Well, I’m a horrid daughter. My mother’s Mother’s Day gift is still in my house waiting to be mailed. However, if I ever mailed anything to either of my parents and it got there on time, they’d probably pass out.
See, I’m doing them a public service by not having it there on time. 🙂
Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So, I thought I would offer this as a peace offering to her and a chance to tell you all about my wonderful mother.
I am extremely lucky to have my Mom. I was adopted by my parents and I couldn’t have been placed with a better couple to guide me in my formative years and give me support when I’m fully grown.
My Mom would tell you that she is timid. She tells me that she is awe of some of the things that I’ve done, that she would never do those things. But, I have to tell you, I don’t know anyone braver and stronger than my Mother.
She met my dad at a drive-up restaurant in a little town in West Texas while he was in pilot training. They fell in love and she graduated high school a semester early to marry my dad while he was recovering from a broken wrist (can’t fly with a broken wrist!). When she was just 18, she left her family in the States and moved with my father to overseas.
It’s one thing to marry your husband and move to a different state, but she moved to a whole other country!
She dealt with having her wisdom teeth pulled over there (which was an ordeal), large insects and geckos in her house, and a culture that she wasn’t familiar with. She also dealt with kissing my father before sending him off on missions in Vietnam, knowing that she might be the wife that got the knock on the door telling her that he would not be coming home. She took herself in a car (driving in a foreign country is no joke) to the commissary to grocery shop, though it was guaranteed that there would be locals there protesting the Americans being in their country. Mom supported Dad just by being there. That is one of the bravest things any wife can do.
She is one is one of the smartest people I know. In fact, I was very resentful of that fact when I was in high school. I was a less than stellar student and my mother got her lowest grade (an A-) in Advanced Latin in high school. Yeah, big shoes to fill! She went back to college when I was in high school and graduated with her Associate Degree all while being there for everything – every track meet, soccer game, after school activity, etc.
Mom wasn’t a “helicopter mother,” but she insisted on being involved in our lives. If I ever had any questions, I could ask her. She would guide without giving outright answers, a very fine line to walk. Her guidance has served me well as I have grown older.
She has always given her unconditional support. Now, that’s not to say that she won’t tell me that I did something wrong. She doesn’t have any perfect children (there are 3 of us). She will call us out if we have made a mistake or will offer a cautious word of advice. Mom was not that woman that thought her children could do no wrong and she made sure that we understood the definition of “logical consequences,” usually through an appropriate punishment.
Mom supported my decision to become a cheerleader my senior year, supported my decision to not go to college right away, my decision to join the military, my decision to get married the first time (though she didn’t agree with it). She has been my bedrock through all of the issues that I have had related to this divorce and has supported me through all of the crap that I have been through since last July. She has been amazing.
Empathy is a word that I came to understand through my mother’s words and actions. She also taught me how to be sympathetic to a person’s issue or problems. She taught me that honey catches more flies than vinegar (a fact that I sometimes forget). She also taught me that when I have a fight that I need to fight to go for it, but to remember to be tactful and hold onto my temper (advice that I haven’t always followed).
It was Mom that gave me my love of reading. She opened up doors to so many things through her love of books. She also gave me my love of movies and, through a class she took in college, an appreciation of the artistry that goes into a movie. Again, she gave me the ability to not only lose myself in a movie, but an appreciation for what I was looking at. It was Mom that introduced me to “Citizen Kane,” and “Singing in the Rain,” and I can’t thank her enough for that.
As the years have passed, my mother has become my best friend. We talk about all kinds of things and I love that I can use her as a sounding board when I need to. She always has time for me, even when she doesn’t have the time. I haven’t been talking to her as much as I should these past few months, mostly because I like to give her my complete attention and time is a precious commodity in my life lately. I don’t want her to feel shorted because I have to be running before we even get a chance to talk. I love to talk to her and I love to hear what she says about anything and everything.
I always said that when I grew up I wanted to be an astronaut or a teacher or a lawyer. I wanted to change the world.
But as I got older, and actually became a grown up, I realized that the astronaut/teacher/lawyer dreams were what I wanted to do for a job.
What I really wanted to be was just like my Mother.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.