Saturday, May 9, 2009

I've lived away from "home" now for about 8 years. For the first five, I was a short car ride from my family, and I never missed a holiday. For the past three, I've been a long plane ride from them, and it has been difficult because on days like today, Mother's Day, I can't be there to celebrate with my family. To celebrate my mother as she should be.

I don't think it's an overstatement at all to say that I am the person I am, because of the woman who raised me.

I lived alone with my mom for 3 years after my dad left her, and she became something more than just a mom to me. She was my best friend, my confidant, and my inspiration.

My mom gave up her house for my sister to go to college. This meant moving back in with her parents to save up money, a move that was humbling and difficult, to say the very least.

She gave up a serious relationship to spend more time with me.

She took time off work each week to eat dinner and watch Friends with me, even though it meant staying up later that night to get everything done.

She devoted her life to us and has been there everytime we've stumbled, and every time we've called.

Growing up, I never had a curfew and I was never grounded, but it wasn't because my mom was too soft or because I was perfect (okay, so I was sort of perfect). But rather because my mother instilled in me values that guided my way.

I struggled through my freshman year of college, but I went back for another 3 years, including a semester studying abroad, because my mother taught me to never, ever, give up.

I found a boy I wanted to spend my life with and I followed him 2000 miles across the country. Because I loved him. And my mother believed and taught me that love was one of life's greatest gifts.

I had brain and boob surgery, because I needed to. And I rebounded and moved on with my life (even if with a little lot of whining), even with the constant string of complications. Because my mother taught me to have faith in God's plan for me.

I am now gearing up to start my first year in graduate school because my mother told me that I could be anything in the world I wanted to be, regardless of the cost or challenge. And though now she keeps reminding me that I should probably decide, for good, what it is I want to do so I can be fully educated and give her some grandchildren, she has supported my every step in the application process.

My mother isn't perfect, and neither am I. But I hope that someday I can give my children the gifts she has given me. The gifts of strength, of courage of conviction, of passion and of love. I hope that someday, I will be half the amazing role model, friend and mother that she was for me.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love you.


Flea said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Thank you for sharing about her role in your life, how you've become the woman you are. Your mom sounds wonderful.

Elizabeth Kaylene said...

I did the requisite "aww" when I read this. Moms truly are special people, at least the really good ones (I've seen and met some not so good ones). Yours sounds truly amazing!

Sue G said...

Your mom sounds like a remarkable woman, but I am not at all surprised. She raised a pretty remarkable young woman. And as wonderful as your tribute to her is, you must also take some credit for who you are today, Katie. Life is a choice and so is how we live it. You have had some pretty serious bumps along the way, but you keep going with a grace and an honesty that is both delightful and refreshing. So, as we honor the woman who raised you and instilled some significant goodness in you, we must also give some kudos to you for choosing to make the journey so honorably yourself.