The first good memory I have of my mother was when I was a young boy and I was home sick with laryngitis. My mother took care of me for a week, feeding me tomato soup and showing me love only a mother can show. This moment is important for me because it was one of the few good moments I have of my mother. This is still a time I remember my mother on Mother’s Day years after she died a horrible death.
Christmas is a time of joy, unless you lived in the Coffie family in the 1970’s. All my memories of Christmas were me waking up with my brother and sisters to fighting. My father was a raging drunk and he beat my mother up every Christmas morning I can remember. We would then go to my Aunt Pat’s house and she would show us a real Christmas. My mother would be crying and my father had gone somewhere where he could drink some more.
My mother took so much abuse; she was unable to be a real mother to her children. She finally escaped my father’s abuse through a divorce when I was twelve years old. The problem was my father’s abuse destroyed my mother’s mind; she could not sleep without wine and Valium.
My mother was always sad, often angry and anxious. She would kick her children out of her house because she couldn’t handle any of us. We would have to move back to our father’s house where we would be abused. We lived through this never ending circle of life until all of us left to live on our own when we were old enough. I escaped to the Army when I was seventeen years old.
My brother grew to hate my mother, my sisters tried to spend as much time with her as possible, I just wished I had a whole mother whom I could get to know. My brother always asked why our mother didn’t fight back against our father and why didn’t she protect her children against his abuse? He was angry, I was sad because I am the only child who remembers every detail from our childhood since the age of three. I often wondered if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
I remember my mother fighting back and trying to protect her children. The problem was my father was bigger, meaner and stronger than my mother. He beat her up more because she fought for her family. I remember as a little child watching this and not being able to do anything to help my mother. As a child, I blamed myself, but I had no control of the situation. I was just a helpless little boy.
My mother was a smoker, she smoked two packs of Benson and Hedges every day for many years. To make a long story short, my mother died from lung cancer. A year before she died, my mother came to visit me. She told me she beat the cancer and she was sorry she was not able to be a good mother to me. She wanted to know that I didn’t hate her. I admit I was hurt, but I never hated my mother.
My mother went back to Philly and she died from cancer. She said goodbye to me and told my sisters not to tell my brother and I she was dying. I kind of had a chance to say goodbye when she came to visit me, but not really. To this day, I love my mother for trying her best to fight for her children.
None of us have perfect moms. On this Mother’s Day remember the best aspects of your mother. I consider myself lucky enough to have a few good memories of a mother who was abused by a horrible father. She tried her best and nearly lost her mind because of all she went through. Don’t forget mother on Mother’s Day, she loves you. When I remember my mother on Mother’s Day I realize she never had the chance to be the mother she wanted to be to her children. Happy Mother’s Day to everybody, enjoy the time you have to spend with your mom because you never know which moment will be the last.