Mother’s Day springs from our hearts and not from the countings of calendar watching. We pick a day for collective action in honour, an interesting contrast with the ceaseless caring for us they began long before we ever were aware.
So many Mom stories in my head, and I’ll mention a select few teasing at me today. Armed with a contagious laugh, when my mom builds up giggle momentum, I succumb, as true of me at 57 as it was at 8.
There are memories of sadness as well, the loss of my grandfather in 1968 and the loss of my father in 1997 foremost in mind. Her battles against the workings of biology stand out as of someone resilient, from the bouts of kidney stones to the removal of the kidney almost fifty years later, from thyroid surgery in the late 1960s, to bouts with cancer, and with uncooperative legs. Through it all, she can’t sit still; she is a vibrant and can do 83.
I recall times where she tangled with others over her children, her casual demeanour spiked to ferocity for the audacity of falsely blaming us for the dumb doings of others. On the other side, there was me at 6, annoyed over the fact my sister, 5 years older, had received the day off from school following her First Communion. No fair I thought after making mine, and so I worked out a plan wherein the details fall to time, but it involved one story to my teacher, another to my sister, and resulted in me hopping a city bus home at noon. I skipped school at six.
Mom marched crying little old me the mile back to school, foiled.
Her passion worked crochet needles, and her creations painted happy smiles on an endless parade of people across this state, region, and even across the country.
When I crossed gender lines in 2003, she learned from instant messaging after another counselled me against the revelation. I just needed to tell her. Slow with her keyboard yet otherwise adept in computer navigation, I awaited with patience her response. Her internet service disconnected, and my stomach found my throat.
She came back on, and I tried again. A minute, two, five. “I can accept that popped up at last. Such a thing I tossed before her, such importance in her acceptance.
I’d put up a picture, but Mom doesn’t like her image displayed, so I honour her wish.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.