I spent a beautiful day with my mom on Mothers day. I picked her up and we went for the most relaxing drive up 410. I spent yesterday putting together a special picnic lunch, the same picnic lunch she would often make for us. I stopped the car at a viewpoint and we hiked a little ways into the trees until we found two perfect little logs next to each other and ate in the quiet peacefulness that is nowhere. After lunch we drove some more, looking at the endless hues of green and feeling the hot spring sun on our skin. It was one of the nicest days we have had in a long time.
It was mothers day and even though my pockets were empty I put a lot of thought into what I could do to make this day special for her. I used the same thought process that she has used all these years and passed on to me. It is not about money spent or hoops jumped through it is about kind gestures and thoughts of the person it is intended for.
As I was driving with the windows down and the fresh air whipping through our hair I briefly thought of how much our lives have changed. I saw a car jam packed full of our family, out for a ride just like we were doing now. And with a snap the silhouette that was my brother disappeared out of his seat. Next was my dad whose seat was left empty, and then like a florescent light on its last leg, my sister flickered for a long time and then her seat too, was left empty. All that is left of the family I was born with is my mother and I. Holding on to each other like we are the last people on earth and really, on the private planet that belongs to each family- we are.
It is really no secret that the relationship my mother and I share is often strained. It is complicated and often challenging but I hold my mother closest to my heart and I will never let her go. We have gone months without talking on more then one occasion and my heart ached each day that passed. But as the years go by those days of separation become fewer. Part of it I think is my growing up. Part of it is the increased effort of tolerance on both of our parts but most of all I think we both really see now more then ever that the love we have for each other far outweighs any conflict we could ever have.
As I grow older I see more of my mother in me then ever before. When I look in the mirror I see her when I never did before. We have the same knack for cooking and entertaining, the same creativity while hers is demonstrated by painting, sewing and endless crafting, mine is shown through photographs and writing. We share the same crooked smile and too loud laugh. But most of all, we share the same heart. The way we express our feelings and our care can often be polar opposites but under the surface they beat the same. As each year passes I see myself listening more intently to her words, taking intentional mental snapshots to always remember these times with her. My biggest fear in the world is losing her too soon. I pray to God each and every day that he gives me many, many more years with her.
I want my mother to be proud of me, to see that the values and talents that she shared with me all my life were listened to and put to good use. I pray that she is there on my wedding day, on the birth of each of my children and thee as they each grow. I know that I am not the first daughter to ever declare during their childhood that “I will never be like her!” only as an adult change that to “I am honored to be like her.” My mother is the strongest most beautiful woman I will ever know and I wish that everyone could see what I see when I look at her. I try my hardest to be a light in her often difficult world. Out of three children two have grown into people she never could have imagined. One walked out of her life seventeen years ago never to be heard from again. And the other while physically very close is so absent even her own brain doesn’t know who she is. I am her last chance, her last hope to be included in the adult life of one of her children. I want to give her that more then anything. Each person is given one life and one mother and what you chose to do with that will forever stay with you. Someday I hope to be able to help her financially to a point that she can worry less and enjoy more of this time in her life. But until I am able to do that I will try my damnedest to make sure she feels loved, wanted and cared for.