This may be a little tardy, but why not celebrate mothers all the time?
And I have plenty to celebrate. My own mother has shown immense strength in raising five pretty great kids, if I do say so myself. She taught me how to be a thrifty nickel and never to wear yellow eyeshadow or patent leather shoes. Her best piece of advice? “You never want to ‘just get a way with it’ ” … something I definitely should remember when I think I can skip the morning’s shower or squeeze into a parking space.
My sister, a mother of three, is as strong as my mother–raising a child with special needs stemming from a widely unknown disorder. She can always be counted on to impart her signature, infectious laugh, even when the occasion would warrant anything but. She listens to my endless and ignorant medical pleas and gives great advice (it’s usually an errant eyelash, but I swear it’s pink eye … every time). She’s my only sister, and if I could only have one, I’m glad I was given such a great example.
New mommies also seem to be popping up everywhere, from high school friends to co-workers and seemingly every third stranger waddling down the street. I cannot imagine the excitement/apprehension/swelling you must be experiencing, but congratulations! It is truly a magical thing.
However, I would like to especially highlight a certain mom for this post; a lady who opened her home to me every weekend for several years of my childhood. She is the mother of my best, old friend–and she passed away in February.
Unfortunately I was not aware Brenda had passed until six weeks after the fact, so I hope this small gesture expresses my sorrow for the family’s loss.
Brenda was a remarkable woman professionally and in her personal life. I knew little about her job history until after her death, unfortunately, because it really is an amazing journey. She worked with my sister in nursing for a time, and my sister would always comment about Brenda’s work ethic and skill–not to mention she would always ask how I was doing.
I knew Brenda much more as a mother. As my first grade pal Sarah’s mom, I got to know her well from visiting their house almost every weekend for several years. It was an endless parade of Friday pizza nights, pool or hot tub shenanigans, movies and Carmen San Diego computer games and more Diet Coke than I could stomach.
She always tolerated us being loud and me always hanging around–she welcomed me like I was one of her own. When Sarah and I decided the most entertaining thing in the universe was to toss snowballs at the kitchen window to scare her, she never got too mad–even when the snow clumps started to slide down the window, leaving a dirty trail. I envied the devotion Pickles the enticingly fluffy cat had to her, and only her. I never got to pet Pickles, as he was a one woman cat. We ran all over the house, the yard, the pond–and she just let us run, thanks for that.
Even when I moved away, she always welcomed me back … and I felt like I had never left. The last time I saw her, her health was fading, but she maintained a positive attitude and still focused the conversation on me and my news. She then added me to Facebook, which we all know is the true measure of a relationship.
Her legacy lives on in her wonderful, tight knit family. Her daughters are both blossoming in college, and their wit, sense of humor and strength is admirable. I wish I saw them both more .. . I miss them dearly.
So while it is no longer Mother’s Day, I am still thinking of you Brenda. Thanks for offering me a second home, raising such wonderful children and enriching my life.