Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Mom..My Hero.

After the passing of my dad I sat down and wrote a couple of posts about him. It was a way to work through some of my feelings and a way for me to share with others the wonderful man I was privileged to call "daddy". It was therapeutic for me,  but it also made me sad that I waited until after his death to do this.  I wish I'd had the foresight to write those words before it was too late for him to read them. I told him all the time that I loved him, but how nice it would have been for him to know some of the reasons why.  I don't want to make that mistake again.

So today, I want to share with you the most important woman in the world to mom.

I am in awe of this woman...complete and utter awe. She has devoted her entire life to putting her family above EVERYTHING and I have had the blessing of her sacrifices. It's funny,  I know of so many mother/daughter relationships that have gone through very rocky times.  I've heard this is "normal" and although that may be true, I am so glad  we never experienced those times.  Oh, I'm sure there were times, in my teenage years, where I didn't get my way and stormed up the stairs, locking myself in the bathroom, screaming about the horrors of my life and how UNFAIR it all was. I mean what teenage girl isn't overly dramatic at times, but I can honestly say that I have never gone through a period of time where I didn't like my mom or wasn't proud to be her daughter.

My mom is a very private person and she will probably be uncomfortable with me singing her praises in such a public way, but I hope deep down it makes her feel good.  She DESERVES to be celebrated. I know I would not be the woman I am today without her for a mother.  I know my mom thinks that I carry a lot of traits from my father, but the truth is, she is the one who grounds me.  She is the person that makes me a more compassionate, less selfish person.  It is because of her that I understand unconditional love.

 In one of my posts about my dad I spoke about how, without him here, I no longer have anyone who thinks I'm perfect.  No one who sees me as flawless. My dad always looked at me with rose colored glasses.  His little girl could do no wrong. What a wonderful feeling to have someone like that in your life, but let's be honest, as much as I'd like to think he was right, I'm as flawed as a human can be.  My mom, she sees me clearly and loves me unconditionally in spite of those flaws.  She's the one I can turn to when I've screwed up and know that she will always see through the mess and make me feel loved. Knowing that no matter how off course I may wander there she is... always guiding me back on track. She is my compass, and I am never lost for long because of her.

Growing up we were fortunate enough to have mom at home.  There was never a time I needed her and she wasn't there...NEVER. I know that isn't an option for many families and I am both grateful and conflicted about that.  Grateful, of course, because I never wondered who would pick me up after school or who would help me with my homework. I knew who would be, would always be there. Conflicted, because looking back, it saddens me that she didn't take care of herself more.  That she didn't allow herself to dream bigger because she was always helping us realize our dreams.  It is my hope that in this new chapter of her life she allows herself to dream big. To throw caution to the wind and try new things and to put herself first, for once. I know my mom though, and I have a feeling she will continue to take care of her's who she is.

My mom is a caregiver.  She is the strongest person I know and she has NEVER complained about how much we have depended on her over the years. When I was recovering from a car accident, that left me completely helpless for months, it was my mom that had the wonderful responsibility of taking care of all those 'needs' I just couldn't let anyone else do for me. It was like taking care of a 6 foot baby, and yet she never made me feel guilty or embarrassed, no matter how horrible the situation. She was my angel during a very difficult time.

I can't possibly talk about my mom's strength and love for family without talking about my dad.  It's a difficult subject.  One that brings up so many emotions, but above all, it makes me appreciate the blessing that my mom is. Growing up, I witnessed first hand the love between my parents. Of course all marriages have growing pains, no relationship is perfect, but learning that you stand by one another through those difficult times is something my parents taught me. They made me believe in 'happily ever after' and because of them I was determined not to settle until I found my own fairytale.

When my parents took their vows, I'm not sure they realized how important, in sickness and in health, would become. For at least the last 5 years of my dad's life, my mom took care of him in ways I doubt most people understand. She spent endless hours in hospitals and more time than anyone should have to, worrying about and watching the pain and suffering my dad was going through.  She watched as 'friends' slipped away. I won't lie, I'm bitter about that. My mom and dad never spoke of it, but I could see it...I could feel the hurt it caused them. Yet my mom never let it deter her from the long, lonely and painful journey she needed to help my dad through. We forced her to take some time away from their reality, to try and recharge her batteries, and when she did, she heard the whispers...she felt the judgments. It made me furious for her. I watched my mom deal with her own pain quietly, privately and with more grace and dignity than anyone could expect. She is amazing.

She is also funny and makes me laugh all the time. She has taught me to laugh at myself and to not take myself so seriously. I am grateful for that lesson. Laughter really is the best medicine and because she NEVER forgets the stupid and silly things we do, we always have things to laugh about.

Her strength is undying...her love unconditional..her beauty unmatched. She is the reason I believe in true love. She is the reason my loyalty to family will never waiver.  She is simply the most remarkable woman I have ever known and I am so blessed to call her 'mom'.

I Love You are my hero.