I lost my mom 91 days ago. She sewed a ‘Genie’ costume for me so I could participate in the Halloween parade in elementary school. Later, she would make my prom dress senior year, fashioned by her own hands. She would iron my cap and gown for college graduation, and help me into my wedding dress just a year later. She thought I was beautiful.
We had our moments through all those years, to be sure. All mothers and daughters do. As an adult, though, she became my friend. My fierce and loving friend. You see, when you lose someone you love, you also lose someone who loved you. We don’t often think of it that way. Losing someone who loves and supports you unconditionally is difficult, because you don’t get more than a handful of people like that in your life. Your mom is at the top of that list.
Mine was the kind of mom you didn’t mess with. I couldn’t always tell her if I was struggling with a certain friend or my husband. I knew she would take on my fight long after it was over. She would still have a little fire in her on my behalf for that person. Sometimes, I would just call her out of the blue during one of these struggles, but I wouldn’t tell her I was hurting. She could tell by the sound of my voice, and she knew I just needed to hear hers.
She taught me words like ‘fan dangled’ and initiated my love for writing. She taught me how, with a little patience, you can fix most things. She taught me to be gracious. She displayed this virtue in the face of my attitude many times. But what she taught me the most is love. A fierce love for your family and friends. A love that takes on your cause and supports and encourages. It was the last thing she said to me, “Just know that I love you.”
She used to give me Mother’s Day cards before I had children, just to say she felt blessed to be a mom because of me. She said I was the best thing she ever did.
So when I’m at my lowest of lows, her love continues to be the place I look to pick myself up and dust myself off. And this is what I want to leave for my own kids: to know they are fiercely loved by me.
As I look ahead to Mother’s Day next weekend, I know it will be a little bit of a challenge, but her gift of a Mother’s love is with me, in my heart to pass along. I’m not sure there is a better gift than that. Thank you mom, and to all the moms out there leaving behind a loving legacy.
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