In the last five years, our relationship has been many things: fierce, devoted, fractious and corroded by sorrow and loss. It's nice to be in a healthy relationship, suddenly, with my mother. We agree. Together, we look forward to spring.
This woman looks like my mother. She sounds like my mother. She smells like my mother. There is that visceral feeling when I hug her, that I am hugging the woman I came from, the woman of whom I am a piece, a rib. But each time she opens her mouth, I find that she is just an echo.
I discovered the prevalence of midlife women still chained to the shadow of a toxic mother. When that woman spends years pecking at, rather than building her daughter's sense of security in the world, psychic scars result.
My mother died on January 5, 2010. She was 101 years old. Our long association had been troubled from the time of my birth, and throughout my life, I'd found it challenging to choose cards for Mother's Day. So many expressed a gratitude and devotion I couldn't feel.