Most of the other beautiful things in life come by two’s and three’s; by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends – but only one Mother in the whole world – Kate Douglas.
I’ve always wanted to write my mother a letter; yet it seems almost as daunting to me as writing a novel. How does one sum up the feeling, emotions and memories of nearly forty years in a mere letter?
You know, I don’t think I actually thought of my mother as a human being until I had my first child, and even then I didn’t fully understand it. I remember after giving birth to my son; after he’d been cleaned and I was in my ‘room’ for the night and they came in and placed his crib beside my bed; that feeling of “Oh my God” I’m a mother. No one is going to come and take this child back, I am not babysitting, this child is not on loan, and he is mine.
It was a little overwhelming actually. At only 22 years old I didn’t get that my life would forever be different.
This made me think of my mother in a different light for the first time; did she feel the same way after I was born?
It’s funny but all of those little things you do for your children from birth to age three are pretty much forgotten. You forget all the nights you kept your mother up with worry, forget that she kissed your boo boos and read you bedtime stories; forget that when you were sick and fevered she was in tears because she didn’t know how to console you or help you. The only time you remember that your Mother did these things for you, is when you’re doing them for your own child.
You may have grown up with a religious mother, a subservient mother, a mother who baked you cookies on rainy days or built tree forts with you in the back yard. I didn’t have this kind of mother, but I was blessed with a strong one. A mother that I respect and love; a mother that I admire with a certain amount of awe.
Some say that before you are created the angels pick who your mother will be. Whether that mother gives birth to you or adopts you the stars are aligned to make this happen; I believe this to be true of myself and my mother as I couldn’t imagine any other as a perfect match to be my mother.
I’m laughing out loud as I am imagining myself as a teenager. As a teenager I would have never uttered the above words. I thought my mother and I were as different from each other as oil and water. I used to imagine that she would spend all of her waking hours coming up with ways to make my life difficult. I could not wait to get away from my mother. It’s sad but true. Everything she said in my opinion was uneducated, unfounded and just plain ‘not right’ (Funny how history repeats itself—take my son for instance). She didn’t ‘understand’ me; she didn’t ‘get’ what it was like to be a teenager. She had lived a sheltered and sad life as a girl in the 50’s and could not possibly understand a teenager in the 80’s. I could go on and on...
Something happened at some point though.
I consider my mother to be one of my best friends. My biggest supporter and confident. I think she is the strongest and smartest woman I know. She has been through so much in her life and yet she has remained such a strong person for her children. In the last 10 years or so I have realized quite quickly how much she and I are alike; and now I like to admit it.
She has shaped me into who I am today. She has passed down her strength, her knowledge her dedication and loyalty.
Recently I was talking to some women who had lost their mothers. Listening to them felt tragic to me as I could not imagine losing mine. Who would I call when I was sad? Or Angry? Or if I was really proud of myself? It’s always my mother I think of first.
Thank you mom for everything you are. I love you more than you know.
This blog does nothing in the way of expressing just how deeply I love, respect and admire you; not even close.
I’m not sure I could actually put into words the last 40 years frankly, so for now I’ll just say thank you.
Wishing you a fabulous Mother’s Day! I hope you realize how important you are!
Love your daughter