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(PG-13)

A part of me died today. Losing a mother is a tragedy. Itís a traumatic emptiness for anyone to experience. As a friend, all I can do is offer my sympathetic shoulder or listen with care when someone I know loses their loved one. So how should I feel when I lost my mother? That is, she made it very clear I was no longer part of her. She gave the last remaining inheritance from my father to my stepbrother. It was like I never existed. What do I do now?

I was born to Ma and Pa Lewis, a visibly loving couple. But with shattered dreams and broken vows, the loving couple parted their ways. I went everywhere with Mom, dressed in mother-daughter matching dresses to work, parties and church. She guided me hand-in-hand with each step along the way. Then something snapped, like a camera lens opening and closing. It was as if I had never been born.

I was of no use to her anymore. I was the link to hold on to her man and now he was gone. He had made a new life with a warm-hearted woman, not like hers made of stone. She bequeathed me to her parentsí care. One day she too found a man she thought would make her happy. I was peddled like a yoyo back and forth. No matter how little I saw Mom, I never gave up hope that someday she would love me again, like when I was her little princess.

I could never do anything right. I couldnít dust or wash dishes right. I couldnít hang clothes on the line just right. My closet had to be perfectly color-coded and my shoes in a perfect line. I was made to scrub and wax the hardwood floors until I saw my reflection. My grades were low and I wasnít popular. She was voted Prom Queen, Homecoming Queen and Most Likely to Succeed. So back to Nannie and Grandpaís house or to Aunt Roseís or Aunt Juliaís house, as long as I wasnít around to bother her. I was running out of relatives to live with. I felt lost and all screwed up.

Somehow I managed to grow up, finish school with higher grades and get married. Mom wasnít there for any of those events, not even the birth of my three children. Thirty minutes before I had my vows renewed before God, she informs me that she was making cookies and couldnít attend the ceremony. She was the only one in town who wasnít there. Still, I had hope that some day she would love me again.

Like hers, my marriage also had shattered dreams and broken vows. She blamed me and said I wasnít woman enough to keep him. But I was strong for my children, until my great-grandma and grandparents all died within that year. They all were my rock. I was beaten down. My heart was stripped of all the love Iíd ever known and she only added fuel to the flame. She said I was weak and stupid and my family was not worthy of me. The only thing left was to end it. I thought it would make her happy. When I woke up, from a self-inflicted gun shot wound a quarter inch from my spine, and with a tube in my mouth, I lay quietly thinking, ďThere is still hope that someday she will love me.Ē

It had been twenty years, with little or no contact with Mom. It was her choice, not mine. I had written letters, wrote poems, and left messages on her phone with no response. I finally got tired of getting ďreturn to senderĒ unopened mail. I was making an effort at forgiveness but still couldnít figure out what I was asking her forgiveness for! I thought maybe if I admitted to any fault, we might live the rest of our loves in peace. I thought this was what you were suppose to look forward to with age.

Today I found out that she stripped me of the only inheritance my Dad worked so hard to build. A verbal agreement between her and Dad was sworn on a Bible and in front of a judge, and I was to inherit the two-story stucco house my dad built before I was born. Pauline had tried to persuade Dad to sign the house over to her so she could give it to my stepbrother, but he refused. My step dad had already provided for his son. But she schemed and lied and cheated. Finally she managed to give the house to my brother and he sold it to a stranger. A stranger who would never learn of a family of three, who loved and lived there. A stranger who would never know all the years of love I was refused. I was never even offered the chance to purchase the crumbling house Dad built for me.

She had done it to me again. The house was the only link between us. It was the only physical connection between us and she tore it down. The only symbol left that reflected my existence and that I was part of her. She knew how much it meant to me to someday live in that house so I could remember the few good years we all shared. I didnít need the house to know that Dad loved me, but my brother had no right to sell the house, knowing it should belong to me. Greed took control of him, just like her..

Mom had made a pact with the devil long ago. Why? I donít know because her parents didnít raise her to lie to get what she wanted or steal from other relatives what was rightfully theirs. She did her job for the demon and taught my brother as well. The funny thing is, the house wasnít worth much. It was fifty-four years old and hadnít been kept up like the surrounding homes.

I called Dad to tell him myself of the sale of the house he had built. We cried together and our bond was stronger. My Dad kept trying to tell me that he was sorry in between his tears. It wasnít his fault that she was evil. It wasnít his fault that she didnít love me. I cried for him too, wishing that he had never married her. But I still believed in her. Even after everything she had done in the past, I had allowed her to re-enter my heart. It was a huge mistake. She was at my home for only 20 minutes to get copies of pictures to show all of her friends where she lives in Florida. She lives in her own dream world far away from me. Itís not far enough!

Women like her donít deserve to have children. They have stone-cold hearts and arenít capable of love. She gave that house to my brother to sell, not just to hurt me, but to save what little love he might have left for her. I knew now what I must do. I wrote her a letter today and said that all was forgiven. I didnít call her the names, as my dad suggested. I believe what I had to say was far worse than any name calling. I wrote that she need not concern herself about me anymore. She shouldnít call or write or send a birthday card, which she had begun to do only this last year. I had to do this for myself and to keep my sanity. Itís been way too long to keep this bottled up and I was afraid that it would eat my up, until my heart turned stone-cold like hers. I was resigning as her flesh and blood. I was no longer her daughter and she was no longer the person whose name is on my birth certificate. She didnít deserve me and I deserved better. She hadnít been my Mom for a long time. I spoke of the love that we could have had and she threw it all away. She made her choice and never looked back. She chose to erase any trace of love that filled my heart.

Then I said a prayer and asked for forgiveness. I prayed for all of the lives that she has crumbled with her desire of greed, including stealing things from her own two sisters and other family members. The only peace I will ever know is when they lay her in the ground. Iím not weak and stupid like she said. She is the one who sucks the life out of people she touches. Only some people just havenít realized it yet.

Itís hard to lose a mother but itís even harder to tell your mother that sheís evil and that I wished I had never been born. She had her chance to share my love but didnít want it. I always believed that someday she would love me again, like when I was her little princess. The princess woke up from her nightmare and knew the hope was gone. I only wanted her to love me and she chose not to.

Written ďBECAUSEĒ of my biological mother, (Pauline) and not ďFORĒ her.
02/01/05
PAL

(ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE ME FOR HOPING THAT SHE WILL LEAVE THIS WORLD OF EVIL AND GREED THAT SHE HELPED TO CREATE. WE ARE SO QUICK TO PASS JUDGMENT ON THE WORDS WE READ OF SOMEONE ELSEíS LIFE. BUT BEWARE MY FRIEND, THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE LIKE HER THAT EXISTS AND SOME DAY YOU MIGHT BE FACE TO FACE WITH THEM.)


------
Paula Leslie (PAL)
"Give a little of yourself each day to someone in need and you will be rich in your heart."


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