She’s someone different to each one of us. For some, this three letter word may conjure feelings of love, comfort and cherished memories. For the unfortunate few, this combination of letters may even represent disappointment, disgust, and even hatred. Although everyone has had unique interactions with the person who owns this title to them, I can only write from my personal experience. For me, my relationship with my Mom was, and is, a good one.
She loved and wanted me from day one. How do I know this? Well, of course, this is what I’ve been told. There are albums filled with smiling pictures. I’ve chosen to believe what I’ve been told and seen immortalized in photographs. More importantly, I’ve felt loved my entire life. Her feelings haven’t changed in the four decades I have been living and breathing on this earth. For that, I am grateful.
The beauty of our relationship is that it has transformed and grown over time and circumstance. What follows are snapshots (good and sad) from our life together; memorable Mom moments I hold close:
She offered hopeful words when her shy little girl had to go to school. She drew funny pictures of pets on brown bags to make her daughter smile at lunch. She met her with open arms and favorite snacks at the close of innumerable school days… over many school years.
She drove her daughter to the barn everyday so she could see her horse. She was as reliable as the US Postal Service: Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, could stop her!
She was the one to comfort her teenager who had a broken heart after losing her first love. Her hugs (and delicious baked goods) soothed the pain like no words could.
Even though she would miss her, she watched her daughter get married with a smile on her face. She was supportive as her daughter started a new life with her husband.
She made sure she and her daughter still shared special time together by scheduling workday lunches. At these lunches she’d listen to her daughter complain about the ridiculous day-to-day happenings (in whichever horrid office she was working in at the time). They would laugh about the stupidity of it all, making her daughter’s workday a little easier.
She rejoiced the day her daughter and son-in-law announced they were expecting a child. It marked the day she would start to be called by a different name – Gram.
She prayed, offered support, and unconditional love, throughout the ups and downs of her grandson’s medically fragile life. She offered him unabated love for 14 years.
Her heart broke the day her only grandchild went to heaven. She continues to walk beside her daughter on the long road of grief and healing.
She waited in anticipation and offered encouragement as her daughter wrote her books. She is her daughter’s biggest fan!
I said at the beginning, my relationship with my mom is a good one. Although a true statement, I don’t think that small word, good, represents it completely. Instead, I’d like to classify it as an extra special one. It is a relationship between mother and daughter that has lasted through normal days, times of celebration, and the unanticipated trials of life.
When I filled my lungs with oxygen for the first time, starting my life, I knew her only as Mom. Throughout the years we’ve spent together since, she has never stopped being Mom, but she has become so much more. She is Mom; she is my lifelong friend who I cherish.