Chapter 41: Cher and Share Alike

In November, as I sat in my very empty apartment, having no idea what direction my life was taking, worried that I’d mucked it all up with a series of debacles that were anything but minor to me, I came to the realization: I wasn’t really living. Living, as it turns out, is messy without all of the controls I’d put in place to pretend that I was satisfied. I had set these goals for myself  (all of which I’d managed to accomplish). Then, the floor fell and I’d spent three years picking up the pieces.

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and as I was trying to maintain a more positive attitude about it, I was instead feeling ambiguous. Many, many years ago I stepped into ready-made families and situations that brought children into my life. The first experience was when I was very young and I helped raise 3 young boys. It was a disguised lesson in tolerance, understanding, and I got to give so much love that I thought I’d burst. Those bonds changed as the circumstances of my relationship with their father did, but I learned a lot. I once called them “mine”.
I’d face a girl next and I’d try my best to teach, engage, and inspire her despite some of my major flaws in parenting. It wasn’t until years later that I’d get to see some results of working with her in preparation for tests and school assignments. She’d never agreed with me which was also a lesson on maintaining patience and being humble despite strong, opposite opinions. I once called her “mine”.
The truth is that I was only temporary, a stand-in for the real parents. They will never call me “mom” and those experiences lasted as long as they needed to…in order to learn the lessons.
But it still stings because only I will recognize and know how important each and every one of them were to me. Each connection felt special and they felt as though they belonged to me even if it was only for a time. I know that I have had to let that go but every Mother’s Day, I remember them and it hurts that I won’t get a card or flowers or a day with my kids…because they never truly belonged to me.
Now, I have Cher…and I understand that she also doesn’t belong to me either. Nothing: animal, vegetable, mineral, four- or two-legged belongs to me. All are borrowed beings with their own thoughts, feelings, lives…they are not obligated to love, care, or respect me. There is only one person that can be that for me…
And that’s…M-E.
So this Mother’s Day, I am choosing to not wallow in a concept of “what could have been” or a fantasy of what a parent should have. I’m grateful to have had these life experiences at all!
So if Mother’s Day doesn’t live up to your expectations, I hope that you can appreciate whatever you were given. Good moms are hard to come by and if you’ve been graced with a positive experience, congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones. If you’ve had a negative experience, congratulations! I hope that the bad experience can shape your view in such a way as to love others better than what you personally experienced. Either way, I hope you have learned something (anything) so that you can make your peace with it.
I know that I have.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of my readers and, as always, Enjoy! ♡

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About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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