Written by Anonymous.
My mom was a minivan mom. She had five kids back-to-back. Imagine: a dirty minivan, with crumbs and Hot Cheetos bags scattered everywhere. Packing five lunches, dropping off five kids, making breakfast, lunch, dinner, doing dishes, laundry, getting groceries and driving a minivan. Of course, taking a shower, eating and resting were things that she had to squeeze in after she took care of her chores.
Her minivan wasn’t filthy on the inside, but it could use some cleaning, although she never had the time—the only time she could clean up anything was when she stopped for gas. She would stop to pump gas once a week, clean the outside windows and gather all of our trash from the inside of her car.
My mom was a reflection of her car. She was scattered on the inside. She wasn’t a bad person, but she simply never made time for herself. She would only refuel and clean up herself when she was empty.
Her routine stayed the same for years, and so did her car. As we got older, the minivan started to slowly break down. When the brakes would screech, my dad would replace the brake pads; when the tires would go flat, my mom would put air in the tires; whenever a part broke, my parents would replace it. Even after all the maintenance, my mom gradually failed to see value in the car, and eventually stopped cleaning it. The fabric ceiling on the inside was peeling, some paint on the outside was rusting and there was always a film of dust on the windows.
One day, the engine went out. Although it was fixable, and after all the money and time my parents had already spent on the car, it was time to let go. The minivan was no longer reliable.
Every time my mom could no longer handle her difficult responsibilities, she would break down, then put a band aid on it as a temporary fix. My dad would bring home flowers and make her day. If she was broken inside, she would wait until that moment to fix herself.
Finally when we grew up, my mom turned into a different person. She wasn’t the same mom I had when I was a young kid. My mom’s emptiness turned into resentment, which lead to emotional abuse. I was emotionally abused as an early adult because my mom developed chronic depression due to her inability to take of herself when I was a child.
I remember my mom as a poise, beautiful cook who always had dinner at the table. She always hugged me when I was in early grade school. It seemed like the more kids my mom had the more I was slowly losing her. And I finally lost her when I was an adult.
She is gone. When she looks at me, she does so with regret because she gave everything to me and my siblings and nothing to herself.
If anyone can take anything away from this story, it would be take time for yourself. If you’re a parent, never forget the value of self-care. Everything you do, do it for God.