Recently I have been thinking about how to navigate honoring my own mother, who continues to enrich and support my life in a hundred thousand million ways.
She's not very comfortable with social media. She doesn't like to be "tagged" in pictures. I wonder if it makes her feel self conscious to be the subject of my shared writing. And yet, there's an absence in my continuing story, a character missing, who is really very important and valued. That I did not mention her in my mother's day post does not mean that I don't love and respect her, deeply, the way we all love our dear parents. In not mentioning her publicly on the holiday, I did so because I believe that "showing" love online is different than "really" loving a person in the three dimensional world. I believed it was okay not to post the obligatory picture of us together. I did not post a picture of us together for a couple of reasons, mainly because we were unable to BE together on Mother's day. I always wish that I could be.
My mother infused me with everything that I value. Unconditional love, faith, respect, creativity, joy. She worked very hard for all of us. She made all the holidays special and beautiful. Even though holiday times were stressful, with huge expectations, she never made it feel like it was an onerous obligation. She enjoyed celebrating, hosting parties and making memories with family and friends. She made our home clean, comfortable, beautiful, filled with sunlight and baked goods and fresh sheets hung on the line. She cleaned up after all of us, including the 15 or so pets that we once had, all at one time. Litters of puppies, kittens, a lizard, gold fish, a hamster....
She washed windows and curtains and dusted. She baked cookies, pies, cakes. She canned the millions upon millions of vegetables my dad grew in the garden (with his help, and sometimes my grandparent's help too...you could eat for years from that garden).
She made sure we all had nice clothing for school, attended all the teacher conferences and sporting events and took us to church every single Sunday. She forgave us when we misbehaved. On rainy days or snowy days she would cover the kitchen table with newspaper and lay out items for crafting. My favorite was clothespin dolls.
Once she saved our lives when her car caught on fire. She was able to get all three of us out before it burned into a charred frame.
My mom is a devout believer, and her faith is a rock that nothing can crack. She is our rock, and our shelter and our sweetest, kindest friend.
She is Elliot's biggest supporter in his mission to help people experiencing homelessness.
She once saved me from starvation and the possibility of homelessness when I was going through my marital separation.
My friends all loved her and said that I had the nicest, kindest mom. They are right.
I am late in posting this picture, and I hope she will understand. (Mother's day was really chaotic here...Elliot pulled a muscle in his neck and I worried about him all day)