1043. Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same… ~Pearl S. Buck

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but
 the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.
~Rajneesh

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If in the passage through the final doors of life gallop dark storms of senile dementia, we who are its witnesses and victims must view the damage as a sickness in and of the flesh and not a failing of the heart nor its love. For it is not what is in the mind or flesh of those who have to endure uncontrollable, internal storms which ultimately rage, worsen, and extinguish their lives that matters; the important thing is the inextricable cords of love that once connected us to them. Mother and child bonds are as strong as our connection to the Maker of all life, and so maybe that’s why on this rainy, winter’s day, my mom has visited my thoughts again. Or it could be the recent passage of her birthday or the gloom of the day that triggered memories of the disquieting breach of peace that caring for her became during the last 7 months of her life. When I invited my mom to come live in our home, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But what I didn’t realize was that our merged footsteps would upon occasion painfully lead us, partially because of her worsening dementia, to moments which were not our finest hours. Nor did I envision the treachery of steep climbs when we had to cross over slippery, rocky ground into new and challenging territories. However, even though there were terrible moments when we would go up and down as well as in and out of hellish, emotional roller coasters, we coped better at times than we had in the past and with more tolerance of our individual differences. My mother loved her children, but in her newness to motherhood I don’t think she ever really did know how to accept or handle me, her strong-willed, out-spoken, and highly sensitive first born child. Nevertheless, by the Grace of God, we made it through those trying days, and there were even a few of them along the way when we traversed some unexpected, joyful paths. So it is in the quiet grayness of this day that I give thanks for her and for God’s mercy. Mary Catherine and I had long been and would probably always have been enigmas unto one another, but despite our dissimilar traits an abiding love was strong in the sharing of our intertwined lives. Thus I try now to focus not on our differences, inabilities, and disagreements but continue to seek and remember the inherent goodness in the child of God that was my mother. And I pray almost every day for acceptance and forgiveness of her limitations which remain an unsurrendered source of occasionally festering, life-long scars. Forgiveness is, at least in my way of thinking, the miracle of all miracles, and I’ve long believed in miracles.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. ~Isaiah 58:8  ✝

33 thoughts on “1043. Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same… ~Pearl S. Buck

  1. Oh it is a difficult union..that of mother and daughter—I was adopted, as you know, and I can look at pictures of me and mom, when I was very little, and I see not smiles but rather a distance—a distance in proximity as well as in her look–not the glowing smiles one might imagine. I’ve often pondered that.
    We fought like cats and dogs as I became a teenager. I was always the tomboy, not the dainty quite demure girl that maybe she thought I should be—she loved tennis and wanted me to learn to play and love it as well—I hated it. I ran track instead.
    I played with GI joes along with barbies preferring football to tea parties.
    I was headstrong, opinionated and always yearning to be free—-
    It wasn’t until I had married and was teaching that we had started to “become friends”—I’d travel back home on weekends for us to go to lunch or to a play or symphony.
    Mother wasn’t happy with her life and I would come to discover that after her time in the hospital when she was diagnosed with cancer—she never came home from the diagnosis as she had developed pneumonia as a by product from the discovered lung cancer, dying a mere 6 weeks later when she was all but 53 and I was 25.
    I’ve think I’ve learned more about her in her death and not being here than I ever did while she was alive—and maybe that is in part to my having grown up, settled and matured.
    I think God knew what he was doing by giving me a son because I had always been afraid had I had a daughter—had she been any thing like me, we’d have killed one another—but that’s not to say my son and I don’t butt heads—and like I say—ode to the complications of children and parents!!
    and I must say, you look a lot like your mom—for good or bad 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this. We do have so much in common. When I get caught up here on comments that I couldn’t get to last night, I’ll send you an email and elaborate more on my mother and I. I am starting to look more and more like her and I’m not thrilled about that unfortunately. 🙂 ❤

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      • well—don’t feel bad—people always say that they see the family resemblance between me and dad—heeelloooo, I’m adopted, we don’t look a thing alike—-thank goodness—I don’t favor a mole —more like a bird hahaha 🙂

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      • After I retired I started taking her for her doctor’s appointments so my sister didn’t have to come clear across town to do it any more. And one day one of the doctors said you must be like your dad because you are not at all like your mom or your sister. Mom was almost deaf and didn’t hear his comment. But I was thrilled and gave him a huge smile in gratitude. 😘❤️

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  2. Maya Angelou once said: “Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It’s not for the other person, You must forgive. It’s for your own sake. To rid yourself of that weight…That’s the answer.”

    It’s not easy, but it is necessary. I too believe in miracles.

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  3. I find, because my grandparents died in their late 60’s to 70’s, and pretty much lived on their own in decent health, I am ill prepared to deal with the care of my 86 year old mother. I don’t recall my mom living her life daily in and out with her mom. Thank God, my Mom still in good health and mind. Active as a “pink” lady and other activities, but there will always remain the “mother/ daughter thing:) She ask my opinion, then does what she wants anyway, and if truth be told, so do I! Such is life and the season we are in:)

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  4. This is beautifully and honestly written. I admire the honesty especially. I wonder if your mother was a kissing or a scolding mom. But no need to answer. I think the latter feels quite different to the child. It is hard for a child to feel the love beneath the scolding. It is interesting how much our relationships with our mothers affects us even as we age. Beautifully done. Thank you for this.

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    • Wow, thank you for the lovely and perceptive comment, Cindy. You are so welcome. My mom was not a kissing nor a hugging mom and was quite good at scolding. There is more to the story, but I won’t dishonor her by telling it. I find that hurting people hurt people and so I think that some hurt in her made her the way she was. And yes, such things have a great impact on us as long as we live I think. I had to learn that my mom was what she was and that I couldn’t change the spots on the leopard, as it were. So if I needed what she was incapable of giving, I had to find it elsewhere. She loved her children. There’s no doubt about that, but she was very limited in her ability to demonstrate it. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

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      • I respect your entire thinking process Natalie and identify with you more than you can know. Learning to accept, desiring to not dishonor her, recognizing the hurt part of her, this takes so much introspection, maturity and essential kindness on your part. It is a kindess she didn’t offer you, and the fact that you give it to her is incredibly powerful and impressive. As I said, you have my sincerest respect and admiration. This post was honest, brave and kind, which makes your thinking process unusual and impressive. I hope you realize this about yourself. Love and hugs to you~

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      • Oh, this brought tears to my eyes, Cindy. Thank you so much for this. I so appreciate it as your perceptions into the reality of it are right on the mark. Years ago my mentor urged me to keep a journal to write down the things that had hurt me so badly. She said is what cathartic and it was. There’s a kind of healing that comes with getting what you feel out of yourself and onto paper. In a way it extracts large amounts of the poison that comes from such things and that sets us free to some extent. Much love and huge hugs to you, my friend. 🙂 ❤

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  5. Natalie, you are a warm and loving woman, still married to the same man. You have lived a loving life, improving on your own childhood.
    It was a little different between my Mom and me. She had had eczema all her life. She liked sitting next to us but if we climbed on her or hugged her too much, she would scratch. My mom and dad hugged but they also liked dancing by my Dad swinging her. They kissed every night and morning in front of us. Dad held us, swam with us, built us tree forts, read to us and even gave us baths when we were under 7, after that age, we were able to be left alone. My Mom and I shopped at grocery store, went to get my brothers’ clothes, while my Dad took them hiking or biking. We had a very huggable grandma, my Mom’s mother.
    I now have an 87 year old mother who has some dementia. I think we have great talks about the past but she forgets what she ate, where she put things and names of people she has met recently. I give her projects, writing assignments or recitation. She likes trying to do these plus likes my Blog. She tells people, “My daughter used to teach and now she is a writer.” (She forgets I now work in a warehouse.) We hold hands while watching television or movies. We both cry when I get ready to leave. ♡ I love you, Natalie.

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    • Thank you Robin for the nice compliment and for sharing your story about your mom. I’m sorry that she is suffering from dementia and pray that you continue to have a good relationship with her. Love, N 🙂 ❤

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  6. I’m a first born also. Strong willed. A lot like my mom in terms of temperament but very different in our way of doing things. I felt stifled by her to fit into a preset mold a lot of which was wrapped up in religions beliefs. I basically ran away by age 19 and have never been back since.

    Our relationship is now amicable in part because I am now a mom. Grandkids have a way of rebuilding bridges which were burnt to the ground. But even after all these years, all the hurt and all the scars and all the mended fences we are still better apart under separate roofs.

    Forgiveness. It’s a tough nut to Crack! When the ones to whom we should run are the ones who cause us to run away, the only safe place to run is into the arms of Jesus.

    Memories can be so potent. Guard your heart… Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bam, did you nail a huge issue between my mom and me. She had a preset mold about everything her children said and did and I seldom if ever fit the mold. And you right about the only safe place to run being the arms of Jesus, but before I came to realize that sadly I ran into places I never should have. Thank goodness for His grace and mercy and forgiveness!!!! Thanks for sharing your story. Love and hugs, N 😘🌹❤️

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      • Yes, I too ran to other sources looking for the love I needed but couldn’t get from home. I later married a man, thinking I could finally stop running, only to have him hurt me just as bad. Now I’m in hiding from him. My life has forever been changed. This is how and when I finally found shelter in Jesus. He is the only one who never disappointed me. It’s just sad I took so long to realize it. I think though, that it’s because religion was shoved down my throat for so long and misused as a form of control that I grew to resent it in all forms. And in the process I also rejected God. Not that I stopped believing in Him, just not living according to His will. I was in charge and in my name mind that was great! Thank God for His amazing Grace. You’re so right about that! That He still welcomes us with open arms no matter how far we’ve strayed is the most humbling of all… 🌷

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  7. I am impressed, though not surprised, by your honest willingness to delve into this issue. I think mother – daughter relationships tend to be more complicated than most other relationships. My head is spinning with all the comments I could share about my relationship with my mother and with my daughter. I always wanted to be strong, like my father, because I didn’t want to be weak like my mother, but not long ago, I learned that my mother’s love was strong enough to save the strongest man I’ve ever known from the haunting torment of war. Blessings and peace to you, dear Natalie. ❤

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  8. Oh Natalie, this is so moving and touched me so deeply because I could relate with it especially the forgiveness part. Forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself. Yes, “yourself” because yes it can help the other person but mostly it frees you from the heavy burden. It’s not easy but God is most forgiving and kind and we have a responsibility as His creation to try to be forgiving too.
    I’ve learned people are the way they are for a reason and sometimes they just can’t help it. It reminded of this quote by my favorite novel/movie The perks of being a wallflower:
    “So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
    ― Stephen Chbosky,

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  9. I’m the elder of two sisters and often my mom scolded me for not paying enough attention to studies. We had a severe quarrel when, against her will, I opted to do my major in English. She wanted me to go with Physics. Now, she knows that I took the right decision as Physics is and never was my cup of tea. She will be 60 this December and we are planning a great celebration.
    I understand what you mean when you mentioned ‘forgiveness’. That is indeed a miracle and yes, miracles do happen… 🙂

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