The Trouble With Unconditional Love. I love Adele’s music because it is a beautiful, melodious reminder of the fact that relationships are complicated. I learned that lesson early in life from my mother, pictured above. The other reason I love Adele is that she looks like her.
Mom and I were not the best of friends when I was growing up. My teenage self saw her as self-absorbed, controlling, vain, and critical. These are personality flaws that I’m sure my kids would attribute to me today, but hopefully without resentment, and with a chuckle. I’m pretty sure that Mom would say that I made her life as difficult as she made mine back then, but saying anything is not so easy for her now. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during my first year of college, and twenty or so years later, speaking and just about every other bodily function that all of us take for granted other than breathing is outside of her control.
I am a kind, understanding woman. I forgive easily (but never forget), and know that the standards that I hold myself to may be unreasonable, albeit in my mind, necessary. My mother was not an achiever in the modern sense of the word. She was perfectly content with a beautician’s degree, one pair of scissors, and one client: my Dad. But Mom had skills. She was a social butterfly who knew how to make everyone feel special…everyone that is, except me. Despite her disease, it has been hard for me to forgive what I perceive to be wasted years when we could have been best friends instead of enemies.
I am now the same age as my mother when she was diagnosed with MS. I have my own problems with my kids, and have had health and other obstacles to overcome. I have a better understanding of how hard it is do this thing called Life, and I wish that she was here, really here, to help me make sense of it.
My advice? Cherish the people who love you, even if you don’t always agree with the way they do it. You never know how long you have to love them, and be loved by them, until your relationship goes dark.