When Momma Needs Her Momma

You never know how badly you need your Momma until she’s gone. Mine moved 400 miles away and I thank God I’ve had her to lean on over the past few days while on vacation.

My husband and I nearly ended our marriage in March. Him, the confused boy, afraid of women because of the abuse suffered at the hands of his mother. Me, the woman abandoned by her father at four and witness to the horrific abuse doled out to my mother when he would came home.

While life reminds me more of the smoothness in James Taylor’s voice as he sings “Mexico”, there are still craters bumps in the road.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re like newlyweds. Rediscovering each other and reveling in new found insight to ourselves and being reminded of why we fell in love.

Seems that my mother-in-law also feels the same way as she did when we married. A mule-headed proud woman with a tendency to hold grudges, it appears that I’m no longer welcome. While I won’t go into the nitty gritty that makes sensational gossip column fodder, I can say it was strongly worded enough that it came close to causing me to shatter into a million pieces of glass too fine to repair.

It’s funny how life finds you at these intersections. I had done everything I thought a good daughter in law did. Planned all of our family vacations around visiting them for years, arranging the rental car, stopping the mail, managing our tight budget. Gave birth to a beautiful grandson and stayed at home to raise him. Modern marriage at its finest.

Siting in my mother’s basement when my husband told me what was going on, I was angry. Perhaps angrier than I’ve ever been in my life. And hurt. So incredibly hurt. When you’ve been with your partner for 13 years, involved in their life, their family and welcomed them to yours completely, to be shut out and find that you were never wanted, abhorred even, is enough to bring anybody to their knees.

That’s where I landed, thanking my maker for the air mattress on the floor. Crying until I thought I was going to throw up. Angry at the messenger, when all he did was make the delivery. Not paying attention to how it was killing him, I let my frustrations out on my gentle, kind, handsome husband.

I was wrong.

He was trying not to break and here I was trying to break him. Emotions ran high on my end. He stayed silent. I finally collapsed face down on the bed, crying gut-wrenching sobs and asking to be left alone.

I wasn’t alone for long.

She didn’t come riding in on a white horse with a shiny sword, but hopping down the steps on a titanium reinforced knee still sore from recent joint replacement surgery.

Mother & Daughter, October 23rd 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: Robby Mueller

Mom. Mommy. Momma. My She-Ro.

I thought a lecture was coming.  But it never did. Instead, it was gentle and soothing. My late paternal Grandmother had been a difficult woman at times, so she was able to speak to me from years of experience and wisdom. Mom calmed me and let me know that I was in the wrong at the present moment.

My place was to support my husband and he came home only wanting to be held by me as his mother’s actions caused him so much pain. So Momma, my momma, stepped in and instead of being harsh, soothed me and my soul so I could be a better wife to my husband. She knew exactly what to say.

I needed that. I needed to be with her. Needed her strength and gentle quiet.

I needed her to call me on my bullshit.

Thank you, Momma. You know exactly what and when to say what I need to hear. I certainly needed you this past weekend and I’m grateful to have you. We both are.

I Love You.

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