Mom’s father died when she was two years old. She was the youngest of five siblings and my grandmother had few resources. Mom lived in real poverty and embarrassment. When she was barely out of her teens, her oldest brother (who was a father figure to her) was killed in World War II. Later in life she told me she resolved to cause no problems for her mother ever again, since Grandma had such losses to handle. I think she learned to hide her real self then. When she turned 80 years old she told me she had a “nervous breakdown” as a young woman. That is when I think I began to understand her more fully, why she approached tension the way she did or could not give approval very easily.
She was a good mother in the sense of providing clothing, meals, birthday presents. She did try. However, she did not like to talk about her feelings. She was very critical. She would cry and stay in her bedroom for hours when we would disagree about anything rather than talk it out. I interpreted that as not caring. I came to believe I was a disappointment to her because we were often at odds about so many things, but I was wrong. I think she needed some help for depression early on, but she viewed mental issues as another subject to avoid.
Rita told Jessica how much she came to realize her mom did the best she could, there were crazy things she didn’t understand and how she assumed there would always be time to talk to her mom. Her chance to do that never came. It moved me to tears when she said that. My chance never came either. When I took mom to the hospital for the last time, she became incoherent within a few hours as renal failure affected her mind. It was heart wrenching, and our last time to share anything.
I want to thank Martha Williamson so much for her sensitive handling of difficult mother-daughter relationships and of mental illness. If your mother is alive, please try to make that connection even if it is really hard, so you will not be “Too Late”. If you have a good relationship, you are blessed indeed, and as Martha wrote…be sure to thank her. If you are a mom, like I am, always tell your children that you love them, even when they disappoint! I’m so glad Rita convinced Jessica to take the chance to reunite with her mom again in the story and begin again. Hope is always presented in Signed Sealed Delivered and only one of the many reasons I love this series!
The Living Letters series continues as long as there are stories (or even praise reports) to share, and I'm always looking for submissions. If you would like to contribute something about how Signed, Sealed, Delivered has impacted your life (or even your wardrobe) that you'd be willing to share here on A&D, feel free to email me. Keep the good going and submit yours today!