Mother’s Day was this weekend and there are two very important mothers in my life: my own mother and my wife. It is important to honor them both on this day. Their day. The one day of the year dedicated to celebrating how wonderful they are for having given themselves to their children and families. Even though we should really celebrate them 365 days a year.
My wife is wonderful. She is not picky or demanding and is very laid back. My mother was always surprised by how calm Mrs. Dude is and has asked me countless times “Is that real? Is anyone really that chill?” I can’t think of anyone who is more helpful, caring, nurturing or loving than my wife. She is now half-way through her/our second gestational journey and is still constantly chasing our 35-pound 2 ½ year old Little Dude with a smile on her face.
We had a wonderful weekend celebrating my wife and the superlative mother she is. It was not-surprisingly all low-key with quality spent time at the beach and the pool enjoying the weather and each other. We BBQed and played with our Little Dude. And it was amazing.
But honoring my own mother was more difficult. The only mother I know who might be more extraordinary than my wife is my own. From the moment she birthed my 11 lb. body, she was always willing to sacrifice for me. As the youngest of three kids, I was able to get a lot of quality time with her when I was younger, when my older siblings had grown up and gone to college. We spoke our own language and no one else really ever got it. And that was OK with us.
What made this weekend hard is that I couldn’t call my mother to thank her for her tireless work over these last few decades. She lost her battle with breast cancer 16 months ago, so this was my second Mother’s Day without a mother to call or send a card to. And it sucked.
Living across the country for the last dozen years, most years I was not with my mother on Mother’s Day. Now I would give anything to have just one of those missed opportunities back. To sit beside her and listen to stories of her pregnancy with me, when people constantly asked if she was having twins. Including her OB. (No joke). Stories that only she knew and I never had the foresight to ask her to record. I try to recall as many as I can, but it gets harder with each passing day as my own child begins to occupy more of my limited available memory.
I really struggled with how to pay tribute to her now that she is no longer just a phone call away. Oftentimes when I would call her, she’d answer with “that’s good ESP”, meaning she was just thinking of me. After a while I realized that it wasn’t a coincidence. I was constantly on her mind, as I’m sure my brother and sister were as well. For that’s what a great mother is about. Living for her children. Her family that she would do anything for and which keeps her up at night from birth until, well, until…
I guess the best way to pay tribute to my mother is to continue our ESP. For though I can no longer call her on the phone, all I really need to do is think of her and I know she’ll be there for me. As she always has been and always will be. Just as I know my wife will be for our son. From now until, well, until…