I started writing this yesterday (my 31st birthday!). Some of you may remember reading about my mother-daughter history. My mom and I have gone through a lot over the years in our relationship and our personal lives. In the past year, especially, we’ve had lots of ups and downs. But, I’m happy to say, I think the deepest “downs” in our relationship are behind us. And I feel really good about our future. Healing comes little by little, but it comes. And it feels really good.
I think it’s easy to forget, on our birthdays, what our mommas went through on this particular day we are celebrating. So, today, I want to honor the woman who (despite darkness and difficulties surrounding her) gave me life 31 years ago. I hope that my arrival was a bright spot in that darkness, Mom.
A few days ago, I was suddenly struck with the thought: “What if Mom died?” It was like my life flashed before my eyes (the past and the hypothetical future) and I realized what a huge blessing she is in my life… how much she does for me, how much her presence in my life means to me, what an effort she makes to ensure that I know she cares and wants me to be happy. I’m getting choked-up just thinking about how much in my future life would feel empty with her absence. I’m so glad you’re alive, Mom. I’m so glad you’re a part of my life.
I am so grateful for all the many gifts you have given me over these 31 years…
1) This body. For nine months you sacrificed parts of yourself, energy, and vital nutrients to make this body for me. It will be mine forEVER, and it was created within YOU. And then you nourished my body, heart, and mind with the liquid gold you also created within you. I now know what a priceless gift those sacrifices were for my health and well-being. Thank you.
2) This brain. Oh my goodness. Thank you for this brain. It has served me incredibly well over the years and continues to do so. And thank you for your example as a life-long learner… always making new discoveries and showing me that I don’t have to go “back to school” to receive a “higher education.” Education is all around me and always at my fingertips. Thank you.
3) My health. I don’t hesitate to say that I probably owe 90% of my physical health to you. If it hadn’t been for your influence, I probably would not have learned how to best care for this body I’ve been given (or would have learned the hard way like most people do). Your years of fine-tuning your own health habits has been such a blessing to my life and my family’s lives. And it will impact generations! Thank you for caring about your health and being an example and source of wisdom.
There are so many other things on my list. But now it’s a whole day later, and I just haven’t had time to write more. But I know that so much of who I am and what I’m passionate about can be stemmed back to your influence.
I also know that your support and encouragement have been pivotal at important cross-roads in my life. You saw the wisdom of my choice to marry Ax and supported me at that time when I was so desperate for support. Your phone calls, meals, and presence have eased my postpartum transitions after each baby. Your experiences (good and bad) have given you the insight and compassion to be my “shoulder to cry on” in moments when there was almost no one else who could have known what I needed or what I was feeling. But you knew, and you helped.
Thank you, Mom. I know you will have a hard time hearing and accepting this, but I do not exaggerate in these words. They come right from my heart and my truth.
Thank you for giving me life and then doing what you needed to do to give me wings to find the joy you so wanted for me to have.
I love you.