Op-EdOpinion

ROWLEY: Not Everyone Gets a Good Mother

I lost my mom nine years ago, and it still hurts.

It feels like yesterday when I heard myself shriek in disbelief having learned that my biggest fan, staunchest supporter — my best friend in all the world — was gone. She died during heart surgery.

Although I was in my early 50s at the time, my mom’s passing left me feeling like an orphan. Suddenly, I had to navigate life feeling lonely, bewildered and, yes, afraid. After all, how was I supposed to go on without the woman who had been such an essential part of my being since my conception in her womb?

I was fortunate to have had a good mother. She taught me to that the best rewards come from an honest day’s work, and being resilient as well as compassionate, loving and thoughtful.

Yet, everyone wasn’t blessed to have a good mother. And, as a result there are a lot of broken people walking around: people who have never known a mother’s love. People who were born to a woman who lacked maternal instincts. People who were born to a woman just because it was the thing to do.

I can’t even begin to imagine a life with a mother who was dismissive or distant, mean and neglectful. A mother who never hugged nor praised her child. A mother who never spent one-on-one time with her child or who told them, “I love you.”

Children learn about love by the love they are shown, and that usually begins with the warm embrace of a doting mother. Having the love of a nurturing mother not only puts a song in the heart, it puts a smile in the soul.

My hope for those children — young and old — who perceive Mother’s Day as “just another day,” is that they find healing.

Many children who’ve had to maneuver life without a mother’s guidance learned to self-protect and handle sensitive responses to setbacks and disappointments on their own, when all the while they may have been in mourning for the mother they needed and deserved.

There is a great payoff for being a good mother: they get to see the child you’ve brought into the world make their own choices, succeed and even sometimes stumble — and they get to be a part of it.

My mother shared all this with me, and then some.

I had a good mother and, hopefully, I’ve been a good one myself.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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