Another year gone, and May is here with Mother’s Day knocking on my door. Time to mourn the fact that I am not a mom…or so I thought. I searched through my blogs and found last year’s ode to the very subject. Surprisingly, I did not cry when I read it. What’s happened to me?
Last year after I posted the poem, then subsequently went dark on social media, I came back to find numerous online comments. I was touched by the response. They reminded me that while I don’t have children, I do have a family. In the ensuing months since that fateful day, I have had lots of time to re-think my thoughts on the subject. I found that my life, although sometimes lonely, is abundantly filled with family.
Who is my family?
I have a husband who is truly my best friend, love of my life, supporter of my dreams and, in fact, a big kid. He likes lots of presents, especially for his birthday and Christmas!
My mom and dad, who although are my adoptive parents, they love me no different than if they had given life to me themselves. They are always there for me even though they are getting on in years. Our roles are starting to change now, but we will always be family.
I have one older brother and a sister-in-law on my side, and three sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law on my husband’s side. I barely speak to any of them…but not because we are estranged, but more like the fact that we live far apart and lead busy lives. I love them, and even though we are not as close as I would like, they will always be mine.
My early years brought me a dear friend whom I have since lost touch with, but she had three kids that I adore. One is my amazing godchild who is now all grown-up with a family of her own. We have reacquainted ourselves through social media and I am forever grateful that she shares her life with me through the pictures she posts.
College gave me a wonderful gift…friends who are more than just friends…they are my “sisters.” I love them like no other. And while I may not be as close to all of them, I know I can count on every one to be there if I call. One sister in particular, my “big sis”, has shared her life with me, children and all, and I am looked upon as not just a friend, but an “Aunt.” I love them all so much!
After I married and moved away, I drifted in and out of the lives of many people. I’ve had numerous jobs over the years; working with colleagues who had small children that I bonded with, but only for a short while. I am not proud to admit this, but the truth is that I strategically walked away from those jobs because of my own deep sorrow of not having my own children. Every day I would watch them with their kids knowing that I would never have moments like they were having, especially Mother’s Day. My heart could not take it, so I just left.
Several years ago, I worked for someone who really got me. She became my mentor and helped me more than anyone before. She believed in my writing and nurtured a dim flame within my soul. When she became a mom, my first instinct was to flee, but I stopped myself because the overwhelming sadness that usually happened was not there like it had been in the past. I guess my heart was finally healing. Today, we don’t work together, but I look forward to seeing her and her two adorable children whenever possible!
Through social media, I have been given the opportunity to add new members to my family, and reconnect with some others that I have not seen in a long while. By participating in writing groups and other online pages that interest me, I have met numerous people across the country. Some are closer than others, but we are all family nonetheless.
I can count on all of them for laughs, wisdom, a shoulder to cry on, encouragement and love. In turn, I offer the same and in one particular case, I mentor a young writer who I have seen blossom in the last several years. What she may not know is that she has given me the confidence and instilled a bravery within me in order to develop my own writing even further. She is an amazing young woman and I am blessed to have her in my family.
So what’s different now?
It has taken me a long while to reconcile myself to the fact that I am not the mom I thought I would be. My whole life I dreamed of having a family. It was important to me to carry on the tradition. When I married and moved away, and the family I longed for never came, my dreams were crushed and a part of me died.
Last year’s responses to the Mother’s Day “I am Not a Mom” poem redirected my thoughts on family, realizing that they come in all types and styles. While I may have longed for one in the traditional sense of the word, when I truly stopped to examine my life, I found that I actually had the family that I always wanted. I just didn’t see it. My heart is now alive. Traditions will always be important to me; but when it comes to being a mom, I like being an unconventional one.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of us Moms, both traditional and non. Let’s take the time to put our feet up, relax and enjoy this beautiful weekend that was meant just for us.