Until recently I can say I’ve always considered myself a “momma’s girl”. From the time that my Mom was pregnant with my little brother, I can recall everyone saying how much like Ginny I was. In fact her “baby doctor” used to call me little Ginny. Growing up, I was never close to my dad. I mean we’d talk, usually over dinner, and many times that involved me getting in trouble…but it’s not like it was with my Mom.
Mom was my secret keeper, my supporter, my shoulder, my bathroom buddy. My Dad used to tell her to “cut the umbilical cord already” as I’d trot down the hallway after her to sit and talk while she’d have a bath or do her make-up. I loved colouring her toe nails or her fingers (I would say nails but I wasn’t exactly good at staying in the lines). I’d brush her hair and she’d brush mine, typically in that order since I did tend to back out of doing it for her. I was her little girl.
As I got older and started doing more with school, I likely put the greys in her hair. I was smart, and there were times she confided that I was smarter than her and the way I talked sometimes made her feel stupid. So I learned to ‘dumb’ my language down. I did well in school, because she encouraged me. You can do whatever you put your mind to, she’d say. You’re special and I know there’s something out there you’ll shine at. She knew I’d go to college, despite the fact people informed her I was a ‘wild child’.
I loved my Mom. There were times that love was tried. I did get a little wild at 16, and the rule about “while you’re in my house you live by my rules”, rather put me in the, well fine I won’t live here any more camp. Me moving out wounded her. I never called enough. I never came over enough. I never emailed enough. There are times now that I wish I had. When I moved to California, then Canada, I think of all the missed phone calls. All the hours I could have spent on the phone with her…all the emails that I rolled my eyes begging me to call more. I regret that time lost. My Mother passed away on February 4th, 2013. While she lay in that bed, thousands of miles from me, with me on the other end of the phone, I could have sworn she told me she loved me. That’s what it sounded like, and that is the one comfort that I hold on to. As much pain as she was in, as scared as I knew she must have been, my Mom could manage to tell her little girl she loved her. I regret not being there with my brother and my sister in law and my Dad. I know I got there as soon as I could, but it’s hard. It was a terrifying thing for me to lose my Mom, and not be able to hug her one last time. I know she watches me, I’m not religious, I don’t tend to believe in much…well not any more. But there are times I feel my Mom with me. There are times I say something and I can almost hear her laugh. But I can’t hear her voice any more. I’ve forgotten how she smelled. I was too long away from home to have those comforts.
I still have my family. I have an amazing little brother, an awesome sister in law who is more like an actual sister to me than anything in law. And I have my Daddy. The man that raised me from two when he didn’t have to. The man who choose to take another man’s child into his own home and treat her as if she was his own. I realize now, after losing my Mom, that I was never really truly a Momma’s girl. Yes, I loved her, and she was always there for me, but I never achieved to make her happy. I never fought to make her proud of me. She always was. My Dad, the man as quick to anger as he was to smile, he was the one I wanted to be proud of me. Some how I knew that my Mom always would be. She was Mom. Of course she’d be proud of me. Daddy, he was the one I aimed to please. Whenever he’d see my report cards and tell me I could do better, damn it , I did better. I think, part of me was a little afraid, concerned after I lost my Mom, that maybe I’d lose my Dad somehow too. I didn’t. He doesn’t beg me to call, but when he tells me he appreciates to hear from me, it makes me want to call more. I don’t want those regrets that I have with my Mom with my Daddy. I want him to know his little girl is all grown up and can make it on her own. I want him to be proud of the woman that his little girl has turned out to be. But most of all I want him to know that his little girl loves him as much as she loved her Mommy, blood or not.