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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Sadness in My Mothers Eyes

I am now as old as my mom was when she passed away.  I loved her so much all of my life and still do. It shames me to say that just today I realized something about my mom that has never occurred to me before.  My mom was lonely.  She was left to raise three young children when my father disappeared when I was eight years old; never to be seen or heard from again. She spent most of her life alone with three children.  
My sisters were one and two years old when my father left so for many years we children were mom’s entire family and human interaction. We lived in the country and didn’t have a car so we spent most of our time just being at home, doing the necessary chores and reading or just sitting.  I was sixteen before we even had television so there was not much in the way of entertainment for any of us.   The girls and I would go off to school each day and then she was home alone.  I realized today that even when we were there she was still alone. 
We had one aunt who came to visit but never on a regular basis.  Mom’s brothers would stop by once in a while and we worked in the fields with other people but there was never an adult that made the effort to spend time visiting and talking to her.  She had it so hard living with the poverty and loneliness yet I never heard a word of complaint from her in all the years I spent with her. 
When I stopped to think about her today I remembered so well the loneliness I saw in my mom all of those years yet I never really understood why it was there.  I can picture her as she often sat and looked off into the distance with a very far away look in her eyes.  I remember asking her during those times what she was thinking about and receiving the normal answer, “Oh nothing”.  It is very strange to me that I have never before thought about or realized how much of her daily life she spent being so alone.  It never occurred to me how much she must have longed for some type of adult companionship during all of those years.  Not romance or love, just companionship; just some adult to sit and talk with.
She was proud and stubborn so she never went looking for companionship and the few times it came looking for her, she refused it.  She still loved my father; regardless of what he had done to us. It is only in retrospect that I can look back now with age and experience and see the sadness and loneliness she lived with so much of her life. Just the lack of some kind of adult companionship must have been so hard. It makes me so sad to realize she had such a human need that went so unfulfilled for so many years.
There was nothing I could have done for my mom even had I realized her loneliness at the time.  I did try to be a good son and help every way I could but I can see now that I just couldn't provide what she really needed in her life simply because I was a child and her son. We were very close all of my life but I could never be the other person that would have been so much comfort to her.  She needed some one to just sit and talk to, just another adult to spend time with. 
It makes me sad to realize that today there are individuals all over the world who still need today what my mom lacked all of those years ago and to realize that I still can not do much to help.  I am so grateful for the wonderful relationship I have with my wife Julie and all the time we spend just being together.

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