Mother’s Day Minus One

Mother's Day Prayer Balloon Broadway Musicals Popcorn and Orange Slices Marcello

This month has been an exceptionally difficult one.  The constant reminder of Mother’s Day in my classroom has just added salt to the wound continuously.  I think the fact that I realized early on that I would want to spend this particular Mother’s Day all alone, scared me just a bit.  Not knowing truly what emotions it would evoke, I set my decision in stone.  I wanted to sit alone in all the memories.  I wanted to cry, laugh, and remember all of those moments that made Mama so special, without attempts to coast just above it and just make it through the day.  So I gathered up the courage and developed an idea I thought would carry me through the day.

I had considered writing a post that highlighted all the best parts of what made Mama so unique. Then I realized I don’t want to rush this process.  One of the things I love most about my Mama Memories is that they come to me just at the exact moment that they should.  It is in that instance that I share them through written word.  So although I could easily list all the wonderful things that encompassed her, I choose to peel back the layers gradually and through time, just as our lives naturally evolve over time.

Instead, I have filled the day with a balloon prayer, Broadway musicals, pajamas, popcorn, orange slices and a bit of snuggle time with my little, furry man.  Mom’s love of Broadway Musicals is what ignited my brilliant plan.  I know that there will be tears today; but, I also know that there will be laughs, happiness, and the comfort of memories that nestle close to the heart and fill it full of love.

So as I spend my day being the best mommy I can to my little guy, I will also spend time remembering the best Mama for me that I could have ever hoped to imagine and dream for!!  I miss you, love you, mean it, Mama!!  Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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The Yin and Yang of a Strong Woman

Chihuly Glass

Each morning I arise with a flood of Mama Memories.  It’s the strangest sensation.  No matter what is going on in my life that might otherwise take that momentous time slot, snapshots of Mama push their way to the forefront of my mind.  I think it must be because my body, just prior to that, is in its most relaxed state and allows for those things that should take precedence to come forth.  Sometimes they’re happy and sometimes they’re filled with sadness, regret, and loss; either way, they tend to bring tears.  So as the months have progressed, I have become accustomed to wet eyes at the beginning of each day, knowing that my body is most likely just trying to release a bit of stress.

Today, I’m remembering just how generous and strong Mama was.  I’m not sure if anyone outside of her family is truly aware of just how accurate these two words describe her.  I think people feel generosity in the moment that they are included within it, which I also believe to be completely normal.  But how wondrous would it be to have vision enough to witness the magnitude of which some people actually are.  Mom would be one of those that would be awe inspiring to witness.

I don’t know exactly when she started the practice of taking food to every single doctor’s appointment she went to.  My guess is it was around the time she started having her joints replaced due to Degenerative Arthritis or possibly after her month long stay in a hospital in Louisiana with her leg in traction; regardless of when, Mom was really good about acknowledging those that took care of her.  It was nothing out of the ordinary for her to whip up a batch of Ranch Crackers or sugar cookies as an offering of thanks to the office staff, nurses, and her beloved doctors.  I still marvel at her ability to sit in an appointment and come out with as much information about their lives as they did about her ailments.  Mom may have come in as a patient, but I guarantee, she left as an honorary family member. I also tend to believe that some of this showering of appreciation came from growing up with a father who was a doctor that exhibited the compassion, patience, and kindness of a saint.

Now, back to my initial thought; how amazing would it be to witness a timeline of those rare individuals that truly show generosity as second nature and not as a deliberate act in recognition of a specific moment or occasion?  Mom’s timeline would most definitely be far stretching, if not infinite.  If we could all see that much goodness in people, witnessing them at their finest, most delightful, and giving moments, would our impressions of them change?  Would we accept their flaws more willingly?  Would we aspire to know them more intimately and without reservation?  Mom was a master at this.  She could somehow recognize the best in those around her and become lifelong friends with them instantly.

Don’t get me wrong, she was also strong willed and if someone took advantage of her, that did not go unnoticed.  She did not waste time on sugar coating things.  She would simply express the obvious and then reevaluate her thinking in regards to that particular person or situation.  I loved this fire in her.  I respect the fact that she could be so soft and yet so solid as well.  I know that I carry this same fire within myself.  I know that when I feel wronged, I will allow my thoughts to be heard in a respectful and logical manner.  I’m not sure if Mom considered herself to be strong, but if I could say it to her today, I would!  I would thank her for showing me that a weak body causing weak moments in life does not equate a weak heart as so obviously and consistently she exhibited as the years of arthritis and cancer took over her strength of body.  She never let this fact overshadow her generosity and positive attitude towards life and its challenges.  If I could say it to her today, if I could tell her something I should have said years ago.  If I could have one more Mother’s Day with her, I would say, “I wanna’ be just like you when I grow up, Mom!”