And it is not a small thing to say I am the person I am because of her. It is imminently true - she helped me to become a functioning member of society. She told me what was important and not important, how to act, how to be responsible and independent. There were times I thought she was nuts (and still do - hee hee) but more often than not, I eventually saw the method to her madness, so to speak.
I remember playing with her as a child, and being cared for her, taught by her. I remember in first grade the "bonus" word on a spelling test was "together" - I could NOT for the six year old life of me figure out how to remember how to spell this word. She let me try to figure it out myself all week. Then, the morning of the test, she sat me down and showed me I could just remember it was "to - get - her". I got the bonus points.
I remember a trip to Disney when I was six, over the Christmas break. I got to miss three days of school - this was a big deal, people. It was frowned upon at the school and my mother agonized over the decision, but eventually decided it was more important to go spend this family time and make up the work. It's the only time we ever got a free pass from school. In fact, we had to be on our death beds to miss school - seriously showing signs of death - before we could stay home. I remember trying to convince the school nurse I was really sick, thinking she was an easier target. That rarely worked either, by the way. But, back to the trip. I remember so many fun things from that trip. One was we rang in the New Year in our condo with grape juice in Tupperware cups. I remember toasting with my Mama. Divine!
There were plenty of tough years in the middle - because the middle is tough anyway, but also because this was when my parents were separating. She was our rock, always there for us, always cheering us on or trying to help me work through things. She encouraged me to stick with things - we were not allowed to half-a** something. If we were going to do it, we had to do it all the way. She more than once convinced me to stay in band when I wanted to throw in the towel. I guess that was a good thing, as it really shaped my whole life's path to this point in a lot of ways - it determined my major in college, it gave me some of the best friends in my life, it helped me meet my husband, and it paved the way to this crazy job of mine. So, you know, sometimes Moms are right.
I remember in high school she started making me make my own doctor appointments. I HATED this. I hated having to call up to the doctor's office and speak to them on my own. But, she was teaching me to care for myself while I was still in her care. She hated it when I would not study for tests in High School - she would push me to do my very best, and sometimes I knew I could do "good enough" without studying. This drove her crazy. But she still loved me. When I was graduating from high school, she spent tons of money and time re-doing the house so we could have a lovely open house there for all the people we knew. It was a great party.
My mom was there to help move me a gajillion times plus one, usually in the heat of a Texas summer, she listened to me when I cried I had made the worst mistake of my life moving to come to SMU, wrote to me and encouraged me in all things and still does. I remember on the way to the church for my wedding, she wanted to reminisce, and I was not in the mood. But, she was just thinking about all the ways she loves her girl, and I am so lucky for that.
Since I've become a mother myself, I am so grateful for the way she loves my son, for the ways she has given me help and advice, and for the ways she is still my wonderful mom. I love her so much, and wish her the best Mother's Day in the world!
And, I have to say, I, too, now look forward to Mother's Day - who knew I'd be ever a recipient of love and wishes on this day. Crazy things happen, people, and sometimes it's wonderful. Happy Mother's Day to all the women out there who mother us all.
See you soon.