Not a Mother, but a Maternal Daughter


This daughter thanks you all for your birthday greetings and wishes.

It was an emotionally charged day but not for the reasons you might expect. My mother was admitted to the hospital earlier this week for a sudden life-threatening condition. Fortunately the medical staff moved quickly and smartly to treat her and she’s now recovering.  In the hours following the episode we swapped roles and I exercised some nascent mothering skills.

While I’ve been maternal toward little ones that belong to others, this has been an opportunity to see in depth what it must be like to be a parent.  I’ve been sitting bedside during doctor consultations, looking to make sure my mother’s needs are met by the kindly nursing staff, and fussing over my father to see that he takes his own medications on time and rests properly.

It’s enormously satisfying to be in a position to help even if it’s just to be on hand to provide a smile and fluff a pillow, or to make a hot meal and provide some company for my worrying father.  I owe them much for all they’ve done on my behalf over the years.

My mothering skills are a bit clumsy but I recognize the appreciation on my parent’s faces.  It’s the same look I used to give them when I was scared or unwell and they were there to nurture, reassure or care for me, their once lost daughter.

See also  The Magnificent Seven? Hardly!

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Now I’d like to highlight some of the posts that caused me to think this week during quiet time in a Detroit area hospital that curiously offers free Internet access. Carlynn has a poignant post that describes the indescribable loss we’ve all felt at some point in our pregnancy quests.  Aunt Sassy shares what she’s learned and how she’s changed since starting IVF treatments. Ellen highlights how women through the years have struggled through loss, and finally Bea talks about how infertility and pregnancy loss impacts friendships. I’ve got lots more blog reading to catch up on. Thanks for keeping me company.


7 Responses

  1. Bea

    June 14, 2007 11:16 am

    I love this entry for the way it highlights the other ways in which those instincts are put to use in our lives.


  2. Carlynn

    June 15, 2007 8:59 am

    I wanted to thank you for your beautiful comment. I wrote that post and thought, “Oh good grief, Carlynn, here you go again, wallowing in the mire,” but after your comment, I see it in a different light, as an acknowledgement of my loss which I felt was so lacking. Thank you so much. And I am amazed that you put a link to my post, that someone whose writing and wisdom I respect so much should like something I wrote.

    Your description of your care of your parents is beautiful. I am glad you have been able to find comfort in it. I read recently that our love for others lifts us out of our suffering and was very sceptical but your post proves this exact point. I hope your mother has a fast and complete recovery.

  3. Mel

    June 17, 2007 1:37 am

    I hope your mum is doing better. I love this–the maternal daughter. It’s a beautiful post.

  4. kareno

    June 18, 2007 7:01 am

    I understand that appreciation on your parents faces so well. My mom and dad want to take extra care of me since my divorce, and for years I didn’t want to accept it. I discovered that accepting their help and support meant more to them than to me (and it means a LOT to me!) and that changed everything. It sometimes helps to try and concentrate on the good fortune that we still have parents, when we’re not parents ourselves. It doesn’t always help, but no-one can say we’re not trying. 🙂 My mom’s breast cancer returned after 9 years of remission in February this year, and the feeling of being able to care for her gives my clumsy mothering skills some practise too!

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