I’ve been thinking about my mother who gave birth to me. We missed out on getting to know each other.
Searching for her in my late 30s, I disappointedly learned that she passed away when I was just a little girl. At the time, I don’t know if I would have been so enthusiastic about finding those of my siblings that she raised had I known the truth to my beginnings.
Since that confusing time in my life, I’ve had a lot of time to better know who I am and what I need from others.
I would love to know more about my mother, especially after relatives marveled at how much alike the two of us were supposed to be.
Here are questions I would ask if I could have a do-over and erase some of the painful parts:
1. What favorite memory of our mother did each of my siblings have while growing up?
2. Did she like to read to them as young children and say, “When I was a young girl…?”
3. Did she ever let my siblings jump on the bed or not have to eat their vegetables?
4. Do they remember a special time our mother wiped away their tears?
5. When was she was the happiest in her life?
6. What song would she have been singing while holding a hairbrush or a spatula?
7. I believe each and every one of us has a gift, do you think our mother ever found hers?
8. Which sitcom was she more like? Vicki Lawrence in Mama’s Family; Roseanne Barr in Roseanne, or Marianne Ross in Happy Days.
9. Was there one defining moment in each of their lives that she missed, and where my siblings wished they could have called her and said, “Oh, Mom, …”
10. I remember when my oldest sister shared with me that she was named after our mother’s doll that had burned up in a fire. What was she sentimental, passionate, or a dreamer about in her short life?
11. What has our late mother’s shortcomings taught me and my siblings about remembering to forgive ourselves when we too have fallen short to be perfect?