Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I'm grateful for my mother. She is an absolute blessing in my life. She is extremely generous, beyond helpful, very loving, a wonderful listener, and as a friend once described it, "an undercover funny." She makes me laugh so much, it's ridiculous. She has always been such an amazing support to me despite my many flaws and mistakes. When I left home, I realized how rare that actually is and though I'd always been grateful, a new kind of respect for that particular trait in her came upon me. She is a true mother: unceasingly caring and full of love.
She has survived so much and shown me how to be strong in my own life. She lives to be a grandma and throughout her life has had an incredible gift of soothing upset babies. She was there for me during labor (both times) and I can't even begin to tell you how much her presence helped to ease my fears. She has always been that. When I was a toddler, she swooped me up out of the waves, saving me from an incoming piece of driftwood that would most certainly have injured me if not killed me. She still has the scar on her shin. After giving up my first child for adoption, she took me away for a month to help me to escape myself and then spent many years helping me to find myself again, doing anything she could to support me and show me that she still loved and cared for me. She survived breast cancer and has been in remission for many years and she did it with a smile on her face (most days). It was incredible to see such strength in one's own mother. We were all terrified, she as well, of course, but after the first flush of shock at being diagnosed, she hardly showed that fear and was purely determined to live and make it through. I love her so much for that. I feel so guilty for my selfish behavior during those years, but despite that she loved me and showed me everyday how much.
My momma understands me in ways I've just begun to understand about myself. We have regular discussions about development and the different ways in which brains work and it is so refreshing to speak with someone so intimately about the problems I have with learning certain things such as math and foreign language. She doesn't toss my struggling away as laziness or unwillingness to learn, she encourages me to try and to just get it done (because that's what the school wants from me), but not to worry so much about what this struggle means about me. She helps me to know that I'm not a failure. In a family where literally everyone except me speaks at least a second language, my complete failure at learning just one has proven embarrassing to say the least. For many, it is what my family is known for and I am constantly asked, "So, what languages do you speak?" The answer invariably has to come back, "Only English." These little failures in life don't seem to mean much to my mother and she is always quick to point out my strengths in life, especially those that seem so second nature to me, the ones that I never realized were specific to me.
My mother is beautiful. She smiles without hesitation. She is fresh and natural. Her sense of humor is dry and witty, every once in a while accompanied by bite. She loves my son. She loves my husband. She loves family more than anything in the world. She is strong in her beliefs and sticks to them in any situation. She is absolutely lovely and she is my momma.
I love you, Mom.