Ode to my mom:
I had an awesome childhood. My parents always made sure that there were clothes on my back, food in my mouth and love in my heart. My mom was a dedicated room mother, girl scout troop leader, queen of throwing awesome sleepovers, the first to volunteer for anything at the school, and the giver of amazingly perfect birthdays. I remember countless days of her driving me and three other giddy little girls to dance class and evenings of making cakes with us in the kitchen. I strongly remember days full of encouragement and unfathomable love. This happiness was real and true for me but it wasn't for my parents. I was too young to see it, but my parents had problems, like most families do. They weren't happy with one another and as myself and my brother and sister grew up the problems became more noticeable.
I'm not going to get into it all here, but to make a very long and hard story short...my dad was not happy and at times he took it out on my mother and on us. I'm not talking about child abuse, but he did have a lot of anger in his heart and Mom was the one who received a lot of it. My relationship with my father is mending and there's still a lot of healing that needs to be done, but that story is for another time. This is about Mom.
It wasn't long until they got a divorce. Mom then left us to live with Dad while she spent a few months with a friend. Looking back on it, I think that she needed time to heal and she needed to find herself. I think that being with someone who controlled you for so long bounded her heart and she needed to be free for a little while, even if that meant being free from us. My Mom got an apartment an hour away and my brother and sister lived there with her while I lived with my then boyfriend, now hubby and his family.
It wasn't long after that that Mom got involved with a guy who convinced her to move to a place quite a few states away and so she left with my brother and sister. I'm not going to lie here, I wasn't happy. I was furious and at the time I thought that I hated her. Months turned into years and before I knew it they had moved to Louisiana where Hubby and I decided to go visit everyone. Things were tense, and hard for a while. I had a lot of anger and she did too. I think I blocked out a lot of those years, but she eventually came to live here and we finally got to really talk about everything that happened as one adult to another.
My Mom thinks that she's given us a bad role model but it's not true. She's taught me to be strong, even if you're being dragged through Hell eventually you will make it out the other end and you will be stronger for it. She has taught me that happiness and love are crucial for a marriage and that there is NO limit to a Mother's love. She has taught me that it's OK to make mistakes and that when other people make mistakes you should forgive them because one day you'll be the one asking for forgiveness.
She has taught me to love people and show kindness to even the most unkind stranger. She has taught me to be thankful for what I have and to always help someone when I can. She has taught me to never allow anyone to put me down or make me feel inferior. She has taught me that I am smart and talented and beautiful ( even if others do not agree). She has made me strong.
My Mom is not perfect and that's fine because mothers are not perfect. There is no one on this whole planet who is and we should stop beating ourselves up about it. We learn lessons from mistakes, we grow from mistakes and we teach things to others through our mistakes.
My Mom is the greatest woman I know. She has survived things that would kill others. She has went through Hell and has come out with kindness, which is a feat that I know I couldn't do. She is the first person to give a kind word and the last person to ever hurt anyone's feelings even though they may have just cussed her out. She is so beautiful inside and out, and she has the most bubbly personality that I have ever seen. Strangers are drawn to her smile and she can get a whole room full of strangers mingling and laughing together. She brings out the good in people.
My Mother has shown me how to be a mother. She might have made mistakes, but there are no mistakes that can change how amazing she is. There is no mistake that can cover or hide the love that was given to us or the memories she made with us. She sacrificed for us so much growing up and even more that I'm sure I'll never know about. She's given us everything she could ever give and then some. There is no end to my Mother's love and I pray that my daughter will come to know that fact through me.
I know I will do something to make my daughter mad, probably quite a few. In fact I'm sure there will be times when she will hate me, but I know how to love her unconditionally and I know how to be a good Mother from the example that my Mom has given me. I know how to show her attention and guidance. I know how to encourage her and build her up from the way that my Mother showed me. My Mother's example is a guiding light leading a path towards raising a strong woman.
Happy Mother's Day Mom, thank you for showing me the way.