Thursday, April 8, 2010

Forgiving my Mother

I was talking with a couple of my nephews - we had a quick and informal get together - and I asked Ben (who looks a bit like his dad in this photo)

if he had forgiven his mother (for being really mad at him for something he said) and he laughed and said, "I forgave her when I was 25."

My other nephew, Leo,

laughed and said. "Maybe I'll forgive mine when I'm 55."

We all laughed and I thought to myself it may be a measure of your parenting......the sooner your kids forgive you the better the parent you were.

Then I realized that I was about to turn 55 and I still hadn't forgiven my mother. Not really.


So the morning of my 55th birthday, before I got up, I said, aloud, "I forgive you mom."

How could I not forgive such a cute little kid?

Granted there was some water under the bridge between this adorable little girl and me turning 55, but forgiveness needed to be offered nonetheless.

My mom had a massive stroke before my kids were born. We had a moment before she died, when I was sitting in her room with her. She cried; she couldn't talk very well by then, and I said, "I know Mom. it's okay." And it was.

But still, I harbored unforgive-ness.

One time Ananda Girl wrote something about really liking my mom, and I went into some sort of weirdness. Like maybe I couldn't really trust Ananda Girl (which is of course rubbish!). I was shocked at the strength of my emotional response.

Still a hot button issue after all these years.

So I am working on forgiving my mom.

I have a couple of pictures of her around the house, before she was a mother. She seemed to be happy and carefree.

Never a thought in her mind of resenting an unwanted child.......

If any of you have any suggestions to help me forgive my mother for once and for all, please feel free to share them!


  1. Sorry about that,babe. I know you had those feelings. (I have father issues, as you well know.) I should have been more sensitive.

    But, remember, I was not your mom's daughter and she did not raise me. She was a person who was nice to me. A HUGE difference. Forgiveness is not easy and not simple when hurt runs so deep. I'm glad for you that you are getting there.

    OM! Your nephews look soooo much like your brother! What a hoot to see them as grown ups! Thanks for the photos.

    You know I love you like a fat kid loves cake!

  2. I was told once that having forgiveness in yourself is the first step to forgiving other's.. Whether that makes sense or not to you.. but it did to me.. But like you I still harbour resentment and anger towards my mother..I figured there wasn't enough forgiveness in me to let certain things go.. Maybe one day I can.. I know I am capable of forgiveness.

  3. It is hard to give advice with these things because they are so personal, but forgiveness, as hard as it may be, is soooo important. And a beautiful thing. But it can be a process, not a light you can just flick on...

    And lovely photos of the family as well!!!!

  4. as the zen guys say, there is no past and there is no future, only the present.

    being mad at your mother eats away at your soul not hers.

  5. ananda - oh, i know you meant nothing other than you liked my mother - which is of course a good thing! thanks for the thanks on the photos - it is fun to share my life in pictures! i love you, too!

    mrs. hairy - that makes sense - the self forgivenss thing - i have been upset with myself a lot. i am being a bit gentler on myself, so maybe that's helping me deal with mother....i think we are both capable of forgiveness! thanks so much for sharing!

    Sebastien - there you go! a process! i knew that ! thank you so much!

    billy - i know there is only the present - time is a trick to keep us here for now.....and right you are about the eating away at my soul...thank you!

  6. Love the photos!

    I guess my advice would be that you should look at the person you have become. Look at your life, your accomplishments, the beauty and wonder all around you. Then remember that your mother had a role in this, good or bad...she is part of why you are who you are. Forgive her, because you are a wonderful person and you shouldn't carry that burden any longer.

  7. laura - thank you! my life is wonderful - when i step back and look at it! i forgive her! as i have daily since my birthday. things are looking up!

  8. forgiveness is not forgetting. you can remember and have it teach you, but still forgive.

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  10. Sounds like you've already got it worked out.
    I was going to say the non-forgiveness is a burden that you and only you can choose to stop carrying around. Choice is a powerful thing.

  11. Pamela - yeah, forgetting is pretty hard (actually so is forgiveness!) learning is kinda hard for me, too .... but i really have forgiven her, again. it's been a good, very good, process.

    texla - choice is a powerful thing! right you are! - and remembering to chose, daily, to embrace life, rather than the alternative, is my current choice. thanks for chiming in!

    birlygurl - welcome! i'm sad i didn't get to see what you said (i think!) feel free to comment any time!