Dear Mom….

There are a million different store bought greeting cards that could sum up in a few brief phases how I feel about you, the type of mother you have been, and the kind of relationship we share. For just a buck I could get you one of those cards, and I probably will, but Mom, none of them do justice to the enormous presence in my life that is you. 

I have this memory of you and I, or at least I think it’s a memory, but I have seen a similar photo and often wonder if maybe my memory was just reflecting what I had seen. I choose to believe that this isn’t the case, that I do in fact remember that very day. It was a Sunday, a warm and sunny spring day and you and I were walking down the road to your parents house, hand in hand. I was 3, maybe 4 and was wearing a yellow knit poncho over my Sunday dress. You held my hand as I walked beside you, and I remember looking up at you with an enormous smile as you looked down at me, smiling just as brightly. There is no great importance or significance of this memory, other than maybe, in my young mind, I knew even then what a wonderful person and mother you were and what a huge impact you would have on my life. 

I wish I could reflect on the happy family that we were, the happy home that we lived in, but we both know that would be a lie. The truth is our family was broken from the very beginning, our home a place of hurt and turmoil, of heartache, fear and dread. I never understood as a child why you chose to stay and live underneath his roof and his cruel words. As an adult when you have long since explained your reasoning, I still don’t understand why those vows before God should warrant you living such a difficult life. But right now, as I write about you, to you, it’s not important, but I want you to know that you never deserved it, you deserved so much more, so much better, and I want you to know that  through it all, we never lacked love, for you us enough for both parents. 

Growing up, as I both lived it and now reflect back on it, you were my only parent. It was you who showed us love and understanding, who taught us right from wrong. You were the very one who taught us what it meant to truly love another human being even more than you love oneself. You showed us everyday. It was you who was there when we were sad, to wipe away our tears. It was you who bandaged scraped knees and nursed colds, who wiped fevered brows and runny noses. You were always there to share in joys and triumphs or to let us know it was okay when we failed as long as we kept trying. It was you Mom. It was always you. 

It is no secret that I wasn’t always the easiest child to raise. I know having me as a daughter came with a whole other set of guidelines, each and every one of them changing with my ever changing moods. I know it was very hard at times. I know I made you cry, scared you, and made you feel completely helpless. I know at times you doubted yourself as a mother when trying to handle me and the mental illness that neither of us knew existed at the time, but please know Mom, that you did your best. It may not have felt like it at the time, when my sanity hung in the balance, but I know without an ounce of doubt that without you, I wouldn’t be here today and for that, I am eternally grateful. 

Thank you hardly seems fitting when there are so many things to thank you for. Thank you for your many sacrifices over the years and please know they never went unnoticed. Thank you for teaching me, for showing me everyday, how to be a good mother. I am the mother I am today because of you. Thank you for teaching me courage and strength. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I had given up on myself. 

Thank you mom, for loving me, all of me, the good and the bad, unconditionally and with your whole heart and please know that I love you just the same. 

Happy Mothers Day Mom. 

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