I am known for exposing the “elephant in the living room.” Those things everybody knows but nobody is talking about. Not every mother-daughter relationship reads like a Hallmark card, and our culture makes that a shameful secret to bear.
This is the article that wanted to be written in 2010 when my adult daughter was in the throes of blaming me for all that was wrong in her world. It wasn’t my first time in the barrel and with three adult children, I didn’t figure it would be my last.
Judith Viorst, in her book Necessary Losses, promoted the idea that the first half of life is about acquisition and the second half is about letting go.
One year ago today I was fighting for my husband’s life as he spent 19 days in hospital with unrelenting abdominal pain. The nursing staff had grown weary of his presence and his care was deteriorating. In my mind, any day could be the last we might have together.
Motherhood in America is based on a myth. We are taught to believe that we can parent perfectly when we can’t. The myth also says that we parent better than our parents and that we can change the pattern for future generations.