A Mother’s Story

    Last week, my mother told her her “story.”  She had spent a year and a half researching the facts about her first husband, my dad, and putting together an informed, historical account of their marriage and divorce.  She went on to tell my sister and me about her life since then, and what her main perspective and goals have been.
    It was enormously healing and helpful to me to hear this account.
    Mom quoted Dan Seagall, a psychologist who specialized in brain chemistry.  She said that he gratuitously throws in to his talk this point: “People struggle so hard to know themselves if they do not first know their mothers and their stories.”  Mom cited this line as she told my sister and me hers.
     It has been so strange: it is as though fragments of my heart are being sown together, grafted, if you will, as a result of knowing my mom’s story.
    We sometimes shelter our children from our stories.  But when they are ready (which is sooner than most mothers think), it is sheltering them, supporting them, TO disclose all the important facts, no matter how much we wish they were not what they are.  We cannot love whom we do not know.  All children want to love their moms.  We have to give them this chance.