Mothers often get the reputation that they always nag. That they force us to eat our vegetables and want to know where we are going, who we’ll be with and when we plan to return. We roll our eyes, suck our teeth and slam doors, not really caring what that does to her poor, fragile heart. But she endures it, day in and day out, waiting for the day that things will change.
There comes a time though, when we realize that the nagging was out of concern, the eating vegetables was wanting us to grow big and strong, and wanting to know all the logistics of where we would be going was to keep us safe, and for her to know how long she’d have to sit up and stare at the door until we arrived home safely.
When we were younger, we may have denied incoming calls or ignored a simple text, but today, we reach out wanting that guidance, support, and love.
My mother is a daily part of my life. I remember calling her for the littlest things (“Mom, I just had the best chicken quesadilla-Okay, love you, bye”), Grocery shopping trips together, to her showing up on my doorstep to rescue my daughter and me when my divorce got ugly. I quickly learned that through all the years of pushing her away, wishing that she wouldn’t nag so much or try to give me unsolicited advice, that I needed her.
There is something about a mother’s support. Their unwavering love in challenging times when we are making the most God-awful choices, yet they remain by our sides through it all, waiting to help us put ourselves back together when things don’t work out quite right.
My mother lives with me now. I made that choice years ago for my daughter and for myself. She still makes sure I eat my vegetables, gives me advice and bakes like no other, but more importantly, she is my rock. My voice of reason. My best friend.
I’m remarried now and let my spouse know from the beginning that we were a package deal, my daughter, mother, and me. We adjusted to our life and she never hesitates to support us in all we do. We’ve since added a son to our blended family and getting to watch my children interact and love their Nani every day is something that I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience.
Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There are tough conversations, reality checks and conflicting views, but instead of slamming doors, rolling eyes and sucking of teeth, I know it all comes from a good place, and as a mother, her main goal in life is to make sure her child is living her best life, up to her full potential.
As my mother gets older, I find myself thinking more about what I will do without her. Truth is, I don’t know. The chaos that is my busy life is made a bit less so by her presence. The tough days are made easier with her laugh, home cooked meals, and offering a helping hand.
I can say now that while I chose to live with my mother because I needed her during one of the most challenging times of my life, the truth is that I quickly shifted to wanting her to be a daily part of my life. When she goes away on a trip and I walk past her empty bedroom, my heart dips because I know someday that room will be vacated and all that will be left will be the memories. So, for now, I will relish in the absolute blessing of living with my mother. Of having her with me to not only help with my blended family that I created, but to be a main piece of my family.
I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to value my mother. So, if you have the blessing of having your mother still around, give her a call, send her flowers, give her a hug, a text, something to show her that you care. You never know when her room will be empty, the calls no longer answered, and all you can do is wish that you had more time. We’ll always need our mothers, even when they aren’t here. Make memories now and share the love and appreciation while they are here to enjoy it.