With mother’s day right around the corner I thought it would be appropriate to write a post about my mom. I may not have another mother’s day with her, so I feel truly blessed to be with her this Sunday. My mom has been very sick with myriad health problems for several years. I just can’t take her presence for granted anymore. Is she or was she perfect? Well, no and yes. She was and is perfect for me. I grew up in a time when feminism and materialism pushed many a young mom out the door and into the work force. Looking back I can see the social and economic pressure this generation of women were under to “have it all”. I was the oldest child with two younger brother’s, and a lot of responsibility fell on my shoulders. I didn’t really think much of it, that was my normal. It taught me how to be a home-maker, to be responsible and to work well under pressure. Ok, I did not always work well under pressure and my brother’s felt the wrath of it on more than one occasion. It was not a perfect life, but it was my life and it has served me well.
My mom always worked full-time and then came home to do cooking and laundry, etc. About the laundry, this was one area that she had complete domain. She was the” goddess” of laundry as she was aptly nick-named. That woman could get a stain out of anything! On vacations she spent equal time vacationing AND doing laundry. We could be at a time-share or hotel or visiting family and she would find the laundry room and make it her own. The smell of clean laundry will always remind me of my mom. She was also the family taxi. Baseball, football, ballet, cheerleading and the trips to the mall, to name a few destinations.
I know I did not appreciate her as much as I do now, hind sight can give us much-needed clarity. As a popular commercial of the day went: “She can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan……………”. But, that’s not nearly as glamorous as the TV made it look. Many a late night I remember hearing the clanking of dishes being washed and the whirring of the clothes washer. Part of me wanted to get up and help her, we all had to get up early, but in the mind of a typical thirteen year old, sleep was much more lucrative. But the memory has always stayed with me. And it is a memory of gratitude.
And she loved us unconditionally. Nobody better mess with her kids, now mind you, she could mess with us, but nobody else better go there! Woe to anyone who messes with the off-spring of the mother tiger! I could count on her to love me no matter what. Now that I have three children of my own I have come to learn many things, but this one thing stands out. The love our mother’s have for us and the love we have for own children is as close as we can get to understanding God’s love for us. I know, that I know, that I know God has given us these little signs along the way to reveal himself to us. I can’t explain it, but I love these little glimpses of heaven, this side of heaven.
I miss talking to her on the phone everyday, it’s funny, my dad was not the phone talker. My mom was the liaison between me and my brother’s and our dad for information about our whereabouts and well-being. Not that dad did not care, he cared deeply. It’s just that mom was the ring-master of all things kid related. If an ambulance sounded its siren within ear shot of mom, you could count on her to be making the welfare check via the phone. This was pre-cell phones era, so her phone inquiry’s could be lengthy in tracking us down. This was to insure that none of her off-spring were the recipients of the wailing siren.
All her worry could not however, insure her from the heart-break of loss. And my mom has suffered the greatest loss of all. The loss of children. My two younger brothers left this world before her. One to a car accident at the age of twenty-two and the other son due to severe depression just over two years ago. You can see the loss on her beautiful face, heart-ache etched on her face and soul. I hope and pray I never have to endure this kind of loss. The loss of my two brother’s affected me profoundly, but not in the way it affects the mother tiger. I am so sad that any mom must endure this tragedy. Words cannot do
this type of pain justice. So I will leave it there.
Thank you mom for everything you did for me. All the things left unsaid, that a pithy blog will never cover. I love you. Happy Mother’s day.