Vitaliy Mahidov's Mother
Says on the card "Chernovtsy, January 27 1970"

Who is she, my mom? Her name is Evgenia Mikitivna Magidova. She was born on the 8th of February 1941, during those days when the Second World War kept raging in my, as well as many other, countries. As I am writing today, I realized for the first time that she was born on the same day I did. In addition, she is Aquarius sign in the horoscope, but I don’t understand why we never got along.

This nice, 5.0 foot tall lady had a beautifully arranged blond died hair, nice dark brown eyes, showing the energy she had for overcoming any obstacles in her life. Her face, with a little smile on occasions, was showing the years of experience gained through those hard times of communism and depression. Little wrinkles on her face, shared with others, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle that added to her real age a few more years. Although she was only 38, her appearance told everyone that she was 45. Today, looking at her, one can say that she looks much older than 67. This phenomenon that she looked much older could be observed because of what she has done with her life.

Many things contributed to her aging. One of the main ones was the amount of alcohol she consumed everyday, and amount of cigarettes she smoked. No wonder, she would feel pain when she wouldn’t have anything to drink, even for one day. She would say, “I don’t feel pain when I have some alcohol in my body. Vitaly, give me something to drink”. Her body had the ability to hide the pain and illnesses she had, when alcohol was given. This is why she would also go out and search for alcohol in different little bars, cafes, on the streets, and even in stores.

I remember one incident that happened at about 3am in the morning, when she was brought home. This incident and many others portray what my mom really was and why our lives were never interconnected.

One night the knock was on my door. It happened during that brief time when I lived with my mom. My neighbor from the 5th floor woke me up. “Vitaly, you need to go out and pick your mom up! Hurry! She is lying in the snow, and I am not able to lift her up myself”. I rushed out and indeed, she had been laying on the ground in the snow. She wouldn’t even have much warm clothes on her. I was afraid that it may cause her serious illness. But she was strong and nothing bad had happened to her after that night. This happened many times to her. She had experience. She was used to illness, and pain, when alcohol was in her body.

I never liked the times when my mom was drunk, because then she would talk non stop. I couldn’t sleep that night, as well as many other nights when she was drunk. Most of the times at times like these, we argued. My neighbors would hear us. But all I wanted was peace. My mom then wasn’t my mom. She was just as an alcoholic person to me. But all I wanted is a real mom, who would love and look after me. Those were hard times when I lived with my mom when I was 19. I can’t imagine how much harder would that have been if I was growing up with her all my life? But I am glad that my life story wasn’t written for me that way. I am glad, that something else was lying ahead of me, instead of the horror times with my mom.

Ukraine 2001 Family MamaI call my mom “mom”, although she didn’t deserve to be called that way. I call her “mom” because of the human responsibility I have for her as her natural son to whom she gave birth. Sometimes I cry in the dark and wonder, why wouldn’t my mom love her son? Sometimes I wonder why my mom wouldn’t want her son to be happy. Sometimes it hurts me to know, that for forty years of her work experience at the cotton factory as a seamstress she had nothing except her little apartment. Literally, she had nothing. The clothes she wore were 20 years old, the kitchen utensils and other home appliances were broken and old. I still wonder why she wouldn’t look after herself. My mom took a bath once a month and washed her clothes once a month. She wouldn’t care much about herself. Only when I moved in with her, she cleaned herself at least once a week, washed her dishes after using them, and washed her clothes once they were dirty. I still wonder what may have caused this nice little lady to be the way she is, to drink alcohol, as much as she drinks now and to not care for her kids at all. What had brought her to this stage? What hurt her in her life so much, that she would be where she is right now, with no future and no past? Unfortunately after many conversations with her, there are no answers to all those questions. However, I can say that maybe because of the ways her mom treated her. I remember, my mom telling a little bit about how much she didn’t like her mom. My mom told me, that they had many fights. My mom didn’t like her very much. Maybe, because of much stress that she received from her mom, she tried somehow “to heal” it by drinking. But, I think, that having a bad mom shouldn’t make you a bad person.

Each of us has a responsibility for our own lives and can only influence the lives of others but not have a complete power to change them. I believe that if my mom decided “I don’t want to be like my mom”, then my life story would have been different, with a lot more wonderful memories from my youth, because I would have my mom to come to for solutions, council, guidance, and love. Unfortunately, because my mom wasn’t strong enough to make that decision, my youth life suffered much and my beautiful memories are not so beautiful, but filled with so much grief, pain, and lack of love. Of course, some parts of my memories are filled with joy, funny moments, and the love of others. Or maybe, there is something that made her to behave the way she behaves? Maybe the answer to all those questions lies deep down within my mom’s heart? What if neither her mom, nor the environment that she grew up in made her to behave that way? I know a lot of people who grew up in the same conditions that my mom grew up in, but they are not alcoholics. What if this is the way she was destined to follow from the beginning? There is no reason to deny that possibility, since the left handed person doesn’t suddenly become left handed, because this is the way he was raised to be, or the person with the down syndrome suddenly started to have that illness because this is the society that made him to be ill, or his family that led him to this stage? Maybe this is the way she was born to be? However, later, being exposed to it she just continued to live it. I don’t know. But, for this much I know that this is my mom, and as a human being I am obligated to love her as a human, and support her when she is in need. And, because I was the one in need most of the time, I couldn’t be there for her. I couldn’t help her understand how miserable and painful it is to not have the past or the future. I regret, that I wasn’t born to that time, when my mom was still young, and being capable to change her behavior, to tell her, that the life without alcohol, with the presence of her very own children is much more wonderful than the life she lived. But, above all, I wanted her to understand, that I can’t change her that the change lays within her. Anyhow, I still wonder, why do we rush to change others, if we don’t see those changes within? Possibly my mom didn’t want to change, because as she thought, this is the way she is. Possibly, she felt that her life without me would be much better for her and for me? Possibly, the alcohol, was the only solution to get away from daily problems? Possibly I am not the one to judge her for what she likes to do or what she doesn’t? And I do understand her only now, putting myself in her shoes but facing different challenges of a different character, but with the same attributes, of which I explained only to a few people.

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