Some one asked me once if being a mother and mothering made me more sad that my own mother had passed away. My answer is: no - quite the opposite.
Braden has only been in my life for 5 1/2 years (not counting pregnancy). If I died today, he would have almost ZERO recollection of me. His memories would come from pictures and home movies. For me on the other hand, those 5 1/2 years are FULL with genuine memories. I carry his history (our history) in my mind and heart. All of it. I remember all the things he can't and won't. I know everything there is to know about him. His existence is an overwhelming, and all encompassing presence in mine.
I shared 12 years 11 months on this earth with my mother. I have some genuine memories of her before she got sick. I have a handful of memories of her from when she was sick too. But now after 21 years those real memories get a bit mixed up with the home movies and pictures. She is more idea than person. An idealized representation of unconditional love.
When I mother Braden and Tristan I am storing away knowledge. That same knowledge that my mother carried about me. It makes her real, not just a figment of my imagination. The fact that she carried that knowledge, validates our relationship. 12 years and 11 months carries with it more memories, knowledge and information than I can even imagine.
And I know, because I can feel it with my boys... that one thing you can't know until you have children of your own ... is that LOVE... that powerful, encompassing LOVE which transcends time and space... and when I mother the boys in that moment I can feel how much I really truly love them and in turn I can feel how much my mother really and truly loved me.... and that is a comfort and makes me smile inside.