Mother’s Day is upon us again, at least here in the United States. I knew it was getting close because of the barrage of TV sales ads, email coupons, BOGOs, and Internet memes. All kidding aside, it is nice to have a day to recognize the moms in our life, whether a birth mother, adoptive mother, beloved mother-in-law (don’t laugh, I had one), or a friend’s mom who adopted you into her family. The recognition should extend for the other 364 or 365 days in the year, too.
Not everyone has happy memories of their mothers. Some people I know have told me tales that make Christina Crawford’s book “Mommie Dearest” seem like “Winnie the Pooh”. If that is your situation, my thoughts and prayers go towards your continued healing.
I’m damned lucky to still have my mother. My best friend’s mother died 22 years ago, and my buddy reminds me it is still a profound loss. Mother’s Day is a poignant day to those who lost a mother. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you, and I hope you can remember the good times and the love your mother gave to you.
Most of us will say that we think our mother is a saint, and we are right in our own way. My mother had to put up with a very stubborn and intelligent child who underwent years of reconstructive surgeries mostly in a hospital about a hundred miles away from home. She had to balance raising my (at the time) two younger brothers, being a housewife, and trying to be there for me whenever possible. It is tough waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery and get into the recovery room. I only had to do that four times with Lucy; my mother had to do it over three dozen times. I remember one time I was still very sick from the anesthesia and I ended up vomiting on my mom when she bent forward to kiss my forehead. Mothers endure the indignity of getting sprayed with bodily fluids from their children. They endure the tirades of a child who couldn’t do many of the things other children can do and didn’t understand why. They lie awake at night worrying when a curfew deadline slips. They fret during emergency room and urgent care visits. They urge their children to succeed in school and in life and not give in to “C’s get degrees” complacency. They want the best for their children, they want their children to be happy, and they love their children unconditionally.
Mom, saying I love you doesn’t seem adequate to express the gratitude I have for always being there for me. I give Lucy a lot of credit for making me into a decent person, but you and Dad played a huge role, too. I am so blessed and so lucky that you are still in my life. You carried me even when I was weighted down with plaster casts. You never gave up on me, and you believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You were there for me, through my rebellious years when I had all the answers but the universe cheated and changed all the questions on me, through the dating disasters and difficult times before I met Lucy, through my wild and crazy career, through the years of joy I had with Lucy, and now through the years of trying to rebuild my life without Lucy. You helped me take care of Lucy during Lucy’s final days in home hospice. You have earned every gray hair because I am responsible for nearly all of them. I didn’t realize the sacrifices you made for me until after I left home and stopped being an arrogant jerk. Please know I will always love you.
Betty, you were an incredible mother to Lucy, and you adopted me into your family without hesitation or reservation. You became my second mom. There is not a day that goes by where you are not missed. Thank you for everything you did for me. Thank you for supporting Lucy during her fierce battle. I hope you and Lucy are together in heaven, safe and surrounded by love, keeping an eye on your family and nudging us when we need it. I miss you and I love you.
To my buddy’s mom, I never got a chance to meet you because cancer stole your life many years too soon, but I know you are very proud of your youngest child. You raised someone who has achieved much success professionally, a person who is strong, independent, compassionate, generous, intelligent, funny, and fascinating, a person who has been a rock solid best friend to me. Those traits come from a mother’s love and guidance. Strong, intelligent, and independent kids are a challenge, believe me. It makes what you did all the more remarkable. You were the glue that held your family together. Thank you for everything you did.
Take the time to call or visit your mother and let her know what she means to you. Definitely give her a hug if you are lucky enough to visit her. If your mother has passed away, take a few minutes to remember her and everything she did for you. As long as you remember someone, you keep that person alive in your heart. A mother’s love is forever even if her life is not.