By Rosalba Stocco, MSW, RSW
Like many others, I had a difficult relationship with both my parents. Yet Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were always opportunities to heal, I never really gave up on connecting and bonding with Mom and Dad although I was quite angry with both of them. I am sure they were equally frustrated with me.
One Mother’s Day, my adult siblings and I decided to surprise Mom with a family ring. It meant showing up uninvited to her house. She surprised us by not being home. We were so disappointed and angry that she could not stay home to receive us when we SOO WANTED to give her something special. We wanted to feel like a family. We wanted to let her know that we wanted to belong to her. A family ring was and still is a perfect reminder of her connection with us. How could she not want us to celebrate Mother’s Day with her?
As my body relaxes and new insights emerge. I chuckle at my own lack of understanding.
I stop and take the time to think about what my Mother may have wanted at this time in her life. Who was she? She was a 52-year-old mother of 5 adult children and a 10-year-old. She had 8 grandchildren with one older and two the same age as her youngest. She was accustomed to working night shifts so that she could be home for her son. Her husband, our Father, was hopeless around the house.
Now imagine being invaded on your day off by 8 grandchildren and 8 adults in a house that was less 900 square feet. Mom would have prepared the coffee and took out the cookies afterward. Naturally, she had the clean up too!
With 20/20 hindsight, I see that our surprise was considerably short-sighted.
A day at the spa would have made a better gift even though she likely would have said that was frivolous. A most appreciative gift would have been tea and lemon meringue pie at a family restaurant where there would have been no clean up before or after our visit.
Connection to my mother starts with me. This understanding so many years after the fact is a most surprising and enlightening Mother’s Day gift to myself!
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To learn more about reclaiming the love stories of our families and gaining a new perspective on what love truly means, stay tuned for Rosalba’s and Jacqueline’s new book Love Stories of our Families.
Rosalba helps individuals, couples, and families heal and live a more productive, harmonious life. To book an appointment or to find out more about how Systemic Family Constellations therapy can help you, reach out today. You can call or fill out the contact form.