“When my children remember their childhood, I want only for them to remember that their mother gave it her all. She worried too much, she failed at times, & she did not always get it right…but she tried her hardest to teach them about kindness, compassion, & honesty. Even if she had to learn it through her own mistakes, she loved them enough to keep going, even when things seemed hopeless, even when life knocked her down. I want them to remember me as the woman who got back up.”
Kelly Rutherford posted that quote on her Instagram (@kellyrutherford) a while back but it’s stuck with me; Not because I’m a mother (unless you count a cat and dog) but because if my own mom could speak that eloquently, she would definitely say that herself. In many ways, she already has, if only fragmented over time based on the situation.
Instead, my mother came to visit with a surprise for me. In a frame, is a quote by Lorrie Westfall:
“Daughter, I want you to know that you are beautiful in so many ways.
I wish I had all the perfect words to thank you for being such a wonderful daughter. All throughout my life, I have realized over and over…I’ve never been more blessed than when I was given the gift of being your parent. All throughout your life, you have amazed me and impressed me and given me thousands of reasons to love you more than I already do.
Over the course of time, there have been so many changes in our days and in everything around us. But one thing always stays the same…my feeling that you are more than just the brightest star in my sky…
You’re one of the most special people…in the whole wide world.”
It literally brings tears to my eyes.
I didn’t get to spend Mother’s Day with my mom, which I suppose happens to many kids when they grow up, if they’ve decided to move far away from home. Luckily for both of us, my mom’s semi-impromptu weekend getaway to Austin just happened to be this weekend, the weekend after Mother’s Day. It makes her gift even more fitting, even though it’s supposed to be me buying something for her.
I don’t think I was ever one of those girls who screamed “I hate you!” to my mom as I slammed my bedroom door as a teenager. Well, maybe once…maybe. But I can’t think of the time. She might be able to tell you otherwise…but even so, I doubt I did it very many times.
I am a textbook “mama’s girl.” Of all the people in my life, she’s hands down the most responsible for influencing who I am today. All I’ve ever wanted – ever since I can remember – was to please her. She was and is my role model, confidant, best friend, but most importantly, my mother…and in spite of being my friend, she plays her “mom card” often and with confidence. Life-altering decisions were never made without her blessing, even my decision to move to Austin. I stayed home until I’d convinced her that it was what I needed to do. Maybe that’s normal, maybe not…I don’t really know. But it was always normal for me.
Even if I don’t scream “I hate you!” my relationship with my mother is far from perfect. We’ve certainly had our up’s and down’s; but at the end of the day, she’s my mommy. We don’t always agree on some of the most random things – important and petty – but I still value her opinion (even if it’s dumb).
She gave me life, and she is my life.
I’m so happy to have this weekend with her as a sort of late Mother’s Day, and just to spend some time with her in the new city I call home.