I don’t know the exact moment I realized my Mom was getting older. It certainly seemed to creep up on both of us! This fact still catches me off guard when I see Mom in person.
It’s not like she’s ANCIENT . . . “Grandma Linda” is a proud member of the Baby Boomer Generation – and she certainly is a beautiful woman! Still, sometimes I notice that her once thick, flaming red hair has faded and thinned a bit. Her smile lines are a little more permanent. Her formerly bright blue eyes are slightly tired around the edges.
I imagine Mother has a similar startling revelation every time she lays eyes on me – her child – who has morphed into a 40-something-year-old working mother of teens with grey hairs, and perpetual circles under her eyes!
[um…that would be me with the grey hairs and circles…]
But, some things have not changed. Mother remains the most powerful person I know. Like the lighthouse on the stormy rock, she stands Firm and Sure. She is a beacon in the darkness for her family. She not only cares for her husband and children and grandchildren, but also her aging parents – my Grandparents – who are now in their 90’s needing constant assistance. She shuttles them to and from the dentist, grocery store, hair appointments, and multiple doctors and specialist appointments. And this is in addition to her weekly standing date of taking them to lunch and, when health permits, a movie every single Saturday. All of these “outings” consume inordinate hours of Mom’s time and energy. But, she never complains.
Mom has taught me everything I know about . . . pretty much everything; including the really important things like Religion, Family, Faith, Love, and definitely, Mothering. My children are now in their late teenage years. I suspect Mother takes guilty pleasure when hearing some the same criticisms she endured coming back to haunt me through the mouths of my own babes!
“Mother’s Revenge!” she’ll say with a chuckle and a twinkle in her eye . . . but in the very next moment her arm will wrap quickly around me, accompanied by the whispered reassurance “don’t worry, sweetheart, ‘this too shall pass!’“. I nod, and try to smile, but I also know that if my girls are anything like I was, then it could take at least another 10 years before “this too, shall [actually] pass”!
Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. I don’t know what was worse – the diagnoses, the actual cancer, or the thought of having to watch my mother suffer, and possibly die from this dreaded disease. I just didn’t know how I could cope with my strong Mother being ill, and becoming vulnerable, and dependent. Aside from the unspoken idea of not having Mom here with me – available to reach out to, or call, or visit, any time I wanted. So, on the day of Mom’s diagnoses, I realized my life was also never going to be quite the same again.
Since Mother is a ‘fighter’ – she duked it out head-to-head with her nasty Cancer opponent, never backing down, and she came off the reigning champion! Yesterday morning I joined the 2010 Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure“ in Salt Lake City along with my daughter, and two close friends Debby & Trish. We were the “Love For Linda Team“, and raced specifically in honor of our beloved Survivors…Linda, Cheryl and Kris. We also ran in memory Debby’s dear sister Cindy who lost her valiant battle with cancer. We joined with over 17 Thousand other people with love in our hearts for all of the survivors, the fighters and the heroes who gave it their all.
Unfortunately, Mom was only able to attend the event in spirit [true-to-form, she was spending the day giving self-less service]. So, I decided I would document the occasion with my camera, and put together a video for Mom to enjoy. I’m sure she won’t mind sharing with all the rest of you.
Mother told me that participating in the race in her honor was the ‘nicest gift‘ I could give her, and said she only wished she “could give something half as nice” to me. I would like to formally remind her that she not only gave me MY LIFE, she’s given me HER LIFE – worn out in my service, always leading by example and renewing herself again and again in order to serve her family and others.
There’s simply nothing “half-sies” about that kind of gift, Mom!
Logically, I know there will come a day when I’ll only be able to hold my mother in my heart. But, that kind of thinking only tears our hearts into tiny pieces. So, let’s not think about that! For now, I will be hugging my Mom every chance I get. I will call a little more often. I will keep sending emails, and continue daily ‘prayer mails’. And, I will leave voice messages when no one answers…. Because there is just no such thing as hearing “I love you” too many times! – MoSop
This video was created using personal photography of Race Day
I love you, Mother!