Today I celebrate the birthday, of the woman who brought me into the world. The woman who taught me everything I know about love. And the woman who I most want to grow up to be like. My mom.
If my mom was alive today, she would be turning 60 years old. I can’t help but try to imagine who she would be at 60 years old. Would she be retired? Would we be having a big family birthday party for her? Would she have been with me last night when I took her grandbaby on her first trip around our neighborhood trick-or-treating? Would she laugh at the millions of pictures I took, or would she have been the one joyfully photo documenting every moment? These things are all mysteries to me. As are the bigger questions. What advice would she give me as I learn how to be a mom myself? What words of wisdom would she offer me about my daughters toddler years that are coming so fast now – that I hardly can believe it? Is my daughter like me?
Although I mostly try to focus on all the wonderful things my mom taught me while she was on this earth, it is still so very tempting to think of all the things I had yet to ask her. Deep things. But also silly things like recipes, or how she most likes my hair – bangs? No bangs? I want her back every day. But most especially I want her back today, on her birthday. I wish I could throw a gigantic party for her- celebrating all things she accomplished. All the people she touched. I wish I could tell her I understand even more now, what she went through as a mom. That as a kid I didn’t understand how scary and momentous and wonderful it is to take care of a little human being. I want to tell her thank you for all the sleepless nights she spent with me. All the diapers, all the kissing my baby tears away.
And even though I have only been a mom myself for a short time, I want to tell her I understand the love now. The unconditional love she always told me I had from her. I have it for my own daughter now. And through experiencing that, I understand more fully who she was. At 16, that was something I couldn’t wrap my head around. And I hope that my message can be carried to wherever she is in heaven this November 1st. Shannon gets it now. She knows the love between a mom and a daughter can never end.It’s supernaturally strong. It goes beyond death. Death is nothing compared with that love.
My mom may not physically be with me today – but I am not motherless. And I celebrate an amazing woman. A woman that brightened this earth for the first time 60 years ago today. I pray that that I learn from her example. That I never forget the kindness in her voice. That I always strive to be the person she believed me to be. And I pray that someday I can make her real for my daughter, through laughter and memories.
Happy Birthday mom. I love you. I love you always.