Focus On Moms: Our Mom

I can’t feature a full week of moms on my blog without talking about MY mom! So today I’m dedicating this post to my mom. We call her Mother, we used to call her Mama, and sometimes when I’m in an extra-special happy place I revert to calling her Mama. I’ve written quite a bit about her here on this blog.  From her beauty secrets to her struggle with drug addiction and how it affected my life.

My mom, I'm the baby and that's Marina.
My mom, I’m the baby and that’s Marina.

It hasn’t always been an easy relationship, I’ll admit. Sometimes she makes certain decisions, goes down a different path, takes a wrong turn…and our relationship becomes difficult and strained. Once she reemerges from the darkness, and to put it bluntly, gets her act together, our relationship feels good again. Right now things are good, she seems to be in a good place and seems to be taking care of herself. That’s all I really care about. I just want her safe, healthy, and happy.

I love my mom immensely and that’s why it’s painful to see her go down the wrong path repeatedly. Especially when I know what an incredibly determined woman she can be. When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, I looked up to my mom. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She was a Veterinary Technician so I wanted to be a Veterinarian. I wanted to take care of animals the way she did. My mom even got me Veterinarian Barbie WITH the playset (wow!) to encourage my aspiration.

I’ve written on this blog many times that we were poor growing up. When I was very young, before my ex-step-dad came into the picture I never felt poor. Not even when my mom got her awesome green convertible car repossessed. I didn’t feel poor. It was just…”that’s the end of that car!”

My mom always gave us a memorable Christmas. She always managed to buy us a new set of clothes for the school year. She figured out a way to get us a nice new dress for Easter each year. She worked really hard to achieve this.

A really good memory I have with her is our beach trips. She couldn’t take us on vacations or to theme parks but  she could pack up some yummy sandwiches and head over to the beach for the day. She would bring some Pepsi, a bag of barbecue chips and lather us up in sunblock. We’d play all day on the beach. She was happy. She wasn’t stressed or mad or yelling.

My my mom trying to breakdance it the 90s...back when she could  get down on the dance floor without breaking something ;-) :-D
My my mom trying to breakdance it the 90s…back when she could get down on the dance floor without breaking something 😉 😀

There were times before my ex-step-dad when my mom’s temper got the best of her and she’d lash out on us. Mostly on my older sister. Those times were scary and my mom intimidated me for a long time. I don’t think she realizes that I used to be afraid of her. No one is perfect…but then no one should act out their rage on their children either. When you see your mom fly off the handle like that, you are taken off guard because this is the one person you rely on for everything. For love, comfort, care, food, shelter.

Once, my mom managed to get her hands on tickets to Disneyland. That was such an amazing trip! My mom was really excited. She put together matching outfits (from head to toe!) for the three of us. I was afraid of the characters in suits…and too little (or too scared?) to go on Splash Mountain. I just remember that being such a fun day and not only that, such a rare experience for us.

This post is going a lot like how our life goes…good memory, bad memory, good…bad…good. But that’s the honest truth. I think because of the way things turned out that made me who I am today. Determined. Relentless. Self-motivated.

All along, through all the hardships my mom always encouraged education. When we got kicked out our home, about nine years ago, I stood in her doorway, tears streaming down my face.

“I’ll stop going to school…I’ll get a full-time job”

“No, don’t do that. Keep going to school. Whatever you do, don’t stop going to school.”

Sniffle.

“I’ll switch to part time classes then…”

I feel like my words aren’t conveying what I feel. Like this is coming off negative but that’s not my intention. She’s not a horrible mom. She’s also not the best mom. She’s a mom who TRIED. Made mistakes. Failed at times. Made bad choices. Put her kids in bad situations. HOWEVER–I think a lot of the time she thought she was doing the best she could in her situation. Moving to Camarillo for the better schools and neighborhoods. Choosing to live with a man until he kicked us out because she thought we needed a stable father figure and a house with a huge backyard in a decent neighborhood. It seemed like a good idea at first.

Abrahamsen Wedding Monique and Carol
An emotional moment with my mom after my wedding ceremony.

Our little family unit consisting of women: a mother and her three daughters. We’ve had a lot thrown our way. We get through it together.

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