mom is a woman who let’s her friend live with her and sleep in her bed because they are injured. Yes, she has boundary issues, but it’s because her generosity clouds her vision. I am my mother’s daughter, erratic, emotional, a bleeding heart. I only hope that I have her wild generosity and that I can pass that on.