The Cocktail Hour: A Mother’s Love

If you read the prayer, I’m sure you have a thousand and one questions. This post will address one of the biggest ones: how did I get to that point? The point of letting go and letting God. Well, the short answer is therapy.

I love myself more in this very moment than I’ve ever loved myself. I honestly take pride in saying that. With this newfound self-love, I’m currently reevaluating all the relationships in my life. Are they one-sided? Do they serve a purpose? Am I showing up as my authentic self? As far as the latter, I’m not entirely sure. From this point forward, the answer will be yes.

Besides the relationship with yourself, the one with your parents is probably one of the most important. They’re the first people on earth to be given the opportunity to love you. The ones who nurture you, educate you, and irk that one last nerve you have on a day that’s already tested your patience. They provide you with a blueprint on how to navigate through this crazy world. Well, they try. If you’re lucky, your parents may even become your best friends. I’d say my mom was my very first best friend.

My mom grew up in a strict Christian household. She was well into her twenties before she ever wore a pair of pants (she could only wear dresses growing up). Yes, Mama Dose is the true definition of a southern belle. She’s only had one cocktail in her 61 years of life and didn’t even finish it. On the other hand, I can go through a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in 90 minutes or less. The point I’m trying to make is that we’re complete opposites. That’s primarily due to the world we live in now. These days, everything is in your face, no matter if you like it or not. You are exposed to just about anything and everything on social media. Things are also more progressive. With that being said, you can only imagine my mom’s face when she saw me in a crop top for the first time. The poor thing was all kinds of confused. She was even more shocked to find out that I was gay.

I didn’t know that when I officially came out to my parents at 19, it would be the last time they’d ever show interest in my personal life. My dad is the epitome of an alpha male. He’s a provider and makes sure his family doesn’t go without anything. He’s never been a softy, so I don’t expect to ever call him and pour my heart out about a guy I’m crushing on. He’s just not wired that way, and I love him in spite of that. My mom, on the other hand, has always been a strong emotional support system for me. She loves to tell everyone how proud she is that her son’s dreams of becoming a journalist came true, but journalist is just one of my many titles.

Back in June, I saw her for the first time in nearly a year. I took that as the perfect opportunity to express to her that I needed more out of our relationship. I just wanted her to finally see all of me, not just the parts she chose to see. Even something as small as ‘Happy Pride’ would suffice. Things actually took a dramatic turn. She finally confessed to me that she probably would never be comfortable with my sexuality but would love me regardless. That was a truth I already subconsciously accepted, but hearing that made it real.

I’m now left to come to terms with some pretty harsh realities. First, I may never feel truly connected to my parents because their love feels conditional. Also, my mother won’t witness me walk down the aisle someday. Talk about a total tearjerker! After doing some reflecting, I realized that’s probably why I’ve been so hell-bent on finding my own Mr. Big. To have one person who loves me unconditionally and without limits. I now know that the only person truly capable of doing that is myself. It was then that my relationship with myself got a lot stronger. I guess that’s the silver lining.