February 15, 2024

Love Never Dies—Even when we Want it To.

No one was more surprised than me.

I was speaking to a friend on the phone about a guy I used to date, and I mentioned that my mother had loved him. She loved him because he would indulge her flirtations.

That’s what she did: she flirted with my boyfriends.

They’d come over to pick me up when I was in high school or home from college, and much to my embarrassment and disgust, she would greet them at the door. A warm and coquettish smile, pink glossy lips, bright blue eyes, blonde hair, and a low-cut blouse. Of course a low cut blouse…She was incredibly proud of her massive breasts—which I did not inherit and which she often chided me about when claiming that I had a figure like a boy.

To put it bluntly, my mother was a hardship for me in ways too numerous to count.

That said, when I was talking to my friend and describing my mother, I was honest about how beautiful she was in terms of her looks. Her outward beauty had nothing to do with how she treated me of course, or our toxic relationship. The simple fact was that she was a physically stunning woman. That’s how I always saw her, and since she always had men falling all over her, I suspect it was true.

As I described her pale blonde hair, her perpetual updo, jewelry, makeup, and perfume, I started to cry. In my mind, I saw her captivating green eyes and heard her throaty, full laugh. And I felt a longing well up inside of me for my mother. The emotion was palpable, it was that strong.

Who would ever have guessed?

My relationship with my mother had always been deeply unhealthy, both emotionally and sometimes physically. But here I was crying with a deep longing for this same woman, who had passed seven years prior. Sure, part of it was me pining for a mother—any mother, since the idea of a mom is something every child needs.

But beyond that, I longed for my specific mother. The woman who shredded my self-esteem, criticized me like it was sport, and made me cry on a consistent basis. I longed for her.

I guess love never dies. Despite everything, she was my mother and I loved her with all that I was.

Did my heart have a choice? To this day, I don’t know. I do know that it was my complete love of her that gave her so much power. Love opened my heart, tore down my protective walls, and invited my mother to live there deep inside. So even though she was all wrong, my love was all right.

It was not only right but everlasting, so even now, many years after she is gone, I feel it.

The tears I shed today did dry, but the sadness crept back in. Sadness that she never let me in, and seemingly never celebrated or even felt how much I loved her. Did she love me? I have no idea. What I do know is that I have wanted my love for her to die, and to obliterate that wish for what never was.

But instead, my heart is still filled with love for her. So I felt it today, and I sat with it for a change, instead of trying to rush it away. It’s still love—my love—and I want that to fill my heart no matter how hard it might be.


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