At 25, I realize the experience of losing my mother will continue to evolve as time passes. Even if I had spent every waking moment with her until the day she died, I would still be here. I have no mom to talk with about my romantic relationships. She loved giving advice, so I know she would have taken great pride in being my shoulder to cry on and my closest advisor.
I try to find substitutes. My father is a big believer of, “when it’s right you feel it.” His idea is too rose-colored glasses for me. Giving my feelings such free reign would set me up to fail at love every time. Relying on my feelings would seem to hinder my job as a partner, which is to love someone unconditionally, or so I think.
I can’t help but wonder if my exploration would be less chaotic if my mother were around. I know she would help talk me through every problem I faced. Without her, I’m left to come up with my own theories.
At first, I applied what I know about friendship to love. If you look for love, you get none. If you look to give love, you get plenty. Then, three months ago, I found a letter my mother wrote that made me question my theory. She said she put everything aside whenever her family needed something from her without complaining. Then she wrote, “Unfortunately, it was not reciprocal.”
My hurt feelings aside, her comment worried me. I wondered if 25 years from now, I would be saying the same about my husband and children.
As time passed, my perspective revealed hidden secrets behind her sentiment. She rarely, if ever, asked us to make sacrifices for her because she didn’t want to ask that of us. She wanted to be the mother that was always there, the one that the neighborhood kids would never forget.
As a result, she made sacrifices to achieve these goals. And my inbox proves her dedication did not go unnoticed. People email me about MamaQuest.org, my blog to honor her, all the time because she was truly unforgettable.
Now I see that a better explanation of romantic partnership and personal goals lies in the law of attraction. It’s easy to see our lives as a reflection of the things we’ve done and decisions we’ve made. I would argue our lives are a reflection of what we attract. We are responsible for our devotion to love, not to our ever-evolving feelings.
What my mother said before was just a feeling. She wanted a loyal, dependable partner and to see her children grow up. Indeed, she did attract those very things into her life.
My mother may have doubted her influence, but it was hard to see that when she was so obviously a powerful life force. Dealing with the loss of my mother’s energy and guidance will undoubtedly lead to confusion as I age and as I fall in and out of love. I can accept that she is not here to be my shoulder to cry on, but I also take great comfort in knowing that I will attract good things into my life by giving love instead of only seeking it from others.
Lauren Muscarella 2010