Mother's Day hits my mom twice a year. My brother and sister celebrate the UK Mother’s Day with her in March. And I celebrate (usually from afar) the US Mother’s Day in May. She likes it that way; makes her feel doubly special.
Despite her now chronic disabled physical state, she is a rock. She never complains. Tries always to keep a positive attitude (“ ... who wants to hear about my problems when they have their own ... ” she says). And takes each week one day at a time.
There are many things I could write about her, the list would be long. But many of them are very private, personal memories. So today I want to share just 5 things that I really do appreciate about J, my mom.
- I appreciate that she taught me to write, read, sew, knit, swim, and cook all by the age of 6; and that she engrossed me and my siblings in music, books, films, dance, art, athletics, foreign food and culture … and that she continues to surprise and teach me even today.
- I appreciate that J was always the cool mom; that when my siblings and I threw parties, we could rely on her to mix the best cocktail punch in town … and then discreetly disappear. (Except the time she dressed as a Playboy Bunny, then none of the boys would let her disappear!)
- I appreciate that she cheered me on to run free and see the world after school; that while my friends' mothers all nagged them to “ … find a husband and settle down” close to home, my mother told me over and over “There’s a huge universe out there for you to experience”. Even now, when I know she would love to have me closer to home, she remains adamant that I must lead my own life, wherever that may take me.
- I appreciate that she encouraged me to still be my daddy’s girl, even after they divorced, even though she was really mad with him ( … and even though I was 25 years old at the time!)
- I appreciate that she’s always believed in me, often much more than I believed in myself. And that no matter what time of day or night I’ve called ( … and still call), she’s patiently listened to my most difficult struggles and blackest heartbreaks, and smiled at my over-the-top joyful hysteria or garbled excitement about nothing-much-at-all. And most importantly, she’s listened to all that garbage without judging me ... or mine.
I appreciate her self-effacing humor and no BS British Bulldog character, which has picked us up during tough times, taught us to celebrate the good times, and allows no place for moping, pity, or grandiosity—from self or others. (She’s probably asking for a gag bucket right now as she reads my list.)
With that said, and to quote a wise-wise woman, “Let's get moving! All this lallygagging won’t buy the baby a new dress!!” ... and I have to get back to work.
Love you ma! x
Photos of J and grandkids at her 70th birthday, May 2006.