Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Tributes


A special moment for my mother, grandmother, and all mothers in my life...

My mother sacrificed everything for her children. Some people say it, but she actually did it. She gave up everything else to take care of us. She had her sights set on the storybook life - 2.3 kids, white picket fence, a career, and so forth. Then she had Angela. When a mother is pregnant the only thing she really wants is a healthy baby. My mother didn't get that. What she got was a precious little angel whose body didn't work, but it made no difference. It was just a little extra to deal with. Love knows no limitations.

After Angela was born my parents decided one child was enough. As I've said before, life is what happens when you're making other plans. In this instance, I was "life". Unfortunately, I was very sick as well. In fact, the doctors told my parents that they should prepare for the worst, but my mother said she knew I would be fine. Several surgeries and a few pounds later, I was at home and thriving.

From that moment on her children were her career. I am not just talking about the physical care. That was a large part of it and I will get into that a different time. What I am talking about right now are the fundamentals of being a parent. My mother has been the one constant in my life. She is encouraging, loving, silly, eccentric, generous, funny, strong, strict, demanding of my best effort and passionate about what she believes. She's stood by my side in the toughest times of my life. You would think that would be a given for all parents, but I have heard stories and know people who never had the love of their parents and are still struggling for their approval. Perhaps the greatest gift my mother ever gave me was the knowledge that I would always have her love. I have apologized profusely for thirty years for being sick and forever changing the course of her life, and she has begged me to stop feeling that way. My mother always reminds me that she wouldn't change a thing. Her daughter and son are her greatest achievements in her life. She loved her Angela unconditionally for sixteen years on this earth and the sixteen years and counting she has been gone. She will continue to love me forever. She says I made her a better person. So, for Mother's Day I am making the public promise to never again apologize for being sick. I guess, in a strange way, it was my honor. You are an amazing person with a wonderful soul. I couldn't ask for anything more in a parent. These words do not do you justice. I love and adore you. Thank God you were here to love me.

My grandmother has different personality than my mother, but has the same core elements that make up a wonderful parent. More often than not, she is quiet and shy. She would prefer to absorb all that is around her rather than being the center of attention. I think that comes from being the mother of twelve boys. No girls...just boys. There was no time to worry about herself. One would think that a person would not have enough energy or love for that many children. Think again. Not only did she pull off this amazing feat of motherhood, but as her family grew so did her love. She has enough of it for any and all who cross her path. Some of the greatest moments of my life will revolve around simple conversations with the matriarch of my family. Those conversations are a large part of the foundation for who I am as a man. Thank you Grandma, you are my favorite. I know you are my only one still with me, but you are still my favorite.

I am a self-diagnosed "Mama's Boy" and proud of it. Without mothers there would be no night time tuck ins, no extra desserts, no groundings, and no reading on laps. There would be no shoulders to cry on, no one to drive us to our friends' houses, no one to borrow the car from, no one to call us just to check in, and no one to fight with when we are young enough to think we know it all. As we got older and smarter, there would be no one to come home to for the weekend from college with a full fridge and dinner on the table. No one to send us out the door with our laundry all done when we "forgot" to do it. No one to watch us graduate and no one to brag about us when we finally do. No one to watch us fall in and out of love. No one to sob as we get married. No one to struggle as we "leave the nest". No one to watch us from a far and always keep us near. No one to teach us what love really is.

Motherhood is the greatest profession of them all. Here is an interesting article about the salary a mother should be paid for all her responsibilities. Not enough in my opinion.

Today I give thanks to all of the mothers and mothers-to-be. You are all beautiful and I love each and every one of you. By the way, if you are a mother of pets , that counts too. People may think you are crazy, but it doesn't matter. You give your heart just as much to your "furry kids". Trust me...I get it. ;-)

Peaceful Things,

Josh

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