Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day revisited

When I think of my favorite holidays, Mother's Day is never one that comes immediately to mind. Funny, because I think it is a day that fills me with gratitude more so than any other.

I was blessed to have a mother who was loving, wise, and strong. We were always close, and as the only two females in a family of six, I think I often felt it was her and me against the world! My mother passed away nine years ago this month. It was one of the times in my life, other than the birth of my children, that I truly understood what being a mother meant. It is a connection that defies time and space. And there is a void in my life that will never be filled. She was first and always my mother. And as I grew older, I was so blessed that she counted me as her friend.

Years ago, my husband started a Mother's Day tradition that continues to this day. Breakfast in bed, made by the kids. Even though it's a tradition, I have been surprised more than once. I am not a morning person and it takes a while for my brain to start rolling. There was one Mother's Day that I thoughtlessly got out of bed and started my morning routine, when my husband cracked open the door and hissed, "Get back in bed!" A few minutes later, the kids came parading into the room, the oldest with the tray of scrambled eggs and cold toast, the second carrying the jar of strawberry jam and the little one with the one pound margarine tub. Breakfast at the Brown Palace couldn't have tasted better.

There was the Mother's Day that I was presented with breakfast in bed and my present of a new camera. We have pictures to prove it, all of us in rumpled pajamas, bedheads and cozied among the sheets.

This year, my fifteen-year-old did the honors. Golden pancakes, sausage, fruit juice and coffee fixed just the way I like it. He presented me with the tray, both of us yawning and half asleep, asked, "Is there anything else you need?" and proceeded to go back to bed for two hours. Later, 12-year-old daughter came in and announced, "well this just isn't right, you in here all alone." She crawled in beside me and we both feasted on cold pancakes, discussing our plans for the day. Later in the day, my oldest son called and we talked on the phone while Dan and his brother and the kids fixed dinner. Dan's parents and I were watching the Rockies play on T.V. Kinda nice, being the one with my feet propped up, while dinner is being fixed!

My favorite part of the morning is the quiet that ensues when my husband insists I have a bit of time alone. I reflect on the women who are the real heroes in my life. The three women who gave birth to my children. I ask God that he bless them as abundantly -- no, 10 times more -- as they have blessed me. I don't know what I would be if I wasn't a wife and mother.

My mom taught me much of what I know about being a mother, wife and a woman. But she left too soon! Before I knew how to be a mother to teenagers and how to deal with the challenges of an aging body. But this sisterhood of women is a large and extensive one, and other women in my life have stepped in. My Aunt Ann has loved me and my family and cared for us in the past nine years, especially nurturing me in times of need.

I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law who not only gave me the best present in the whole wide world -- my DH (and, no Sweetie, it doesn't stand for Damn Husband!), but has shown me how to be the best mother-in-law when that day comes for me. And when my dad remarried a few years ago, his wife Carol became a part of my life, and I love her for bringing happiness to my dad's life, and have learned a lot from her, watching their marriage and the two of them being a couple.

The day ended with a phone call from my BFF Kathy. There's another "mother link" here, in that her mother and mine were good friends. We went over the day with one another, talked about her birthday, which always falls close to or on Mother's Day, and ended up laughing about some dumb little thing which made me think, good grief, are we becoming our mothers? We only wish.


Sarah said...

What a beautiful post and very reflective on those ties that make us truly appreciate the sisterhood that joins us all together. Motherhood is a gift, and I think it is an even bigger gift when we spend time looking at the influences in our life, both good and bad, that have shaped who we are and how we can improve.

Have a blessed day!

Joanne said...

What a wonderful day you had, at home and relishing in the love and attention of your family, relaxing, feet up even! Those are very special days indeed. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother, but it sounds like, in a certain essence, she is still with you. Have a nice week!

Judy said...

Oh, Karen! Your day sounded wonderful!

Trailboss said...

I lost my Mother 10 yrs ago last week. It is tough isn't it. That was a beatiful post. Happy Belated Mother's Day.

Susanne said...

I smiled from beginning to end of this post. What lovely reflections on the bonds that motherhood creates between all women who are mothers.

Sounds like you had a lovely day. The 15 year old going back to bed cracked me up. That would be my oldest doing just that. LOL.

Renna said...

That was beautiful, Karen. :-)

I LOL at your comment to your DH about the meaning of DH. My own dh wondered that same thing the first time he saw me using that reference. ;-Þ

diana said...

i love mother's day, and one of the reasons is the company you have in celebrating the day. you can honor your mother (alive or dead) because you can understand her thoughts, feeling, emotions, and motives.

your tradition of breakfast in bed sounds wonderful. a nice way to start a special day. glad you had such a good day.

Jen said...

Great post friend. I thought of you on Sunday. Your struggles. You are such a great mother and wife and friend. Hang on to that. Your mother was so lucky to have you.....

Joyce said...

That was truly beautiful, Karen.

I vaguely remember a quote about being doubly blessed when we not only receive good things, but are sensible of them and thankful for them.

I am blessed by your post. :)

BClark said...

I tend to envy people who have such wonderful memories of their Moms. I am glad you do and can sit and bring back all those images.
I miss those Mother's Day breakfasts, the cold toast and colder tea. Made with such love.

Bill said...

Okay, now you made me a bit misty here at work.
What warm memories, and a wonderful tribute of gratitude!