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.