Mother’s Day is so special to me this year. Not only am I going to finally be a mom, but I have so much more to be thankful for than impending wish fulfillment. I have three moms – all very different and all very special to me.
I’ll start with my mom, Wendy, who passed away 11 years ago last month.
Sometimes it boggles my mind that she’s been gone so long because it really seems as though her untimely death occurred just yesterday. I still wake up sometimes hearing her laughter and I still sometimes pick up the phone to dial her number before I remember that she’s not on the other end. The good news is that she is always here, inside me and all around me and I still feel her presence in my thoughts and feelings and, most frequently, in my dreams. I can’t count the number of times she’s helped me through rough spots by visiting me in my dreams and either dishing out motherly advice or just giving me strength with her presence. This morning I spent some time reminiscing about the aspects of mom that I miss the most and which I am most grateful for inheriting from her. I made a list so I can revisit it as often as I need to and so I’ll be able to share these parts of her with my own daughter someday.
Things I miss the most
- Mom’s laugh. It was really loud and this hilarious high pitched ending, usually followed by a snort. Just thinking about it makes me giggle.
- Mom’s Chinese food. She learned from the cooks at The Rickshaw in Surrey and I miss Chinese Food night at our house – especially her honey garlic spare ribs.
- Mom’s hugs. She loved hugs and always made a point of hugging me and telling me she loved me each and every day. There’s just something about a mom hug that can’t be duplicated by anyone else.
- Unconditional love. No matter what I did (or didn’t do) and no matter how disappointed she was in me, mom always made me feel loved.
- Mom’s inherent hospitality. Even if she didn’t really care for someone all that much, she always made people feel welcome in her home. She was a hostess with the mostest and she always made sure guests were fed, comfortable and felt at home. This is something I didn’t inherit from her, but I’m hoping it will change once I become a mother too.
- Mom’s smile. She was beautiful and her smile could always make me feel warm and loved.
Things I am grateful for inheriting from her
- Mom’s need to fight for causes she believed in. I used to think this was really annoying because she would become almost obsessed with fighting for the little guys once she put her mind to it. Now, however, I realize that it defines a large part of who I am and I often smile at myself when I’m on a “cause kick”, such as my aversion to all aspects of factory farming and inhumane treatment of animals. My mom would be proud that she instilled such a trait in her daughter.
- Mom’s ability to entertain crowds with her sense of humor. My brother, Mike, and I both inherited this trait (well, we may have gleaned some of it from our dad too, but I think it was mostly from our mom). I often laugh to myself that I can entertain a crowd of people when I’m out, but then come home and barely talk for long periods of time – just like my mom.
- Mom’s obsession with “everything needs to be in its place” and “the bathroom must be spotless”. Admittedly, I am unable to follow through with these two particular OCD traits while on bed rest, but normally I am quite grateful that she drilled these things into my head because it keeps the house tidy and the bathroom sparkling!
- Mom’s belief that we should accept everyone for who they are…until they do something to hurt you on purpose – then you should forget they exist and spend your energies on people who are genuine. Mom was always one to give anyone the benefit of the doubt and I’m glad I picked this up from her. Of course, being this way sometimes leads to pain, but it’s infinitely better than judging people before getting to know them.
My parents divorced when I was very young and my dad remarried when I was 11. My stepmom, Lorna, and I did NOT get along for many years. She had never had kids of her own and I was, admittedly, a snotty little loud-mouthed bitch who was not impressed with the idea of my dad loving another woman besides my mom. There were a few super tense years way back when, but I’m so grateful that time (to grow up on my part) and a couple kids (on her part) have mellowed us both and we’ve been able to accept and grow to love each other. In the last five years, especially, she has become someone I can turn to when I need some advice or encouragement or just a sympathetic ear. I really value that in our relationship and I’m so grateful that we’re finally in a comfortable place. I am also grateful that Lorna is such a good mom to my brother and sister and that she takes such good care of my dad and loves all of them so much.
In 2007 when Greg and I were married, I was blessed with another mom in the form of my Mother-In-Law, Marianne. I call her Mama Fluf and I’m betting Sesame is going to grow up calling her Grandma Fluf! She’s definitely a nurturing, mom-type of lady and I love her very much. She has really gone out of her way to help us out while I’ve been on bed rest, especially by making me special meals that adhere to my picky vegetarian/no factory meat policies and by being the best grandma ever to Juno. He is always happy to go to grandma’s house because he gets plenty of exercise, treats and love and it adds considerably to my peace of mind when he’s over there living it up, rather than sitting here staring at me with sad eyes because I can’t do the usual with him. And her cooking is delicious, so that’s an added bonus! I also dig the fact that Mama Fluf is so gung-ho to become a grandma (not just to our dog). It’s nice to know that she already loves the baby so much and she hasn’t even arrived yet.
I am feeling very grateful today, for all of my moms and everything they mean to me and I hope they have the best Mother’s Day ever. I love them all wish them all enough and I hope I can become a combination of the best of all three when our baby comes. xoxo