A Reflection…

Lately, I am reminded of a poem by Rudy Francisco;
“My mother wears her wrinkles
The way an ocean wears a wave
She is the only body of water
To refuse my drowning”
I think about the last two lines of this poem a lot whenever I think of the differences between my mother and I.
She, a quiet and gentle woman, who loves to laugh and to please everyone. Then there’s me.
Bold, outspoken, my laugh sounds more like a cackle rather than anything decent and I am not moved by anyone’s opinion(s) of me.

I think about how I don’t know my mother very much because she never had the chance to raise me. I feel like there will always be a distance in our relationship that will always have us feeling like mismatched pieces of a puzzle at times. Our love is an awkward infusion of biology and what is right. There are days when I feel her refusing my drowning then there are days when I wonder if she knows how her circumstances eventually caused me to drown in my emotions for so many years. I even go as far as asking myself if she ever wanted children or perhaps she was just a victim of circumstances; an insignificant part of a society that didn’t allow women the freedom of choice.
I ask myself this because of a conversation I once had with my mother about how she almost became a teacher but she disliked children so much that she quit after a day.

Our relationship is more amiable than passionate, there are no warm hugs or kisses when we see each other after a long absence. I watch her with my daughter, I can see that she’s trying her best to show her affection and to kiss her at every chance that she gets. She is cracking the shell and getting out of her comfort zone. Sometimes, she looks at me with remorse filled eyes, as if to apologise for a warmth she was never around to give to me. Our silence is filled with understanding and regret, as if to bridge the gap that snapped when she gave birth to me.

I wonder if she envies the kind of mother that I get to be. Does she ever wish that life had allowed us to cuddle and take naps together the way my daughter and I do? I once read an article that emphasised the need for children to be nurtured by their mothers, how disrupting that mother-to-child bond could lead to detrimental behavioural challenges for the child at a later stage. A lot of things that I’ve grappled with in my life made sense that day. I remember how showing people that I love them used to scare me so much because it was something that I never experienced, if I did it was never from my mother in a physical form; we simply lack the familiarity to formulate a love language. I have always known that she loves me dearly but in theory and to feel that love manifested physically through her warm arms around me is still something I am yet to experience.

I sit and wonder what poems my daughter will think of when she remembers me.
Will she tell those that care to listen about how I was the only body of water that refused her drowning daily? Will she embrace love and share it openly because I taught her how to love herself fiercely first so that when they come into her life they know exactly what she expects?
So, today and every other day, I pray that we never have to fill the gaps between us with awkward apologies.

2 thoughts on “A Reflection…

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