I have the most wonderful mother in the world. Really I do. When I was growing up she was, oh, so patient. My dad was the authoritarian parent . The one that would exert his authority like the military sergeant he was. But that wasn’t what kept me in line. It was my mom. Far from being the permissive parent, she was the authoritative parent. The one who would listen when you talked. The one who would make you really give thought to what you wanted to do. My mom was so wonderful that she really didn’t have to punish me. All she had to do was say, “I am so disappointed in you,” and it hurt. It hurt so much that it made me want to be a better person. A person that wouldn’t disappoint this most wondrous woman.
Not only was my mom patient with me and my brother, but she was patient with my dad as well. When I was just about to turn thirteen, my dad had a brain aneurysm. The doctors said he should have died. But he’s stubborn (guess I get that from him ;)) and he didn’t die. Instead he had to re-learn all the basics in life like a toddler. After mastering those obstacles, he went through several brain surgeries. My mom was always there. Strong, supportive, loving. I will never know what she went through during those tough times. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have to do that at the mere age of 36….younger than I am now. If you asked her back them, I am sure she would have told you that she wasn’t a strong person…but she developed a strength that she never knew she had and is stronger than anyone I know. Stronger, but still gentle and caring.
Later in life, my mom would ultimately take care of both her parents in their final years. Again, showing a strength and beauty that most people may never see. I bet you she doesn’t even see it. But I see it.
Now that she is in retirement and no longer needs to be someone’s caregiver (my brother and I are grown, her parents are gone, and my dad is basically as normal a person as most), you would think she would finally sit back and relax. Nope, not her. Instead she is raising two kids yet again. Kids the same age as my own kids. Kids with a difficult life. Sure it is stressful on her; more stressful than she ever dreamed. But still, she puts up with the headaches of being not only a “mom” again, but the overlooked mom. The second mom who lives sort of like a step mom (a good step mom) while having to deal with the headaches of the real mom. I know she’s feels unappreciated. Kids do not know how to show appreciation. Appreciation, love and respect is learned through maturity. So I watch as this remarkable woman suffers the pain of being taken for granted. I am sure that in my own youth I may have taken her for granted. I want to take away her pain. I want to hug her and tell her how much she is loved. Of course I do tell her, yet I know it’s hard for someone’s words to change the effects of someone else’s pain. But what my brilliant, loving mom doesn’t see is that she is changing the world. These two children have been given another chance because of her. A chance to have normal, loving, family lives. Lives that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. They are getting guidance that would have been lacking. She is changing two futures, which in turn will change a few more futures, and so on and so on.
I admire my mom more than I could ever put into words. Mom and I love you. I know these children love you, even if they don’t understand those feelings yet. I love you with all my heart today and forever.