Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Part I

Most people only have one mom. I had numerous. Today I want to pay tribute to one of them.

My biological mother doesn't get much credit for raising me. Based on the traditional standards, my mom didn't do so well. I think it is only fair to give her some credit.

My mom, given the name of Rose was born to a family that loved her, but a family that was strict. My Grandmother imposed super strict rules on my mother, and was very controlling. As my Grandmother went blind, she only got meaner.

To make things even worse, my grandfather who adopted my mother, sexually abused her. My mom never revealed any of this to me until after my grandfather passed.

My mother married early at the age of 18. She married February 17th, 1972. Her first husband, my father, died the next October of a heart attack. I was born on what should have been the my parent's first anniversary.

My mother married a 2nd time. My mom had my brother and sister by this guy. In short the guy was a loser. My earliest childhood memories are of him beating my mother. He beat her so bad she got dentures to replace all the teeth he knocked out. She was strong enough to load us into the Pinto and drive us from Oklahoma to California.

Somewhere in all this my mother developed a need for drugs. Even though she was strong enough to escape this bad guy, except for one great man, she never could maintain relationships, most of these relationships ended because of the addiction to narcotics.

So with that background, my mom taught me survival. I really don't know how she is still alive. She isn't in the best shape, but she still fights every day. She fought to get her children back from the State of California after she was incarcerated early in my life. My mom taught me love, she never judged, she was supportive verbally of what ever I did. She trusted me, and because of that trust, I felt I was responsible for doing the right things. She also taught me the value of education. It took her longer than most people to get her schooling done, but she eventually went on to get her nursing license and worked very hard and then came home to raise three kids on her own and take care of my dying grandfather.

So this Mother's Day, I say thanks Mom, I know you don't count yourself as a success, but I think you tried, and I love you for that!

This picture of my mom was from the day I came home from my mission. I was not expecting her to be there. It was a great surprise. It is the only picture I own of her.


mommyofthree said...

Very moving. I love and hate such stories...both inspiring and disheartening at the same time. I'm sure your biological mother appreciates your ability to see her as a person and not an offender. Maybe you inherited your resiliency from her--enhanced with support from other caring individuals.

Michal said...

that story was so poignant. it makes me sad to think that this is the only picture you own of her, partly because that means that your happy memories and occasions with her were not numerous. i know that she loves you very much--she wasn't willing to give you up to the state permanently.

i also think that you are so remarkable, in that you are a product of such a rocky, unstable environment and yet have been able to give your children a safe and secure home. i know that it is largely due to having the gospel in your life now, but it also speaks to your desire to not repeat the mistakes of the previous generation.