The story of my mothering is generations long, and rooted most recently in my 38 year-old relationship with my own mother, who passed away in 2014. I loved my mom. She was one of my best friends, and I feel her with me every day.
But my mom somehow allowed child abuse in her home, at the hands of her own husband. And that made our relationship like a sticky web. Sometimes we’d create goodness together: weaving stories, laughter, crafts, or good times with friends and family. We both loved exploring, whether it was the Adirondacks Mountains, or Portland and the Oregon coast. Other times, I seethed at my mom’s inability to be strong, to have a voice, and to believe in herself. Teetering between my feelings of love for her and despise for what she allowed to happen, we lived our lives together as mother and daughter for nearly four decades.
Since her passing, I’ve been weaving a new story of my mother and of my mothering so I can give my son the best of all the love my mom gave me. And so I can let go of and forgive the past, so my relationship with my mom can live on in the positive today.
Motherhood is an eternal gift of renewal. A hope and a deep longing for a better future for our children than the one we had. I take the past, and transform it into a beautiful, silken, new gift of my mothering. This gift of gold I give to myself, my son, and the families I serve is in memory of the positive legacy of my mother and grandmothers.
I wrote this poem to my mom. Like the letters we used to write one another when we lived in different continents or coasts. I wish the past were different, but all we can do is heal yesterday, and create a better today and tomorrow.
I love you, Mom—always and forever.
It’s your hands I miss the most
That was you, Mom
Wish you could’ve seen it
Couldn’t believe the way you pushed me away
Right at the end
Broke my heart
Brought me back
To that childhood place
Of being rejected and neglected by my own mother
A week before you died
I don’t miss the dysfunction
But I sure do miss your hands
The essence of you
Unconditional love + support
Feminine + strong
I feel bad I couldn’t let it go
Right before you left us
Couldn’t be the bigger person
Couldn’t give you what you needed
Before you died
But that’s just what it was
The way it went down
At the end
Past is gone
Now it’s just us
Unconditional love + support
Feminine + Strong
Weaving a golden story of motherhood
For the future generations
Megan Barella lives in Scappoose, Oregon, and is a single mom to a 7 year old son. She loves to spend time in the woods, dance, cook for friends, and support other parents in her classes and coaching programs. She writes at www.meganbarella.com, and “The Getting to Gold Project” is her program for parents who are trauma survivors. To learn more about this and Megan’s other programs, you can contact her here.