Let’s talk about my mom for a while. She’s been having a hard time lately dealing with the shifts in her world. For most of my life she worked herself crazy so that she could provide everything my brother and I could possibly ever need. She always felt that if her staff was pulling long nights trying to complete a project she should remain in the building. Part cheerleader, part hovering mother making sure food was delivered and that they knew their every effort was appreciated.
She learned that from my grandfather who worked very hard to build something that remains until this day. A business that I run in my “spare” time. That same business that faltered a few years ago and started such issues between me and the ex”s family. Now I’ve straightened the ship with help and hopefully we won’t run into the same problem. But I also know there will be others in the future we don’t see coming!
My mother started knitting baby blankets like a maniac after my daughter died. Twenty of them a month that go to the local hospital so that every child born has something unique and special to call their own. She doesn’t put a label on them, never takes any credit or even acknowledges that she is the one who does them. My mother even tries to make up for some births than there are blanket for by having someone get a new blanket to the family should they want one.
It’s an obsession born out of grief and a feeling of helplessness. She found a way to turn her hopeless feelings into something positive. We talk about how we feel about not having some little girl to play dress up with, and believe me my mother would have made up for two sons and a grandson by spoiling my daughter.
My mother taught me by simply watching her that women can do anything and in some cases better than any man could. I didn’t need to hear the words, her actions created a path to understanding that. I throw a football like a girl because of her. That’s not an insult, just something different about the motion I use. [this is the joke about boobs getting in the way!]
When my father was travelling for work, she jumped in wherever she could. Even in areas she knew nothing about, or even made the situation confusing; she tried. A lesson that I carry with me, trying is so much better than just avoiding something.
Paying forward a lifetime of love and help can only come in one manner, passing along what she taught, who she is. I know how hard it is for her having me hundreds of miles away dealing with an incredibly hard medical situation. She fears the next phone call will be the last. I’ve been there, I understand that panic all too well.
Mom is taking clothes to a drive today for kids who have nothing. She was upset because she didn’t think it was enough and wanted to do more. She actually went to Old Navy and picked up brand new things to add to her boxes. I wonder if the clothes and other things from my house I have asked them to donate went with her. I doubt it, she still isn’t ready to part with those things. [I’m not sure if I am either, but it’s easy to ask when you aren’t around to see the result.]
Tomorrow morning when the niece shows up for breakfast we’ll talk about her week. All of those lessons my mother taught me are going to come out in small ways. No matter what she tells me, the only thing that matters at the end of the conversation is letting her know I’m proud of her. That she can be anything, everything all at once. Hopefully that isn’t a burden on her shoulders? I know it has at times been hard for me.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pay It Forward.”