What makes me most fortunate though, is to still have my own mom in my life. I know many who are not as privileged and how much they will be missing their own moms this weekend. Last year for Mother’s Day I wrote my mom a letter. I want to share an excerpt of that letter as a tribute to her and to honor all moms out there who may not get the recognition they deserve.
“Things in our family have changed so much since Daddy died. Todd made a comment one time that it was because the center “hub” in our wheel was broken which made the wheel not able to function like it should. It left me thinking about the impact people have on our lives and sadly, we don’t always realize that impact until they are gone.
My memories of Dad are more vivid than my memories of you. I think it’s not only because he is gone, but also because my memories of him are in his “extreme” moments. My memories of you are the everyday ones. You standing over the stove every single night cooking us dinner, drying the dishes at night while we talked, the matching outfits you used to make us and then as I got older, taking me school clothes shopping every year. Getting ready for dances, decorating the house with you for Christmas, and birthday dinners you made so special. Seeing you in the stands at everything I ever participated in, laying on your bed watching you get ready to go out, and the smell of your perfume. Tuesday night bridge, hot chocolate after a cold day of sledding, and packing for vacations. Spending hours going through your jewelry box, taking care of me when I was sick, and the security, stability and comfort you provided me that made me never want to be too far away from you. I still consider your house my “home” and have been there many times, even when you didn’t know it, when I needed to go where I felt most safe.
Over the years I would call the house and if Dad answered, he would say hello, then immediately say “you want to talk to your mother?” I would try to have a quick conversation with him, but he was right…I wanted to talk to my mom. You have been there through many breakups and makeups, you helped me choose colleges, furnished and decorated apartments, bought the outfit for me to wear to my first job interview and went with me. You planned my wedding and helped me set up my first home. You were there every step of the way through my troubled pregnancies, the births of my beautiful children, and to hang out with me when they were young and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. You provided for me in ways that were so profound, I never even though about them until I was older. I never worried about what I was going to eat, if I had clean clothes, if the house was presentable to have friends over, if we had enough money, and never once did I doubt your love for me.
I often worry about what kind of legacy I’m leaving and what kind of impact I’ve made on the people around me. My kids say I’m no fun and boring, but if being boring means I am giving my kids the stability, comfort, and security of my own childhood, then “boring” is my proudest legacy. I learned it from the best. And although Todd may be right about Dad being the “missing hub” in our wheel, the hub would serve no purpose without the many spokes attached to it. You were all those spokes…mother, friend, wife, caregiver, fashion designer, cheerleader, researcher, banker, taxi cab driver, advocate, interior decorator, teacher, travel agent, maid, party planner, cook, nurse…and the list goes on and on.”
I love you mom! And to all my mommy friends on this Mother’s Day weekend, I hope each of you know how much you are appreciated and valued, and the difference you make in the lives of others. Not just in the lives of your own family, but in my life. I watch you. I look up to you. I’m amazed by you. I live by your example. I’m in awe of you job you do every single day. I’m humbled by the deep love and commitment you feel for your children and I’m honored to be held in your company. And to my own kids…nothing makes me prouder than to be your mom. So, Happy Mother’s Day!! I hope the day is as special as you are and you are showered with all the gratitude you so rightfully deserve!