Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ode to my Mom

The spedometer is set at 80 mph and the liscence plate says, "I (heart) Gram."

I am ok with admitting that there was a time when I used to think, "I hope I never turn out like my mother." It was a time when I was foolish and rebelious and going in the total wrong dirrection with my life. Thats the only reason why I'm ok with admitting it. "There was a time when..." meaning, that time is no more.

I have two daughters and a son. I'm one of the most important people in their lives. I'm not saying this in a prideful way, its just a fact. They would struggle without their father and I. Granted, I know I could entrust them to the people I love and that those people would love them almost as much as I and would sacrifice their lives for my children. There's something about parents though that a kid just needs.

To this day, my mom is one of the most important people in my life. I don't know what I'd do with out her. She used to drive me nuts, and I'm not saying she doesn't at times now but thats usually when I'm... well, lets just say that I am pretty irritable during certain weeks when my hormones are going crazy. And I know that there are still times when I drive her up the wall. But loving some one does that to you sometimes. I used to be pretty mean to my mom. I mean, cruel. I said things to her that I wish I could take back and I did things to her that no person deserves to have to go through. She stuck by me through it all though. My mom (both of my parents, really) understands and shows unconditional love to me. On a daily basis. I'm sure that there were times when she wanted to kick my butt and knock me out cold just to shut me up. But she didn't. I don't know how she didn't, but she didn't. She didn't take it lying down though like some mom's do. She didn't let me walk all over her. I've had friends who were mean and disrespectful to their moms and the mom just stood there and acted like nothing was going on and continued to worship the ground my friends walked on. Not my mom. She held her ground and let me know that I wasn't going to knock her down, try as I might. She never crumbled under my intensity or rashness. She continued to be a good parent and an amazing mom.

I DO hope I turn out like my mom when I grow up (because I'm deffinetally not done yet). She took good care of my family and still does. She used to hound me about the guys I was dating. At the time, I ignored her and pretended not to hear her. But I wish I'd listened. If I only knew then what she seemed to know from the begining, life would have been a lot easier for me. She used to get on me about my grades and getting a good job. This drove me insane at the time. But if I'd listened to her, life would be different and not so difficult as it is now. I hope I have the wisdom to open my mouth and teach my children like she did and does instead of keeping it shut and not helping my kids.

The craddle she made for my babies

Around this time last year, my dad was on a motorcycle trip in North Carolina and got in a pretty bad accident. He was in the hospital for weeks. My mom, all by herself, went down there from Maryland and stayed with him. While he was in the hospital, my grandfather, her stepdad, died. She drove from NC to PA for the funeral and then back down to NC to stay with my dad and then bring him home. A week or so after that, she drove from Maryland to Florida so we could all celebrate my little sister's college graduation. Not long before Christmas, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. My grandmother (who is a strangly resiliant woman... seriously, I don't know how she keeps on going full tilt after all the health issues she's had) had to have multiple chemo and radiation treatments, some of which she is still going through. Then, in the begining of the year, her dad's, my grandfather, health deteriorated rapidly and he passed away in early March. She went down to Florida to spend his last days with him. She's had a few more things happen since then too. Through it all though, she's been stronger than I thought a person capable. I know that the only way she's gotten through it all is by the help and mercy of God but still... Its been a lot for one person to handle. And she's handled it with a strength that is beyond anything I've ever witnessed. I'd have crumbled a long time ago. Shoot, when the first bit happened, the night I heard my dad got in the accident, I smoked about 2 packs of cigarettes in less than 24 hours. There's no way I'd be standing still if I was in her shoes. And somehow, even though she was the one who needed some comfort and reassurance, she was the one wiping all of our tears. I hope that one day, I am as strong of a woman as my mother. She's more amazing than WonderWoman. Mom, you deserve to be imortalized in your own comic books series. You're a flippin action figure!!!

My mom doesn't wear make up. I can't remember the last time I saw her wear pink. I don't think I've ever seen her with her nails painted (even though she does have some of the cleanest fingernails I've ever seen). She does wear some pretty amazing jewelry but I give my dad credit for that one. He likes to give her really pretty gifts. My mom is different from any other mom I know. And I love that about her. My husband asked me one time if my mom used to take me to the malls and stuff when I was younger. Mall shopping with my mom was... a challenge. The challenge was to find what we wanted as quick as possible before mom got irritated with the crowds and things got stressful. No, my mom taught me how to play softball and basketball. My mom is a photographer. And a motorcycle rider. And a woodworker. She really is a gifted photographer. I can't wait till she retires and I can take the kids to her house for their pictures instead of JC Penny's or something. She rides motorcycles. Shes's taken trips with my dad all up and down the east coast and out in Vegas and to the Grand Canyon... with out trailoring the bikes the entire time. Most women don't even ride their own motorcycles, let alone go on serious bike trips. My mom also loves to wood work. She has made some pretty amazing things for my kids. She made the craddle that has held all three of my babies, she made my oldest a rocking Harley Davidson to match her own, and she made my son a rocking airplane. I'm looking forward to seeing what she's going to make for the baby. She is an incredibly gifted, well rounded person.

I don't know a single person that doesn't adore my mom. Any one that meets her, loves her. I have friends that tell me that when they're in town, they like to go see my mom. I think that any one who has anything negative to say about her can't see past their own nose and has forgotten how badly their own poop stinks.

I hope I'm like my mom when I grow up. I think she's an incredible woman who does a lot for her family and would give her life for each and every one of us. I hope I have her perseverence. I hope I aquire her creativity and ability to make beautiful things. I hope that I'm able to chanel my tenacity the way she does in order to get things accomplished. I hope that I am never afraid to speak up, just like her. I hope that I am able to take care of my family in all the unnoticed, unappreciated ways that she does. I hope my children get to know her better over the years because she is a truely remarkable woman.

The airplane she made for my son

Mom, thanks for never failing me and for giving me an example of a true, accomplished SuperMom. I love you.

 (Disclaimer: My dad is also a wonderful human being. He is an amazing Daddy and I owe a lot of credit to him as well. I truely believe that he is a much better dad to me than most men are capable of being. I don't know what I'd do with out him either. I just felt the need to let my mom know how much I appreciate her,that I think she's a great mom and to thank her for setting the standard.)

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