I don’t write a lot about my mother. Something I wrote 5 years ago for Mother’s Day popped back up today and it struck a chord with me.
Here is that letter:
From teaching me my ABCs before kindergarten,
through playing checkers, Scrabble, numerous other games,
teaching me to tie my shoelaces, wipe my dupa,
working long hours, but making it home for soup & sandwich for lunch,
or delicious dinners, making me learn to wash the dishes,
giving me chores to do while listening to Johnny Mathis, Camilo Sesto, etc.,
sharing with me music from her youth, through my youth,
forcing me to spend her weekends off (every one possible) at the beach,
encouraging me to sing, break-dance on cardboard in the living room,
making me do reports on all the presidents during summers,
nursing my every bruise, scrape, need for stitches, sick day,
cutting my hair, teaching me to drive, loving my dad,
and my sister, my younger sister, my younger brother,
the pets, my aunts, my uncles, her mom and sisters, brothers,
co-workers, friends, her in-laws, cousins, and all family
including friends who were like family, teaching me right and wrong,
and what you get when you do wrong, and how much it hurts her too,
my mom is not “the best mom,”
she’s not to be included with “all the moms I know,”
She is the greatest woman I have ever known
and has shaped me to be the man I am today.
Thank you in endless ways I can never express.
I love you, I learned love from you,
and I will always strive to make you proud.
A lot has changed in those 5 years. Huge life changes. I got married, had a daughter, moved away. Our relationship has changed. Our dynamic has changed. And, most notably, we lost my dad.
I cannot begin to fathom that. I love my wife as deeply as I have ever loved and we have not shared even a tenth of the life my mom and dad shared. Their years of courtship, the years of life, their shared losses and happiness. The growing together, the growing pains and staying together throughout— sickness and health.
She was her mom’s youngest and followed her footsteps, giving life to a brood of her own — while still caring for her mom and hers along the way. Add to that all the love and care she’s given to the menagerie of pets that went through our home — and now the same for her grandchildren/my sister’s brood of equal size.
My mom has always cared for others far more than she ever has for herself. It is her burden or simply her way. I always appreciated all her hard work and silent sacrifice, but all the more now that I care for a family of my own.
I don’t call my mom as much as I should. We don’t really talk much or about much and we don’t agree about everything. But I accept what we do have and love her without end. It is the least I can do. She has given far enough of herself and I owe her more than I can ever repay.
I don’t write a lot about my mother. But everything I write, I write because of my mother.
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My belly still smells of the warm jelly from the ultrasound this morning.