I Love You Mom: A Mother’s Day Tribute
One hot summer afternoon when I was about 8 years old I was outside playing with my big brother Mark. It was one of those hot muggy summer days when the sky could open at any minute. Sure enough a few minutes into our playtime, the sky grumbled, and it began to pour.
From inside the house my Mother summoned my older brother Mark and I into the house.
“Come in quick!” She called.
Disappointed that our outdoor playing time had come to an abrupt end, we scampered into the house.
“Now take off those wet socks and go downstairs and put on your old sneakers.”
Mark and I looked at each other confused. Always obedient kids — we did what Mom told us.
“Ok, now get out there, and have some fun.”
We assumed she was kidding and only testing us.
“Well, go go GO!”
We yelped, and pushed each other out of the way to get outside to play in the rain & mud. It was pure bliss. Served up on a platter by our doting Mother.
Mark and I were the lucky benefactors of my Mother’s impeccable human perceptive ability. Mom knew when to put the throttle down and reprimand us for sure, but she also knew when she should pull the plug and let boys be boys.
Mark and I grew up well. Our loving childhood served us, and guided us. We both got married, and started families of our own. Now my Mother goes by “Nanny” to each of her five grandchildren. These days Mom is retired after an amazing career in education.
I always knew that my Mother was an exceptional human being. I mean, she’s my Mom and I’m certainly biased — but I could see that outsiders would see this in Mom as well. Firstly, she’s brilliant. It’s normal for Mom to discuss Eckhart Tolle in a normal conversation. She practices yoga and is one of the most highly evolved human beings I know. Mom has the same “it” factor that her father had. She can sit quietly in a loud room, and eventually the room will circle around her. No bombast, no pomp, and circumstance — just pure substance.
Mom is easy to forgive. She loves pro-actively, and unconditionally. This is a rare thing. She doesn’t just preach love, respect, and admiration she embodies it.
Lately Mom’s exceptional personality traits have shined even brighter. My Father is living with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Which is a horrible thing for Dad. However, what most people fail to see is the burden of caretaking on the spouses of individuals with the disease. Scratch a bit beyond the surface of the situation and you’ll see the grumbling underbelly of the disease. You’ll see the raw horror of the diseases slow creep through Dad’s body. The shattered plans, cancelled vacations, modified cars, wheelchair ramps, dinged, and dented hallways, hoists where there should be sofas. The horrid strangle hold on his spirit. You’ll see the frustration simmering just behind his eyes as he watches his grandchildren play around his wheelchair.
Mom is up most nights tending to my father. Waking early in the morning before everyone, and staying up late to ensure his health and comfort. She never complains.
She’s an unwavering pillar of strength and loyalty. Relying on her faith and her pure love for my Father. When I ask her how she’s doing, she immediately deflects the conversation to my Father and his ordeal.
“Can you imagine what he’s going through Christopher?”
I also can’t imagine what Mom is going through.
Mom embodies, the true ideal of “through sickness and in health.” Mom is the thankless soldier, taking on the burden of the entire troop. Her head is bloodied, but unbowed. Mom is pure love. Mom is my hero. Mom teaches by example, guides by loving, and inspires everyone who encounters her.
I know that everyone has his or her very own “bag of rocks”…but to see what my Mother has endured for the past 5 years with Dad, with such grace, such unwavering dignity …well, I’m in awe.
So this Mother’s Day, I honor you Mom. Thank you for being a beacon of light through a dark time.