I spent the better part of the weekend, trying to figure out what in the world I could get or do for my mom today. I am by no means crafty, which meant there was no “making” her something, and then there are the finances which have no wiggle room, so buying a gift was totally out. I sat at my kitchen table late last night, wondering, “What DO you do for the one who brought you into this world?”
My mind began to wander and went back to many, many years ago, and as I began to write the memories (both good and not so good) came flooding back…
She was a stay at home mom, so I remember coming home from school many days to the inviting smell of freshly baked, homemade chocolate chip cookies. I don’t recall my mom ever cooking anything from a box! It was homemade cakes and frosting for birthdays, biscuits from scratch with fresh apple butter, and French toast or homemade pancakes (with homemade syrup!) to eat while my brothers and I fought over the remote for Saturday morning cartoons. There was mouth watering, home cooked food weeknights, and every now and then perhaps pizza from town and movie rentals (but only on Fridays!)
My mom was constantly doing something around the house. Cooking, cleaning, making crafts, sewing, writing. ( I never understood why she spent so much time scrubbing those toilets until I had a boy child of my own!) She was always up before us…I don’t recall ever seeing her take a nap or sleeping in!
I remember seeing her sitting at the dining room table each month, balancing the checkbook, paying bills, and punching numbers on the adding machine, sometimes getting frustrated because at times there would be more month than money. She (and my daddy!) always made sure our needs were met to the best of her ability.
I remember watching and listening to my mom as she sang in the church choir and taught Sunday School. Oftentimes, I would refuse to go to my class, simply because I just wanted to be where she was.
I remember in the mornings smelling her fresh bread being toasted, and then smeared with peanut butter along with her cup of hot tea as she sat in front of her make up mirror that lit up while she got ready for whatever the day was about to bring.
I remember how our house transformed into a Christmas wonderland the day after Thanksgiving! She refused to buy an artificial tree, but yet hated vacuuming up the needles that fell as the days went by.
Then there was the time that she sliced her finger open on a tin can! I stood in awe (and maybe a little shock) as she held it under the cold water running from the kitchen faucet. She most certainly needed stitches, but instead she had me get the neighbor, who came over and the two of them doctored it up.
Tears began to fill my eyes as I remembered being a teenager, struggling with so many areas of my life. So much so, that it was suggested that perhaps I needed to go live with my Auntie for the summer one year. I remembered sitting on the edge of my bed with my mom, crying after a series of unfortunate events that had occurred one after the other. I remember her looking at me confused and hurt, asking, “Why?” Broken and lost, I looked back at her and said, “I just wanted someone to love me for me.”
I thought back to when my husband and I got married, and she got “mad” at me for the song I chose for her and my mother in law to walk down the aisle to. (It was “Butterfly Kisses”!) Fast forward a few years when I found out I was pregnant with our first child, and she didn’t believe me until she saw the test results! Ha ha!
My mom is one of the strongest, bravest, beautiful, smartest and (sometimes stubborn!) women I know…This is her first Mother’s Day without HER mom. I can’t imagine what that feels like and I am sure there have been tears today.
And, while I may not agree with everything that she’s said or done throughout my life, I will just have to get over it. After all, she’s the parent and I will always be her kid. Now that I’m a mom, I understand the love, the sacrifice, the tears and the laughs, the joy and pain, the mistakes and celebrations.
Yes, I’m a mom, too, and believe me, my kids are two of my most precious gifts from the Lord! At 15 years old, I remember being told it would be extremely unlikely and very difficult for me to ever have kids. My kids celebrate me daily by showering me with hugs, kisses on my cheek, artwork, and telling me over and over how much they love me.
But today, THIS one, is for MY Mommy.