This is a late Mother’s Day post… because on Mother’s Day, I could not figure out what to say. Last year, I did an in-depth post that I felt couldn’t be topped in terms of sentiment (Happy Mother’s Day 2014)… plus this year, I was feeling a bit angsty. Let me explain.
In the last year, I had many milestones as a mother. My oldest, Jenny, graduated college, got married, and moved in with her husband. We moved for the first time in 15 years, completely uprooting our family, including my mom, and headed south an hour and a half from the city I called home for almost 30 years. Speaking of my mom, she retired… twice. That’s a cute story. Saying goodbye to people who have been part of my children’s entire lives was hard, it was rushed, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye to some people that were very important to me. Dominic turned 10 and started his last year in elementary school. Anna turned 14 and in many ways stayed the same as she’s been for years. We adopted a new puppy for Anna (Introducing Lola) and fell in love with her. I’ve fallen even deeper in love with my husband, I didn’t know that could even happen. In so many ways, I am blessed. Truly. We have created a life that is more relaxed and rewarding than I could have imagined.
Mother’s Day has always been special for me and my mom. For so so so long, it was just the two of us. I felt such immense, overwhelming feelings for her as a child. She was my everything. I tried to show my gratitude with homemade cards and trinkets I would save up for. In my middle years, my aunt would take me shopping so I could actually buy her real presents. When I became a mother, my appreciation for her grew even deeper. But it was when she moved in next door, just before Dominic was born, that my complete dependence on her grew to epic proportions. That was a very hard time. Dominic was a newborn, Jenny was starting high school, Curtis went back to school for his MBA, and Anna started having tonic-clonic seizures that landed her in the hospital. I was beyond overwhelmed. I don’t think I would have survived that time if my mom hadn’t been there to support me. Oh boy, the tears are coming.
I got through it. And since then, I got through two serious depressions, 3 surgeries, seeing both of the littles diagnosed with genetic, behavioral, mental, and psychological illnesses. I got through hundreds of doctor’s/therapist’s/specialist’s appointments, ARD meetings, physical therapy, SIOT, speech therapy. I got through so much guilt over so many things, one of which was depriving Jenny of the childhood she really deserved. I got through a 6-month separation with my husband, coming through stronger with a lot of hard work. It’s all been hard work.
My day-to-day life now is still hard. Every day is a challenge in some form. Another call from the school, another trip to Austin for another specialist, always running a few minutes late, trying to juggle a traveling husband with Boy Scouts and appointments. My mom is here, right here with me, for every minute of it. I am so grateful to her that I can’t even put it into words properly. I had an overdue annual checkup recently and found out that I have nodules and calcifications on my thyroid, as well as numerous fibroids and a large leiomyoma on my uterus… both of which will probably require surgery. Mom understands my unspoken fears. I have to be here, I just have to be.
So I want to say… thank you, Mom. Thank you for being my everything. Just like always and like it will always be. I am so lucky to have you.
My reality is that active mothering will be a part of my life until the day I die. Anna will never really grow up and move away. She will never give me grandchildren. She will never get married. I don’t know these things for sure, but I know that if she does manage any of these things, it will be incredibly challenging for her and I will be right by her side helping her every step of the way, every single day. Jenny has to worry about genetic counseling before she has children. It’s not fair. To Anna, to me, to us… to Jenny and Dominic. Sometimes I get really, really sad about it. Sometimes I get angry. This Mother’s Day was a sad one. I didn’t even get my mother-in-law a card or talk to her. I didn’t wish anyone greetings on Facebook except my mom.
As Dominic gets older, he gets more involved in celebrating Mother’s Day. He made a coupon book and wrote the sweetest note. It said, ” Dear Mom, I can’t tell you in words how much I love you. I can’t tell you in words how much I appreciate what you do for me. I can’t tell you in words how much what you do means to me. I can tell you that I love you. I can tell you thank you for what you do for this family. I can tell you that you make me happy. Thank you, Dominic.” He did something similar last year, but this year it was completely solo. He put so much thought into the coupons too.
Anna will never write me a note like that. It’s okay, I’ve come to terms with that a long time ago. Just sometimes? I get angsty. Morose. Many of my sister-moms will never hear “I love you, mom.” Some of them have lost their special child to their disease or illness. Some of them parent alone. I know how lucky I am. I do.
Motherhood is a singular love. The moment you hold your baby for this first time, instinct kicks in. You would do anything to protect that baby. But the love? That’s more than instinct. It’s magic. It’s God. It’s what binds us together and is bigger than all of us. I get to have that for my entire lifetime… times three.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/3.2 | 1/200 | ISO 2000
Thanks for reading.