Hello Dr. Laura,
My mother and father were married until I was seventeen years old, but it was anything other than happy. My mother came from a third world country where she had to drop out of school to support her family. She and my father met when he was a naive 19-year-old in the Air Force and she was just sixteen. She got pregnant with my sister, had me a year and a half later, then moved from her home country to the United States.
In some ways I can't blame my mother for her negligence because coming from a poverty-stricken country to the U.S. is like a serf suddenly becoming queen. She had everything at her disposal, and unfortunately that included our family funds which she had full access to for her gambling purposes. I remember her never being there. There are pictures and videos of mine and my sister's birthday parties where she wasn't even present. I remember taking family trips without her. Oh, and also she was addicted to prescription medication throughout my childhood, as well.
However, I can blame her for calling me and asking me for money (which she hasn't done in recent years because I outright tell her, "No"). I can blame her for attempting to guilt me for moving into our house. She also claimed her new husband was abusing her which I know that to be an egregious falsehood. And I can blame her for forgetting to call me on my birthday but expects everyone to make a big deal out of hers.
I really don't have any excuse for not remembering her birthday since it is always near Mother's Day, but I honestly had forgotten it this year until my aunt, (my mother's sister) called me and reminded me. So, I can also blame her for calling other family members to try to make me feel guilty, too.
All that being said, the biblical phrase, "You reap what you sow..." comes to mind regarding her. I'm only giving back what she put in. If she made a bigger impact on my life maybe I wouldn't forget her birthday. She could start by remembering mine after 28 years.
There is a happy ending! I am married to a wonderful, hardworking, fine specimen of a man who helped give us 2 beautiful children. The silver lining is worth it all!
I have another woman (besides you) that I will be giving flowers, a card, and wishing Happy Mother's Day who has made a great impact on my life. And I fully expect the same from my children because I genuinely love them and want the best for them. The only way to make that happen is by making a huge impact in their lives, which I am and fully intend on doing.