Although Mothers' day was two weeks ago, this was my next closest column and I can't let it go by without saying a few things about mothers.
As most of you know, I lost my mother to brain cancer five years ago and because of that, I have a whole new outlook on being a Mom. My Mom was the glue to my family. Mom organized all get-togethers whether it be Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthdays and anniversaries. She would let us know when the event was to take place and we just showed up with whatever we were told to bring in the food department. It was never a chore, it was always a delight. I appreciate that so much more now. My family has just started to make an effort to continue with gatherings again. The reason is partly because my father just celebrated his 85th birthday and partly (I think) because we have spent time grieving and healing. I can't speak for my siblings, but I was (and still am in some ways) lost without my Mom. I still find myself picking up the phone to call her and tell her some sort of news or about someone that I have run into that I haven't seen in a long time. This event occurs less and less and I'm told that this is due to time and the grieving process but I feel that I now have different ways to communicate with my Mom that doesn't include a phone.
The comfort sayings such as "She's in a better place" and "She's watching over you" only made me sadder at the time. I couldn't understand when someone would say that she is a star in the sky and someday you would be reunited. All I could think (as I lay on my back staring at the sky) was how am I going to find her when there are billions of stars in the sky? All I felt was that lost feeling once again. I just didn't get it.
What infuriated me more, was that some people who still were lucky enough to have their moms, treated them like crap (in my eyes). They spend their time complaining about their mothers and in defense of them, some of them have good reason. What I didn't understand, was why God took my Mom. She was a saint to me and a lot of other people. Why cause such heartache for her husband (of almost 60 years) along with nine children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, not to mention her siblings, nieces, nephews, etc.?
There are too many mothers out there right now who try to be their daughter's "best friend" instead of a parent. I don't know how many times I have said this, but you are not doing your daughter(s) any favors. Unfortunately this becomes a generation thing and the chain gets handed down. It's dysfunctional and not healthy for anyone. I remember my Mom saying, "Someday when you have your own children, you will understand why I'm doing this. It's for your own good." Or the ever-popular, "Your day will come." At the time, I would just shake my head or roll my eyes, but I was listening. Now I totally understand because "my days" are here.
I was also lucky enough to have great role models in my life. I was raised Catholic and I have a godmother (my Mom's youngest sister, Auntie Rose) who, to this day, has kept tabs on me. She has become my rock in some ways and has given me advice, much like my Mom, that has stuck with me (even though she probably doesn't realize it). At Mom's funeral she hugged a broken child with tears in her eyes (yes me) and said "God only takes the good ones and because of that, you and I will be around for a long time." How can you not laugh at that? She just has a knack for reading me and knowing when I need a hug or an email or even a Facebook message. Yes, my Aunt/godmother, who just celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary, is on Facebook. Just one more way that she keeps tabs on me and I feel honored to have her in my life. I also have Margaret (Lukey) who lives here in Weyburn and keeps tabs on me. I met her when I owned Curves and needed a mother figure (hmmm, I wonder who made that happen?). She always makes sure I have my shortbread cookies at Christmas and checks up on me all the time.
This year on Mother's day, my daughter phoned to tell me she was engaged. After I picked myself up off the floor and John administered CPR, my Mother's voice whispered in my ear, "Someday when you have your own children......" The last thing I said to my mother was "Thank you for being my Mom." Don't wait until Mother's Day or her final days to tell your mom those words. Life changes every day and when she's gone...she's gone. Some of you won't understand this until it happens to you. My adventures with my adult daughter are just beginning but I can be sure that my Mom will be guiding me every step of the way.
Maxine's saying: Donít let aging get you down. Itís too hard to get back up. (Isnít that the truth?)
Pet Peeve of the Week: When I see couples out for a walk and the woman is walking on the outside (closest to the traffic). Honestly men....prove to me that chivalry isn't dead. You are to be their protectors, their shields. I won't give up on you! That's just me....let me know what you think!