|My mom pregnant with me, Jessica the Magnificent.|
|Brand new mama, October 1978|
|I'm sure I never cried, and was always an angel.|
I have been so blessed to have so many amazing women in my life, who at one point or another have been there for me as if they were my own mom. Those moms know who they are. Over the years they may have received a mother's day card or two from me. It's not out of obligation that I send them a card, but out of love and thanks for the love they have given me in their own unique way.
My mom, however, is the mom I admire most. She's the mom I strive to be. I remember being in the check-out line at a grocery store and watching my mom strike up a conversation with a stranger. A seed was planted. If my mom can laugh with a perfect stranger, so can I. I have made friends this way. Rylee sees me talk and laugh with strangers now. Sometimes she asks if I know them as we are headed to the car. I tell her no, but it's okay because that's how you meet people. I tell her that if she's with me it's okay to talk to strangers, because you never know, you might be blessing them, or they might bless you. My mom taught me friendship.
My mom has faced many struggles in her life. Many of those she faced while being a mom. Through all of those "character building" moments, my mom never stopped being there for me. During many of the difficult things she was going through, I was too young to understand she could have used a break from us kids. She didn't stop being my mom just because she was sad, upset, angry, hurt, or grieving. The hardest thing about my brother's recent passing is seeing the hurt it has caused my parents. I am a mom now. I don't want to experience the pain my mom has experienced due to losing a child. The past months my whole family has grieved in different ways. I am now realizing I have put some of my grieving on hold, and I believe it's because I have had no choice. I can't tell my daughter to go away because I want to lay in bed and not do anything. I can't schedule a weekend where I send my daughter off to her aunt's so I can plan on grieving. It doesn't work that way, I don't operate like that. My mom has still been there for me when I have need to cry or vent or laugh, even in the midst of her own grief.
My mom taught me grace.
I don't remember the year, but I remember the gift. There was a Mother's Day when my dad took us kids to pick something out for our mom. I don't know what store we went to, but it was something like JCPenney's. There it was, on a round display table with 100 other jewels just like it. A "Genuine Austrian Crystal" clad heart-shaped pendant. It sparkled like the Hope Diamond. I had no idea what the Hope Diamond was back then, but now I know the cheap glass jewelry we saw was better than any real precious stone in the whole world. "Dad, this is it! This is what we want to get her! Please Dad! Pleeeeaaaasseeee!!!" I don't remember if he hesitated, I don't remember what it cost, it doesn't matter, Dad paid for it. It was probably $16.99, which to us was incredibly expensive because we had no concept of money. And because we thought it was incredibly expensive, it made the present for mom that much more exciting. Surely she would gasp, she would faint, she'd regain consciousness and cry tears of joy. She'd hold us in her arms weeping over our generosity and impeccable taste. Was is too much to think she might never make us do chores again? One could hope! But we didn't let ourselves get ahead of ourselves. After all, this was mom's special day. We couldn't think about our selfish dreams of not having to actually pick up after ourselves. Do I remember the moment we gave it to her? Nope, nothing. Where is that "Genuine Austrian Crystal" clad heart-shaped pendant you ask? In her jewelry box, missing several "Genuine Austrian Crystals", but it's still around.
|An Original Masterpiece by Rylee Roemer - May 11, 2013|
My best Mother's Day memory as a mom, so far, was when Rylee walked a card over to me from across our living room. She had just started walking so it was a very big deal. I cried the happiest tears you can think of. She's six now and this is the second year she has been excited to get me something. Last year she set out to find me a necklace that had MOM and a heart on it. John said she was waiting to find the right necklace. She found one, and I love it. I really do wear it. It's after midnight as I finish writing this, now Mother's Day, so I don't know what she got for me yet, but it doesn't matter, I know I'll love it. The thing that is making me so happy right now is that she is learning to read and write. She has an amazing and detailed imagination. When she is left to her own devices, she draws the cutest things and has the best stories to go with them. In the midst of all that waiting I did today, Rylee surprised me with a drawing that brought me to tears. The picture above is her giving me my Mother's Day gift and she drew me with a surprised face. She didn't have to explain the picture, it's obvious what she was trying to convey. And the words, "Happy Mother's Day" aren't perfectly spelled, but she's doing exactly what she should be doing, trying. The "I love my mom", well, no words are necessary to explain how precious that is to me.
My mom taught me how to be a mom.