A Mother Remembered

You can meet Suhaila and her parents in this post.

It was a warm spring day. Outside the birds were singing. A gentle breeze wove its way through the trees in the garden. It was her first Mother’s Day. As she lay in bed cuddling her small daughter, thoughts of another mother entered her mind.
The first memory is of sitting on her mother’s lap, reading story after story. She can still see the bedroom they sat in; it had been her room. Though small, it was beautifully decorated. The child-size bed in the corner wore a quilt of down, made in white with tiny pink flowers on it. The dresser had been painted pink, a rough job done by someone who didn’t quite know how to paint; drips were still visible along the edges. On top of the dresser was an antique lamp that had been rescued from yard sale leftovers that were being thrown out. The tiny window was trimmed with handmade curtains, obviously stitched by hand. In one corner was a cozy chair artistically draped with an old handmade quilt in order to hide the torn and faded upholstery. That was the chair they sat in every evening. She remembers the smell of her mother’s hair, how its waves fell around her face, how beautiful her smile always was.
The memory faded and another took its place. She was older, about 5. She remembers the handmade doll her mother had given her for her birthday. She had loved that doll so much! She would carry it around in her arms, feed it, and pat it to sleep.
Tears began to flow from Suhaila’s eyes. She tried hard to push the memories away. For years she had been able to block them out, but now that she was a mother herself, the memories had resurfaced and she couldn’t stop them. She cried quietly so as not to wake the baby lying next to her and allowed the next memory to come.
She couldn’t remember exactly how old she had been in this one – maybe 7 or 8. The incident that caused her to be upset was long forgotten but she was sure it had something to do with kids teasing her at school. All she remembers is going home in tears and her mother holding her, listening to her story, comforting her with soft words and her favorite cookies.
The baby began to stir and Suhaila lightly rubbed her back until she settled down again. Why were the memories of her childhood affecting her so much? Why had they come back so strongly, beginning during her pregnancy and now continuing more than ever since the birth of Leslie Rose? Why couldn’t she ignore them as she had before?
Getting up from the bed, Suhaila left the bedroom and went outside onto the small porch at the back of the house. She sat in a refurbished antique rocking chair and allowed herself to relive yet another memory.
This one, though, wasn’t so nice. Her mother was in it too – the only bad memory she had of her. She was 17 and had fallen in with some friends who were leading her down a dangerous path – one of lying and stealing. Her mother had found out about her shoplifting an expensive necklace and had made her return it and apologize to the owner of the shop. The embarrassment she had felt at being made to do so upset her so much that she and her mother had the biggest fight they had ever had, ending with her mother saying she wished Suhaila wasn’t her daughter.
They were words spoken in anger, words that had burned inside her and cemented her decision – she would run away and make sure she was never found. That evening Suhaila had packed a bag and left before her parents even went to bed.
By now Suhaila was weeping bitterly. She knew in her heart that her mother had spoken the words out of frustration and disappointment, but she hadn’t meant them. She knew her mother had been waiting for her to calm down, and then she would have apologized as she always did. She had wanted to make her mother suffer, but now she was the one suffering.
“Mom, I’m so sorry for the pain I now know you must still be enduring. I wish I could take it all back!” At that moment Suhaila made another life-altering decision – she would do whatever it took to track down her parents. She just had to see her mother again!

This fiction piece was written for the following promt from Story Dam:

Dam Burst Prompt:
Fiction or Non – Fiction, Tell us the best or worst mother story whether your own, someone else’s, or completely made up. …

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1 Comment

  1. The things that people say in anger. How well you portrayed that. And the deep need a woman has for her mother when she becomes on herself.Hope you'll continue with this. I want to read the reunion.


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