Since today is Mother’s Day I have been thinking a great deal about family, parents in particular.
A dear friend of mine recently lost her mother, and the loss she has experienced seems completely overwhelming and indescribable. Seeing what she is going through got me wondering about mother/daughter relationships. Recalling what my parents went through when the lost their mothers was a sobering experience, despite the years removed from those losses. Any parent/child relationship is going to be different and unique, even among siblings and their parents. The capacity to love is something that words really can never truly express adequately.
I have heard that mothers love their child before they even give birth, while fathers don’t feel the same connection until the child is actually born. Obviously, the child as an infant needs the parent, and the bond that needs to form is delicate and amazing to watch. As childhood passes, it seems to change and grow with the child needing the parent less and less, so they think. It seems once the parent is sick, or has passed, the need for the parent/child bond becomes more evident and the loss can be shattering to the spirit.
The closest I came to learning how devastating losing a parent could potentially be was in 2005 when my father had a quadruple bypass. He recovered and has been okay since, but the time we waited from December 2004 until his surgery in early January 2005 gave me time to think about what could go wrong. The day of his surgery was a blur, I seemed to live it but somehow not really feel it. Time that day did not move, and it was one of the longest days of my life. I still remember the numb feeling of seeing my father intubated, and post-op. It will never rank as a memory I want to maintain, since the fear became all to real. It is a close as I ever want to come for a very long time and has made me appreciate every moment.
For as much as a parent can drive a child crazy when the teenage years start and beyond, and vice versa, it seems one is never truly a grown up. I don’t truly believe we fill that “grown-up” roll until our parents are gone. Despite living a life of our own, needing a parent never quite seems to end.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!