In my life, motherhood has meant many things. I was given to my mother a couple of weeks after birth by my natural mother. I found out when I was 10 years old, but never let on because I didn’t want to hurt my mother. She was a very sentimental, timid woman who had lived a very hard life. Even at my young age, she had talked of losing her mother while still a toddler and her father at 13. By then her brothers and sisters had gone off to the city and she was taken in and cared for by a generous white family. At 18, she ventured off to the city herself; only to have her dreams dashed with the loss of two sets of twins. After marrying, she was shot by an AWOL soldier during WWII. She still managed to have a son in 1945. Her husband had very little education and saw marriage as the house, clean clothes, warm food and a place to leave money each week. She died when I was 18 of cancer. She was the kindest person I ever knew.
My natural mother’s life was not any better. She had seven children which I’m sure is what kept her in worse circumstances. She developed diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, also at last dying of cancer. Most of these conditions, my oldest brother and I have inherited. I once spoke to my younger sister and found she was mad with our mother because she gave me away. I found it hard to believe my sister was mad and I wasn’t. So I wrote to our mother to let her know all the things I had done in my life and how it had been possible because she did one of the most difficult things any mother could do; give her baby away. I told her I knew she did it so that I might have a better life and that it had worked.
As a mother, some of us are exceptional at it and others are horrible. Sometimes each of us is exceptional and horrible. But most of us try our best. I am blessed because I had two mothers try their best for me. I have three children. I worry about their presents and their futures. The world is a scarier place these days and there seems so much more to do. It’s amazing how many people just let the door go on a pregnant woman or a woman with a stroller. Raising children is not menial or easy and keeping your sanity while doing it is hard. I have always had two mother’s prayers. The first is that I don’t outlive my children. The second is that I don’t mess them up so badly, they can’t fix it. I think I’ll add a third; that everybody find a way, to help a mom a little each day. I believe it will improve a child’s life!
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