Growing up as the oldest of four, I always got the shit end of the stick.
If my mom was stressed I heard it first.
If something wasn’t done, it was my fault.
If things were not how they should be, she’d question me.
I watched my mom struggle her entire life and to me, she was my hero.
I admired her for going through so much and never giving up.
However I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I was the cause for all of it.
Maybe had my father succeeded in drowning me at age five, had her life been so much easier?
As I got older it only got worse, if my sister acted up or my brother’s cried…
Some how I got yelled at.
I got told…
“I’m so tired of this, why don’t you guys listen. One of these days I’m going to be gone and you will all regret not appreciating me!!!”
I learned with time to just stay quite, I’d let her vent and just listened.
However, deep down inside I would hurt for her.
I would hurt because I knew life was hard for her and I could see how life would try to push her down and defeat her all the time, and there was nothing I could do to fix it.
I knew it wasn’t us, it was life that had just been so unfair to her.
Yet I wanted to yell back so many times saying,
“Can you shut the hell up!!! I do appreciate you, you have no idea how much! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t want to be better then I am, and strive to have more then I’ve ever had.”
But I would just stay quite.
Sometimes we would fight over the stupidest things…
Seriously dumb, dumb, random stuff.
I’d come home and if she was stressed out she’d vent to me.
She’d yell, kick me out, told me when are you going to leave your too old to be living here with me.
To me then it sounded like blaming, and it cofused me because I couldn’t understand how it was my fault?
But later I saw they were cries of help, cries of help to me her oldest daughter and friend.
As I got older and after high school we learned to stress together, to vent but not attack each other, to scream, cry or sing if we wanted to let it out, but to not let it out on each other.
We learned to recognize the team we had always been.
However there was something I just couldn’t get her to do, and that was show emotion.
She rarely told me…
“I’m proud of you”
“You’re doing great”
“I love you”
Until she got diagnosed.
When she was diagnosed is when my mom learned how much I loved her and admired her.
My mom saw that I was never against her, but that I was with her.
She began to slowly apologize for being so hard on me, and for taking me for “granted.”
But what she didn’t know is how much more I appreciated her for all of it.
I wouldn’t be who I am today if she hadn’t pushed me to be strong.
Unfortunately I still felt disappointed in myself.
I had this plan my whole life and it wasn’t following through.
I hadn’t finish school yet, I didn’t have my career job yet, I wasn’t super wealthy, I couldn’t find the best doctors to treat her, I couldn’t grant her final wishes, I couldn’t take her to travel the world and see places she had always desired to see.
I felt as if God was taking her from me without letting me make her proud, without letting me repay her for all the hard times she lived just to raise me.
I felt like a failure.
I just needed her to see me graduate, to see me succeed, I NEEDED to make her proud.
Today my mom’s friend called me.
I had not spoken to him since my mom passed away, a year ago.
He wanted to see how I was doing and then told me…
“I have to tell you, your mom told me you were her treasure. That she admired you so much and was so proud of you and your kind heart. She told me, “Even when I yell at her, or take out my stress on her she doesn’t give up on me. I know she loves me and will stick through this right by my side.”
I began to cry, but tears of joy.
Tears of joy because I was grateful to know that even though we didn’t make it to Ireland or a tropical place, and I didn’t exactly get to “repay” her for all she had done for me…
She was proud of me.
She was truly proud of me.
And that let me know, I had succeeded as her daughter.