Ugly

When I was born, my mother thought I was ugly.  Loud, red and guilty of a most painful arrival – I deny nothing.  Mother did see Elizabeth Taylor potential in my black hair and violet eyes, but I quickly broke that promise.  My hair eventually lightened to brunette and my eyes turned to hazel, with yellow prowling throughout the iris, like a cat’s (which I came to prefer, but that is another story).

Nurses cooed over me, but mother did not understand the attention paid to the 9 pounds of noise lying next to her.  She thought I was ugly.

It was the last time she would think that of me, this first meeting that took place over 50 years ago.

Since then, my mother’s pride in her daughter remained steadfast, even throughout decades when belief in my own self-worth differed and diverged in sometimes violent outbursts.  It was an incomprehensible devotion – unblinking and unceasing – and though there were times when I claimed I didn’t believe it, oh, how I depended on it.

I depend on my mother.  Without her humor, the delicate madness of her divine comedy, I would be sad.  Without her joy in my accomplishments, I would be unskilled.  Without our nightly phone calls, I would be silenced.  If I couldn’t see my reflection in her loving eyes, I would be ugly.

My mother defines me.

I have so little to give in return, except for my steadfast pride and unblinking and unceasing devotion – too rarely expressed.  But today, I will do so.  I love you mother – Happy Mother’s Day.

Searching Together

Searching Together

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13 responses to “Ugly

  1. She’s a lucky lady – great photo as well.

  2. Lovely tribute – and you are a beautiful woman no matter what you think or feel.
    Mr FD popped out rather misshapen after a forceps birth and his father thought him ugly too. I don’t think his father ever bonded with him and certainly never made him feel worthwhile or loved. Sad.

  3. Brought a tear to my eye – thanks.

  4. Awwww what a wonderful tribute. Happy Mother’s Day to your mom and you!

  5. Wonderful tribute. *wipes eyes*

  6. We think your mother is pretty swell also.

  7. How lucky you are to have such a great mother! I don’t doubt she knows already what a wonderful daughter you are.

  8. This was brilliant, Aubrey. There are many transformations within our family units. You describe this one so well. And with your usual poetic style.

  9. It’s still too soon after my own mother’s death for me to read mothers’ day posts on the day itself – but this one is especially lovely, and reminds me of the best of my relationship with my own mother. How lucky you are to still enjoy those nightly phone calls. Even the thought of them is beautiful!

  10. A lovely and touching appreciation

  11. What a beautiful and moving tribute…

  12. Aubrey: parents make mistakes, but they’re certain to have given you a better childhood than the one they had…and how can someone who writes beautifully be ugly, anyway? RT

  13. A moving post! I’m late in terms of the date, it’s been a few weeks since Mother’s Day, but not late in catching the heartfelt emotions.

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