|ours - not so idyllic|
Having my own child mystified me as to how Mom ever dealt with four of us -- emotionally, physically, and financially. She was our main referee, disciplinarian, confidant, spiritual example, and provider of most every type of other parental support. All the while experiencing her own, mostly silent, codependency in an emotionally-abusive relationship. Mother also served as our respite in an alcoholic home. Unfortunately, the non-addict parent is usually the one to bear the brunt of the children's pain.
Witnessing Mom's recent physical pain brought on a bigger sense of urgency to pay homage to her. It's hard to watch her suffer and feel practically useless to help her. She's given the majority of her life's energy for other people's nurturing at the cost of her own health. With her age and body waning, the preciousness of our mortality is weighing on my mind.
My mother lives through her children and grandchildren. It's total cliche, but not in a bad way. She is so enthused when any of us get to travel or experience new things and let's anyone and everyone in her immediate vicinity know all about it (whether they want to or not). Our accomplishments are her accomplishments, and she proudly shares that joy. All three daughters being college graduates and her son's military career, along with the escapades of five grandchildren, are the highlights of her conversation.
Mother helped instill confidence in us that probably wasn't encouraged by her own parents. She raised us all to live ethically and responsibly, which may be more the modern exception than the norm. Mom has her own stories to tell about great fun with her friends (mainly the crazy Cackling Hens) and church family, trips she's taken, and good memories. I'm glad to have been part of many of them.
Mother thanked me for helping her this week, but I should say thanks to her. She's always been my main supporter, and I've never thanked her for that. We should all honor our mothers -- we don't know how long we'll have the pleasure of their company. Here's to my mom, I am lucky to call her my friend!