Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for May 10th, 2020

Forgiveness and Mother’s Day

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It’s Mother’s Day in the United States. Time to celebrate our mothers, and others who’ve contributed a deeply maternal presence in our lives. And that’s a good thing.

But I was wondering about how some people handle Mother’s Day when they’ve had big problems with their mothers. Mothers who have been arrested, say, for child abuse. Mothers who have put their children in harm’s way, whether they’ve been arrested for child endangerment or not. Mothers who’ve been unremittingly hostile to their children, and refuse to make any amends for their behavior.

I’ve had friends in the past, and still have some to this day, who have had these issues. And what happened to them was a violation of their trust, their humanity, and their core selves.

I feel bad for these friends. Because on a day like today, it has to be harder for them to deal with their memories. And even rising above everything that they’ve been put through (most of the time through no fault of theirs) is only a partial consolation as you watch other people celebrate their relationships with their mothers.

I’m fortunate that I didn’t have to deal with anything like that. While my mother and I have had periods of time when we didn’t get along at all, most of the time we’ve been able to rely on each other for support and care. It isn’t always easy on either side. But I think I’ve been able to learn a lot from my relationship with my mother, and from my mother herself — a strong, intelligent, hard-working woman who did her best through many different personal crises.

I wish my friends had been able to have better experiences with their mothers. Because it’s hard to forgive something like that. And as I’ve said before, many times on my blog, if someone can’t or won’t ask for forgiveness, how can you be able to forgive them?

What my advice is in these situations is to forgive yourself for being there. Try to love your younger self, as best you can. (Which still lives within you, and always will.) And do what you can so you can live with yourself, and be happy with yourself, and realize how far you’ve come from those awful days of despair and agony.

On a day that celebrates mothers everywhere, in short, try to realize that you’ve managed somehow to raise yourself despite it all. And gives yourself some peace…while hopefully leaving some room for those of us fortunate enough to have a decent mother-child relationship to celebrate that as best we are able.


Written by Barb Caffrey

May 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized