A Mother’s Love for her Sons

I have been researching the effect of a mother’s illness on her children.  The boys are two beautiful, well-adjusted, honest and compassionate young men.  Vic’s illness has certainly deprived them of a childhood in the true sense of the word and prematurely matured them into compassionate, caring, young men far too early in life.  At the tender age of thirteen Jared was cooking for the family…  This must certainly have an effect on how the boys perceive relationships with people.

Now according to my research the boys have become what is called ‘parentified’ children. These children solve the problem of sick and inadequate parenting by taking care of their parents. They in effect become parents to their parents, giving to the sick parent what they need from the parent. Now the roles are reversed. This seemingly creative solution is unfortunately too self-sacrificing to be healthy in the long run.

“‘Parentified’ sons who take care of their sick mothers in order to cope with their inability to parent, struggle to suppress obvious needs for love and feelings of loss. They learn to work hard taking care of the needs of others and living off of the scraps that come in the form of reinforcements for their competence and reliability. Their needs for love are overlooked and overshadowed by everyone else’s needs.”  The boys, especially Jared, falls into this category 100%.  When his little girlfriend was hit in the eye by a hockey ball, he immediately went into caregiving mode,  At the time I thought it to be extremely unhealthy that he already has this caregiving character trait.  He used to always make the tea and offer to do so much around the house and for his Mom.

I have put a stop to this.  I pray it is not too late for the boys to adjust to a “normal” household…

It is however important for them to realize that death is a part of the circle of life and that it is not something dark and something to be feared but rather, if happening in a timely fashion, something that one can embrace. The boys appreciate and respect Vic as their mother.   Vic has raised her sons to be respectful.

“The power of a mother’s strength comes from her heart, from her unabashed, unconditional, and unwavering love for her child. There is, as J.K. Rowling wrote in her Harry Potter books, a magic in that love. No matter what happens, a mother is always there for her child. A mother’s love is never to be questioned, and – though she may not know it at first – neither is her strength.”

Vic literally rose from her deathbed to be there for Jared with his operation on Wednesday.  When my Mom died I related her final moments to someone jumping from a diving board into a deep pool, reaching the bottom and kicking to rise to the surface of the water for one more breath… only to sink again.  This is what Vic does.

Before Jared was wheeled into theatre he whispered into his mom’s ear.  She took his hand and said “I promise”.

Vic, drip in hand, walking with Jared to theater!

The surgeon said the operation would last two hours.  Vic dutifully went back to bed and rested.  One hour and forty-five minutes later she was, IV drip in hand, standing outside the theatre door, waiting for her son.  I begged her to at least sit on the chair but she refused.  “Mommy, I promised Jared my face would be the first thing he sees when he comes out of theatre!”

It took a superhuman effort but Vic’s love for her son drove her to keep her word.  It is true that no mother wants her child to suffer in any way, but life is unfair like that. So, we as mother’s do what we can to provide support, comfort, and protection. And we grow strong enough to bear their hurt as well as our own.  As Vic did.  As I do. Motherhood cuts deeply, brings you to your knees most days; but it also brings a strength that may surprise you.

The vicious cycle of anger truly rose to the occasions on Wednesday.  I got angry with Vic because she was not putting her health first!  I KNOW I would have done the same but it was terrible seeing my child do herself harm to be a Mother.  I want to wrap her in cotton so she would be spared that extra day…

Yesterday Vic said she doubted whether she would see the end of the year.  She is however adamant to be at Jared’s confirmation…one more goal…

Go Girl!!!

Well, Vic is home.  I am so grateful.  She is conceding that she is too sore and ill to go to hospital…Saturday Jared comes home!!

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I am a sixty plenty wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. I started blogging as a coping mechanism during my beautiful daughter's final journey. Vic was desperately ill for 10 years after a botched back operation. Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child. https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com

32 thoughts on “A Mother’s Love for her Sons”

  1. This brings back memories of my own life. I am crying over this post and I sympathize with Vic’s sons along with yourself. Thank you for sharing.


    1. Thank you for your kind and sympathetic words. We often tell Vicky that her name too means “Victorious”. It is sad that you lost your Mom at such a yound age! You are strong and I will follow your blog with interest.


    1. Tracy thank you so much! I am truly humbled!!! I follow your blog slavishly as I do Katie’s. You have given me so much insight! Thank you, thank you!!!


  2. I too was a parentified child. I’ve never seen an older person (except my therapist) acknowledge how tough it can be.

    Kudos to you for wanting to help the boys reclaim a bit of the carefree attitude of youth. Good luck.


      1. Oh, I wouldn’t say that I lost my joy. I just became the parent. I knew I was doing a lot more care-taking than most kids, but didn’t realize how stressed out my family role made me until adulthood when I’d moved out, finished college, gotten a job, and become independent. Not only is the house I grew up in now falling apart, but the rest of my family keeps having explosion-level drama without the peacekeeper (me) and my parents keep jokingly-but-actually-kind-of-seriously telling me that I’m their “retirement plan”. They’re only in their 40s.

        Humor is a lot of things for me, coping mechanism included. :) I have a harder time with stress than sorrow, though. I’m always worried about everything and everyone.

        But I started my blog to change all of that and become a happier person. I have high hopes in this regard (for your boys too!).


      2. It sounds as if you may have to become a little self-centered…You are entitled to your own life. Whose “retirement plan” you may be has to be YOUR decision. Good luck!!!


  3. I am so happy to have found your blog. You are an amazing woman and you have an amazing daughter. It grips my heart to know the grief you are undergoing right now. I have never lost a child but I have lost a sibling and my dad. I still battle depression everyday due to the grief. Finding your blog has helped me. Sending peaceful vibes and big hugs your way.


    1. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for the hugs and peaceful vibes – I need them today. I tried to look at your blog but got a message saying “No longer available”.


  4. Today must be my “day of tears”. I just got introduced to your blog a few moments ago and I’m shedding tears (yet again). One post doesn’t tell me the whole story, but I got enough from this one to be truly humbled by the spirits that I’m reading about, ALL of them. God Bless you all with the peace and grace you so deserve. Thank you for sharing your story and the amazing strength you all possess.


      1. Thank you so very much. As I’ve said in other parts of my blog (or maybe not,lol) everyone is my friend until they prove differently (and it takes a lot to do that). Cyber-hugs much appreciated and returned 10 fold :)


  5. after reading your blog..i realized how much do we all take our lives for granted….and how important it is…how precious…all my prayers to dear Vic and your family….hope God gives her strength to fight the pain she is going through….all my love to her <3


  6. I admire so much your resolve that Vic’s son’s shall have healthy normal lives. This was yet another compelling testement to your faitha nd to yu strength.

    My wishes for a pain-::LESS Monday and some sunshine in your hearts ~ BB


  7. What a heart-wrenching post. I cannot possibly understand what things are like for you, as you search for a deeper understanding of what not only your daughter is going through, but what her sons are as well. This quote was very powerful, “giving to the sick parent what they need from the parent.” Made me stop when I read it. Also, you picked a great quote from J.K. Rowling. The love of a mother. There is nothing stronger. You certainly have more than your fair share, you strong woman, and I will continue to send good thoughts and prayers to your family.


  8. Oh – found it! Don’t know what the other page was.

    Tersia, your blog is so heart wrenching. There is just so much pain and loss, it’s awful. I’m just dearly sorry.xx


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