Lots of things and people and circumstances and events create a person. They are shaped into who they are because of the path they've walked. I'm no exception and I'm not exceptional. I prefer spectacularly ordinary.
One of the people who made me who I am is my mom and so today, I'll give you a glimpse.
I am not her and she is not me. But I don't mean that in a bad way. Not at all. I am uniquely my own self and that is directly related to having the mom I have.
We do not have a gushy mushy gooey lovey kind of relationship. There will be no polly-anna picture painted here for you.
Our mother daughter dance has had close and distant and middle ground filled with grace.
My mother has taught me much.
The value of books. I have no memory of ever seeing my mom without a book. She gave me total freedom in the library and in my reading life. I read everything and anything I ever wanted to read and over the years many books have passed between us.
Through my mom I have learned the grace of artists. They are strong and driven even when they don't seem to be. It's as constant as books. I have no memory of my mom not creating art of some kind. Having it be a permanent normal part of life, helped me find the way to make writing a normal part of my everyday, of who I am.
Because of my mom creating beauty right in front of us, I know the value of something beautiful.
I watched my mom as wife and learned that marriages take work but that work is worth it. I saw first hand how to over look the small petty stuff and focus on love.
I am a mom that is able to simply step up and do what ever it takes because that was the example lived out before me. Looking back I can see my mom doing a million things well outside her comfort zone or desire or sometimes even outside her ability or capacity and yet, pulling herself together in the moment and just handling whatever it was that came her way as our mom.
I have watched my mom be broken, become courageous, struggle and survive. I am seeing her becoming again because even when she really wanted to, she never gave in to giving up. A quiet strength.
We are not the same. I love a house full and a busy life. I am loud. In comparison I am wildly independent.
We are the same. I see her face in my mirror often. I hear her voice when I'm talking. We know similar if not the same dark places and fears.
I know the bittersweet of her Mother's Days this last decade and those that will come, but there is love. Strong grace love that rides over the bittersweet of it all.
I find beauty in my life because she taught me how to look for it. I know how to sit in the quiet and see it. I know how to find it in my minds eye and create it.
I know grace because she gives it freely to me. I am not the daughter that gets the right gifts on time. I am the one who forgets about cards and misses the windows for phone calls and seems to busy. (I'm not too busy for you. Never.)
I love because she loves me. She loved me in spite of myself in "those" years. You know the ones, we all have them. She loves me now even when what I do or plan to do seems insane to her. And in turn, I am able to pour it out to others.
So Mom, in short if I never pull it together and reach you by phone--my butt's been calling your purse--Happy Mother's Day.
I love you.