Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mom, Remember the Time...?

Dear Mom,

I know you don't like commercialism for Mother's Day. Your practical self won't allow us to indulge in showering you with Mother's Day cards and balloons and material mementos. No, you've always insisted that we keep these annual celebrations to a minimum. No fuss. No frizz. No flare.

But that doesn't diminish our desire to celebrate you, the woman who raised us and set our feet on the individual paths we would take in life. So today, on this one day dedicated to all mothers, I want to walk back down memory lane with you to revisit and dust off some shelved recollections that demonstrate the amazing mother you are.

Mom, remember your original desire to have a nice even four or six kids? (Sadly, you were able to carry only five out of your six pregnancies to term.) We might have caused you to regret that desire at times, but you never let us know it. Instead, you made us all feel like your special treasures.

Remember letting us press our ears and hands to your belly as it expanded with our newest sibling? Feeling their kicks and hearing their heartbeat bonded us together as a family even before birth.

Mama, remember teaching us to work? You made it sound like folding stacks of cloth diapers was the greatest thing on the planet. Because we trusted you, we believed you. And because we believed you, we discovered that work could be fun.

Remember that big yellow wooden sandbox you built for us? What kind of mom builds something like that for her kids?!? Endless hours were spent by us in that creation -- just us and our imaginations.

Mom, remember the endless stacks of homemade waffles you made for us? I make them now, but they never seem to taste as good.

Remember those cupboards?! Your perfectionist nature kept you working at refinishing them for at least ten years. We never did see the mistakes you kept finding. Although we complained frequently about not having cupboard doors for half of our childhood, we admired your determination.

You taught us to sew and embroider. I hated it, but you routinely dragged me indoors for my daily session of working a needle and thread. When I had performed my required number of stitches, I was always pleased with my progress, mostly because you made me feel like I had done the best work you had ever seen -- except for the time I accidently embroidered the picture to my skirt.

Remember all those papers you edited? A good portion of my degree belongs to you. I never received lower than an A- on a paper because of your corrections. All students should be so blessed.

Remember all those walks around the block? You were out to get exercise (and probably some peace and quiet too), but never seemed to mind when one, or all five, (plus our five cats) traipsed along behind you.

You courageously pulled us out of school and homeschooled us in an age when homeschooling was still the new kid on the block, allowing us the freedom to develop our own personalities and identities. Your pioneering spirit infused itself into all of us. Today, none of us is a follower thanks to your trailblazing example.

Oh, and remember all those trips to the emergency room? Anne bit through her lip after her bicycle jump landed awry. John smashed his face into our driveway while attempting a wheelie on his bike, only to have the front wheel drop off at the moment he was ready to land. When the dog pulling Richard on his skateboard spied a cat, Richard's board hit a rock and became airborne. His landing on the sidewalk was none too graceful and promptly knocked him unconscious. I accompanied you on these and all other emergency room visits. (Only Linda escaped childhood unscathed.)

But, when I broke my neck in an auto accident, it was your face I longed to see come through those hospital room doors because you are comfort personified. And you did not fail me. You stayed the night (I don't know where) and remained with me the next day too. When I finally came home, you bravely cared for me even though you were terrified you might damage something ... but I knew you wouldn't.

Oh Mom, I could go on and on. You have been there when you needed to be there. You have listened when I needed a sounding board. You have taken action when I needed things accomplished. You have loved unconditionally, encouraged endlessly, and helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today.

How can I thank you enough, except to live you proud?

You are amazing and I love you!

Your daughter,