Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was such a special time for me as I was able to host my first Mother’s Day Lunch at our house! I love to host events & parties but this seemed much more special. My mother, my mother in law & my grandmother were all here. Three women who mean a great deal to me! I wanted to take some time to write why these women, as well as a few others, are so special to me. So this week, I plan on writing a little every day…each day about a special woman in my life.
First up, my mom.
I often say that my mom has taught me more than she will ever know. What I have learned most from her is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!
I suppose most children would say they have learned that from their parents because of the way their parents love them through trials. In some ways, I believe that is part of why I learned this but it actually goes much deeper for me.
As many of you know, when I was 12 I sat in a doctor’s office & heard not only the word ‘cancer’ but I heard the doctor explain that the cancer was ravaging my mother’s body, that the original cancer had morphed into a new cancer & that both resided inside of her. I heard him say there was a chance we would lose her. I heard him describe with great sensitivity the effects of chemo & how her body would change. What I remember most what hearing him say in some type of words that we were a team.
The next few months I saw the effects of chemo in ways I never could have imagined in my youth. I think I can almost pinpoint the moment I learned about love. She was sitting on her bed & with a voice full of emotion she called for me to come into her room. I walked in to see her cheeks stained with tears & a bucket full of hair. The chemo was doing it’s best to take her down & in that moment, I felt it could succeed. I walked over to her bed, sat down & began to brush her hair. I can’t tell you how long I brushed. For me, it seemed like a lifetime. It was probably merely minutes. But I brushed her hair as soft as a could, each time removing a new clump of hair from the brush. Every stroke brought a new tear to my eye. It was a painful experience for us both. But we were a team. We would weather whatever effect chemo brought on together. As so I brushed until no more hair would come free.
From that experience, I learned through time that we could make it through each trial given. I learned that beauty was truly only skin deep sometimes & when that beauty is compromised it brings with it a depth of emotion that is difficult to navigate. I also learned that there was beauty in the acceptance of something that seemed unimaginable. I learned to love my mother in a new way…bald! As a family, we all did. More & more, her wig lay on the bathroom counter as she would put on a ball cap & go out.
Mostly, I learned through it all how to love a mom who isn’t perfect. Who will be dealt hard hands in life. I learned to appreciate the uncertainty of the moment & realize that when as a family you choose to be a team, you can learn to love regardless of how well life goes. I learned that love is something that will go beyond the pretty dresses or even the missed curfews but will go straight to the heart of someone.