I feel like I barely got to know my mother growing up. I know her from the memories I have, but I didn't take the time to get to know her as a woman. Fortunately, I still have the chance.
Sometimes my mother gets under my skin. However, my mother is a part of my skin. I carry her around, in my genetic make-up.
When I look in the mirror, if I squint and tilt my head in a certain direction, I see her... in me.
As I think of my mother, I think of all the sacrifices she made in her own life. She was a teacher, but she opted to stay home with her children until we were old enough to take care of ourselves after school. With my brother needing extra care due to having spina bifida, she made more sacrifices than the average mom.
My dad worked away from home a lot, leaving my mom to hold the house down. She is strength. She is faith. And she is love.
She is my mother.
My mom lives in the box I have put her in. She doesn't exist as a person, just as a mother. I've never thought of her as anything else.
Maybe the best present I could give my mom this Mother's Day, is freedom from that box. I need to realize she is much more than just my mom. I want to find out who else she is.
I want to go into conversation blank, without the memories I have of her. Get to know the woman she is, not the mother she was and give her a fresh start, while I have the chance.
I asked a friend who recently lost his mother, what he would ask of her if he had the chance.
"I'd ask her not to go," he said.
This Mother's Day, honour the mothers who are with us still and hold fast to the memories of those who live on in our hearts.