Mother's Day, 2011
Jovita Tarin Ruiz
(July 20, 1918 - August 6, 1999)
My mother as I knew her seemed a sad, sensitive, and lonely human being. She was married so young, to a man much older than she; 16 years older. She had six children, and never had the fulfillment of the dreams at which she had only hinted in passing during private conversations I had with her while she tried to comfort me through ordeals. She was very creative, artistic, used to sing as a young girl, and was a lively youngster in her youth. She was also very assertive and protective of the other siblings in her family, since she was the eldest of the five of them. And yet, by the time I came into the world--and being the last of her brood--I saw her as a quiet, sad, reflective, contemplative person who was not very attentive to her children.
I understand a lot about things now, since I've grown and gone through many experiences myself. I understand her. I only wish I had understood her while she was alive. She was a tortured and sorrowful soul, yet she was filled with love and affection, with warmth and insight, with kindness and patience in certain situations that called for these emotional strengths.
My mother. She was the embodiment of Virginia Woolf's definition of the "Angel in the House." Though she was not quiet by any means, she kept herself to herself; and a secret to us. She kept her true self deadened in order to make days for others alive. She moved about quick and determined, but her person was of a hollowness that is hard to explain except to those who have experienced such a person.
Now that I have lived for so many years, I have experienced such things. There were many "aha" moments, when I told myself I was sorry I did not understand my mother's personal tragedies at the time she had had them, and I wish there was some way that I could go back and sooth her sorrow. But I cannot.
Mother's Day is here again, and she is gone. But my mother is the only mother I will ever be honored to have had, and I wish now that I could tell her how much I understand.
If there was any possible way for her to even consider what goes on in this finite world--for where she is I suspect she is ovewhelmingly, infitely filled with joy, and she is surrounded by her loved ones that have gone before, and she is as she was: beauty incarnate, in the heavenly places--I would hope she might hear my heart: I miss you so, mother, and I understand.