Living several states away from my family makes it hard to celebrate holidays. This year, my planned gift to honor Mom met with backorders and unanticipated delays. When I phoned Friday, the original planned delivery day, to let Mom know of the bad timing, she responded with grace and good cheer.
Hopefully Mom knows that she is my inspiration, my compass, my friend. I know that I would not be the woman I am without her understanding and support. She’s celebrated my victories and consoled me on my losses. She’s unwaveringly been a voice of reason when my heart was breaking, helping me find my way safely back to firm ground.
I know that my sister and I benefited not only from the love of both our mom and dad, but also of the support of our extended family. My Auntie, for example, would pick me up from school when I was sick and Mom was working, nursing my upset tummy, wiping my runny nose, plying me with Vernor’s, soup, and hot tea. Auntie had her own little ones to care for, but she always had room in her heart and home for my sister and me.
My grandparents on both sides also provided love and support for us – we would divide our summers between my mom’s parents and my dad’s, being loved, spoiled, and adored.
My sister now has her own children and I know she is to them the rock that our Mom was to us. I also know that she has a fantastic support system within her husband’s terrific family as well as our own.
I’m not a mom in the traditional sense. I’ve been a wicked step monster and am a step grandmother; I have children of my heart if not of my womb. And while my stepchildren are grown and I don’t have much contact with some of them, I’m an active part of the lives of two of my step-grandchildren.
On mother’s day this year, I’m not able to celebrate in person with Mom. Instead, I’m spending the day with my furry children – three dogs and a cat – and sending love across the miles to Mom, Auntie, my sister, and all the women who cared for me as well as those who care for others. Mothers – in all their myriad guises – have the power in their hands and hearts to give us wings.