Mum’s the Word

If you’ve read my posts on Africa, you already know more about me than my mom ever did.  Once, years later, when I asked my mom if she would like to know the full story about why I stayed in Africa instead of traveling with my sister when she came to visit me and then coming back to the U.S. with her, my mother said, “I never told my mother anything that would make her feel bad.”  Case closed.

There was a whole part of my life my mother never knew about by choice.  She never knew that I was nearly killed twice while I was there, or that I initially stayed because I was in love with an Ethiopian man.  My sister knew all because she was there when the shooting took place, and I had told her about the kidnapping, but she never told my mother.  In many other ways, I am very like my mother, but there are some other genes surging through me, because I always want to know everything and I will almost always ask for the “rest” of the story.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dear Mom.”: Write a letter to your mom.  Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to.

10 thoughts on “Mum’s the Word

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    My mother eventually DID want to know … preferably long after the danger had passed. In adulthood, my son has told me stories that uncurled my hair. I’m glad i didn’t know at the time. But interesting to know now 🙂

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  2. Grace Webb

    It’s such a shame that your mother didn’t want to know your whole, remarkable story. I know it’s not the same by any measure, but there are people (me included) who only know you through your blog and want to hear as many of your stories as you are willing to tell x

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  3. Relax

    🙂 What a life you’ve had! There was much I couldn’t tell my mother, and my son tells me I’m not yet old enough to hear some things about his younger days, lol. I’m okay with that!

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  4. Martha Kennedy

    My mom knew little about me, either. That was her choice. It was more convenient for her to freeze-frame me at age 17 (during a nasty fight between us) than ever realize I had grown up. I think, if I had kids, I’d want not to know many things partly to save me angst and partly to give them privacy.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      My mother was often so careful not to pry that it seemed like indifference…especially as she grew older and more concerned with primarily her own affairs. On the other hand, this also freed me not to feel responsibility for her, so in a way it was a gift. Another part of me, however, wanted her to be curious enough to ask questions. She hardly ever did, although she loved spending time together and doing things together.

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