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Mother and Daughter - Abstract Painting by Marie Jamieson

Abstract Painting – Mother and Daughter – Ink on Heavy Paper
By Marie Jamieson

On this day in the United States and in some countries around the world, as we honor our mothers, I have to admit that mothers can be complicated. Happy the woman who has a loving relationship with her mother! I did once…before our thirty-year separation.

My mother migrated to the United States. I stayed behind in Guyana, got married, became a mother of two, and later migrated to Brazil. My mother and I became different individuals. Our values and priorities in life diverged.

A mother and her firstborn had become strangers to each other.

Motherhood changes us. We nurture. We learn. We grow. We mature. We wither. We die a million deaths. We are re-born a new woman.

I no longer walked in my mother’s shadow. I no longer gave in to her demands.

“You’re not my daughter,” she yelled, on our last encounter, slamming the door of her apartment in my face.

Her expectations and demands had severed the bond between us.

In my own struggle to maintain control of my life, I learned to let go of control over my sons’ lives. As a mother who had raised them on my own, this did not come easy. But the more my mother tried to enforce her way or demands, the more I came to realize that I had not fallen far from the foot of the tree that had given me life.

Mothers can be complicated. They have their disappointments and pain. We learn to accept them as they are, but should not allow them to destroy our lives.

As I celebrate Mother’s Day with my sons and daughter-in-law, it’s sad that my mother will not be present to share our joy.