You have not loved until you have loved the unlovable, the ugly, the undeserving,
like a mother strung out on drugs and drunk all of the time.
Every ounce of her; you know, the part that held me at night, read to me, bathed and fed me, is absorbed in this addict that reeks of booze.
I know my mother is in there somewhere, because this addict calls me by name and expects me to love her like I love my mom.
This addict plays nice at first.
She laughs where my mother would’ve cried; she does where my mother would’ve slept.
But with every drink…and, taken in secret, a pill here and there, this addict loses her like-ability and fast.
She does not care about me or my children, or even the woman she overtook and is now portraying.
With hatred and selfishness, using my mother’s mouth and body…she destroys everything valuable my mother holds dear, with the words she spews out, the way she moves my mother to stumble and fall.
The daughters she bore, no longer responsive to her need for them, the son disgusted in the mother that allows this to happen.
My mother became just another woman to me. I learned to acknowledge the addict in her, and no longer the mother that gave birth to me, in order to lessen the pain.
If she didn’t care enough to stop, why should I care to be there for her, to respect her and love her?
It just became easier to accept the addict and forget the mother that’s hardly ever there anymore.
Until I grew in my faith, until my views were made to align to my makers, I knew love by what I got from it.
I loved my children. I loved my husband. I loved friends and family. I loved books and music. I loved afternoon naps. I loved them because they gave me something in return.
Until God opened my eyes to my sins and showed me how He loved me in spite of them, I would have gone on in my ignorance.
I thought love was supposed to be easy, but love is hard. Love is dying on the cross…
I have since learned each of us have our own cross to bear, and mine so happens to be to love my mother through her addiction.
When she smells of booze…when she can’t stand…when she is sick from pancreatitis…when she is lonely…
I will allow her to hug me and I will focus only on her touch and not the smell.
I will hold her up and not allow her to fall, and if she falls I will help her up with no condemnation.
I will not run the other way; I will not ignore her and act like I don’t know her.
I will talk with her even though I can’t understand what she is saying.
And in my quest to carry my cross, I will have loved the way He first loved me.
I will have done it and not just spoken of it.