Definition of mother
What is a mother? According to Websters dictionary a mother is a (transitive verb) 1 a: to give birth to b: to give raise to : PRODUCE 2: to care for or protect like a mother. Welp; at least one out of three is something I guess. I am so conflicted about this day as a daughter but not as a mother. While my mother gave birth to me; she didn’t raise or protect me growing up and are relationship was strain up until the year before she die. As I sit here relishing and basking in the glory of being a mom and not the day. I can’t help but wonder why my mom didn’t have the same sentiment as I do. There is always something so special when I hear my children call me ” Mom, mommy or mama”. I am always filled with joy and endearment instantly . They are not a burden but a joy to raise; no matter how hard it is as a single parent.
This is the first year that my son was able to buy me my first Mothers day present and oh how he did it big ! lol. He was so excited to spend all his hard on money on me. He couldn’t wait until Mother’s day to give it to me so I opened it up two days before. I open the bag to only reveal a laptop meant for my writing. Microsoft word, a dozen beautiful yellow roses and 4 bottles of my favorite favorite perfume too.My birthday is on the 20th so he combined the gifts. I sat there feeling so appreciated and well loved. Not by the gift he purchased but by the mere thought. The fact that he thought highly enough of me to spend his hard earned money all on me at eighteen.
I have been a single mother for the past eighteen years and this was the very first mothers day gift I received from anyone. When they were younger I got the school hand print poems and pictures but not an actually gift of appreciation from their father or my parents. I remember crying every year. This is the first year that I cried tears of joy. I finally felt acknowledged for all the hard work, effort, sacrifice and more by someone or someones. What is so conflicting to me is on the heel of the day I didn’t even think about the fact that my mom was dead. I didn’t cry that I had no mother to appreciate and adorn with beautiful gifts like my son did for me. I felt bad that not once did I reflect on the relationship we had because we didn’t have one in all honesty.
I recall thinking to myself four days before to make sure that I would remember her on her day. After all I was birth through her womb and not mine. I also told myself that it is okay to cry if I needed to but nope that was a no go!! I virtually forgot to think about her unless I forced myself too. See my mother left my abusive father and took us with her to California. Without going in to great detail ( because I never get the true version of the story) She sent myself and my sister back to my abusive father while she moved on with a new man , a new life and with my step brother. Along the way she gave him up to the state as well. I don’t know the details to that back story either but nevertheless she was a free women without the burden of children tied to her hips.
What is crazy as I think back now is; I never questioned my father where she was or did I even have a mom. My mind has been protecting me since I can remember ( At least I think it does) . However; one fine day My father decided that it was high time I meet the women that birthed me. Before that I thought I was fine without knowing her but my body was growing at the speed of lighting and mature body for the age of ten was to much for my father to bare. He said that it was time I meet my mother and that little girls needed their moms at this tender age. As a mother of a beautiful daughter I can understand why he felt that way but the way that he introduced her to me was vile and unacceptable if you ask me.
One day he passed me the rotatory phone receiver and gently said ” Here speak to your mother ” Crystal” . I was like; ” Who is that”? When I reached for the receiver I heard a clear strong voice on the other end and she said ” Hi My name is Crystal King; I am your mother. I can’t recall all of the conversation or how I felt exactly but I do remember how she hyped up California , going to Wild adventures and Disney World instead of explaining who she was, where she had been all my life, why is she here now and what was the plan for us. As the call ended I was more excited by the aspect of traveling, seeing Wild Adventures and Disney World but not her. She had my sold on the fun but not sold me on how she was. I was still left unsure of the strong voice behind the phone but I was excited nevertheless.
I guess as parents they discussed the the ends and out of my sister and I meeting her for the first time. I was made aware on labor day school break we would fly alone and land at LAX airport in California for a weekend. Now; mind you; I never met this women in my life. I never thought about how much clothes he sent us with until I landed there and I found out the reason why. All I could think about was the last words my father said to me before we got on the plane. ” Punch that bitch in the face and oh yeah; she looks just like you” he said and I never understood the anger or bass behind his voice until now. He was mad at my mother for leaving us and for him struggling raising two kids on his own. Just like I am doing now. As I got off the plane I started to look for the women that looked just like me but that was hard because I never really looked at myself in that way.
She found me and my sister and greeted us with a strange man named Richard King .Which was her current Husband. She smiled and and the first thing she said to me was ” Hi Kidada; I am your mom “Crystal” and this is my husband Richard King”. She went on to say ” I’ve known him longer than you and if I have to choose between him and you ; you will be the first to leave”. Oh punching her in the face never sounded so good after she said that. As we exited the airport She lighten up and started talking causally about the Palm trees and the beauty of California. As we got closer to our destination she dropped the real bomb on us. You are living here now she said as she turned and looked me in the eyes in the back seat. Then she said You can no longer call your father unless I tell you you can. Oh my God I cried instantly.
She ordered me to call her ” mommy dearest” . Not until I saw that movie did I get the reference. To make a long story short I didn’t live with her more than three years max. In between her kicking me out on the street, placing me in a foster home or two and finally in the end i became the ward of the state of Florida Just like my step Bother. We never got a chance to learn each other, bond or establish a good mother and daughter relationship before I headed back to Boston with my dad . My sister wound up staying with her after I left. The next time I had contact with her I was a twenty – six year old pregnant adult. I was carrying my first child. I remember constipating calling her to tell her the news. Plus I wanted and need her during this big event in my life. However I was not met with a warm reception on the other in of the phone. She told me I should have an abortion and that ” Now you are another black statistic” she said. Another black women without a father. I hung up the phone and started crying.
I felt so betrayed and belittled. Just because that is what she choose to do ; didn’t mean I would follow suit. The next time I talked to her again I was in my thirties so she could meet the child she told me to abort. The crazy shit is I cried my ass off when I got off the bus when I saw her. I cried like a baby. I just needed her in my life so bad.That trip was amazing . I didn’t see her for ten more years after that until my son was eleven years old and she came here to my home town on my turf. The moment she got disrespectful, I left her in the motel and never looked back. In between the next few years we corresponded via Email. I was happy with loving her from a distant at this point because that is how she made it. Towards the end of her life three years ago we were starting to talk more. The crazy thing is one year she brought me a gift on my Birthday and a beautiful bracelet before that. She was not one to do that. I remember saying ” She may be dying or something is horribly wrong because I was not use to her kindness and two months later she was dead.
I remember something she always said. ” Some women are meant to be mothers and others are not; and I am not one of them” she said. Wow, just wow I remember thinking. What a thing to say to your baby daughter. Out of all four of her kids she took care of the last child she had from Richard King her Husband. I believe that she was older now and she really loved his dad; so raising him was a wanted and a delightful experience for both of them. I can’t say that I ever was jealous but I felt slighted for sure. However, I was glad someone got a chance to get know the beautiful soul that she truly was. The first two years after she died; Mothers day brought tears to my eyes. not for the reason that you think but because I never got a chance to know and love the women that carried me in her womb for 9 month . I cried for all the hugs and forehead kisses I never received. I cried about not having established a relationship with her. I cried because she never touched me in an endearing manner, told me she loved me growing up or made me feel loved either.
I cried over all the moments we missed, all the conversations we never had and I miss that fact that I never laid on her lap and felt her hands in my hair . I cried over everything I missed and never will get a chance to try again because of her present death status. As a mom I promised that I would never be a mom like her. She did the best she could with what she had and I was and still am no longer upset with her. I am now a new improved version of my mother. I tell my kids I loved them every chance I get. I stroke their hair and tell them I am proud of them. I am very connected with my kids emotionally, physically and mentally. I talk to my children like little people from day one and I still do. I make sure to be a very involved parent with not one but two of my beautiful souls. I created an amazing bond with both kids. I love passing down my knowledge in a certain area down to my daughter like skin care, hair care , make up tips , tips on boys, school, self esteem issue and more. I love doing her hair, listening to her stories, music and more . I love her like no other and I love him like no other too!
Why was I not in a position to be loved by my mother in the way that I love my two beloveds. Why was I so miss treated, ill treated and discarded like trash by my mother? All I wanted was to be love, protected, cared for, given forehead kisses and told how blessed SHE is to be MY mommy like I tell my kids daily! I missed out on something that should have been as natural as breathing but that was not the hand that life deal me. So on this mothers day I acknowledge that I have a very beautiful mother who was a kind and loving to many including my brother. She touched many lives even if she didn’t make a dent in mine. I know that she loved me in her own way. I know that she was not a bad person . She just didn’t want to be a mother at the point that she had me. Such is life. So when other people are all choked up and full of tears about losing their mother; I am not. When this day rolls around I find another new reason to love the women I called ” Mother dearest” in private; that never loved me openly or at least expressed it openly to me . I have no hate in my heart for her. I just wish I was a priority in her life and not merely an option.