My mum was crying.
Not happy tears either.
The sad ones.
I had never seen my mum cry before until this moment.
I think it just all became too much for her, but she would never say.
I felt like the most helpless person in the world.
In that moment, it was as if my strong mother reached across the table where we were sitting, opened her fist and finally showed me the handful of bullets she’d had to bite over the decades in order to be perceived as happy.
I had never seen this side of her before, not ever.
I come from a family of seven. And ever since I remember, my mum has been the one to struggle to raise all of us. She has officially been my mother and my father for about the last 10 years. I have seen her walk her path in old shoes just so we were able to run on our paths in new shoes. The biggest sacrifice I have seen her make is investing all her money to send me to private school so I could have the best possible shot at a ‘great’ career. It wasn’t the money she gave, that touched me, it was more the fact that I knew she could have been using it on herself, or better yet my siblings, but she didn’t. She has always wanted the best for us, naturally, like most mothers, even when she couldn’t afford the best.
I had never imagined what she might have wanted, what she might have been missing, what she might have decided not to fight for in the larger scheme of things. As a child, I didn’t fully appreciate this because she never made it glaringly obvious. She just did what ‘needed’ to be done.
Seeing all this now as an adult, I could feel my worldview start to make a radical shift.
My mother has made choices in her life, as we all must, and she is at peace with them. I can see her peace. She did not cop out on herself. But I often imagine how her life would differ if she didn’t have children.
It is not to say the choices she made were wrong. In fact, I can see at first hand, the benefits of her choices are massive – a family that has extended now into grandchildren who adore her, a law degree achieved at the youthful age of 48; and a certainty in her own strength!
Yes, maybe some things were sacrificed – but who amongst us lives without sacrifice?
And the question now for me is, what are my choices to be?
What do I believe that I deserve in this life?
Where can I accept sacrifice, and where can I not?
What can I do now to best serve the cards dealt me this moment?
All these questions, are questions I believe all of us will need to answer at some point in time when going through life, so I thought I would just give you a little prod…… 🙂