Monday, May 8, 2017

Bittersweet Mother's Day

My mom is sick. I've been avoiding writing about it here because it felt wrong. Too personal. Too hard. Too much.

But, as we approach Mother's Day, I want to write about her. Her courage. Her compassion. Her sense of humor.

My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She does what has to be done. No fuss, no muss, no bother and not a lot of complaining.

She freely expresses her feelings, the good and the bad, without becoming ugly. She'll put up with a lot, but no one, and I mean no one had better mess with my dad, my sister or me, or that person is sure to hear about it.

I got that from her.

My mom has always known how to be a mom. Raising kids in a time before parenting manuals and despite some trying times in her own upbringing, she knew when to push, when to pull back, where to draw the line and when to tell us she loved us and was proud of us.


She was a role model for authoritative parenting before anyone coined the term. She loved us the way she loves my dad -- unconditionally -- and together, the two of them gave my sister and me a secure foundation on which to build our lives and, eventually, the lives of our own families.

I am pretty sure this Mother's Day will be my mother's last one. It hurts, but there's an advantage to knowing this. No words will go unsaid, no petty grudges will be nursed long after they should have been forgiven. I will hold her hand and make her laugh and try to take care of her the way she has always taken care of me.

I hope she knows that she is to me what I have always known I am in her eyes -- smart and loved and pride-inspiring -- the kind of person I'd hang out with even if she weren't my mom.

I hope that in my life I can be as brave and strong and fierce as she is. Like her, I'd rather make reservations than make dinner, but I will, for the sake of my family, do the latter, even if I do it with much more grumbling than she ever did.

If you are lucky enough to have your mother in your life -- no matter how much she may annoy you or pester you or say things you don't want to hear -- don't let this Mother's Day pass you by. Tell your mom how important she is.

And if she's not here, tell her anyway. Mothers are usually listening even when we think they aren't.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. See that? I gave you your own blog post.


  1. What a beautiful tribute. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Such warm and beautiful words about a wonderful mom, she is special person. Please give her my love.

    1. Thanks, Peter. I'll be sure to do that. She'll appreciate it :-)