I would like to say that when i was younger, my mom handed down to me some fantastic watch and that my love of timepieces came from that — especially today on Mother’s Day. While she did hand me down a pretty cool looking rose gold Bulova (yes a Bulova) that dates back to the 1940’s and was her sister’s watch, and she did hand me down a pretty funky 1950’s-ish Sheffield pendant watch — that is not at all what i remember her for. I remember her for being a very steady guiding force in my life. For teaching me to always do the right thing and to be a strong, independent young woman.
My dad died when I was nine years old. My mom — who had always worked — was left with three girls to raise. It wasn’t always easy on her, but she never complained. She did what had to be done. She took lemons and made lemonade.
As a young child, I remember my mom sewing all of our clothes. We were three beautifully dressed girls. As we got older and things like bell bottoms and flower power came into mode, we bought our clothes. I, being the baby, got the hand-me-downs, too. It’s okay, I kind of really liked my middle-sister’s taste in clothes.She — like my mom — was the artist in the family and — like my mom — had amazingly good taste. We food shopped on Saturday mornings — and bought everything that was deemed an “extra” snack “Like a bird” meaning, choose whatever is cheapest. But every Thursday night (payday) we would wait on the corner for her to come home and we would go to the bakery to pick out our favorite desserts, or we would go to Brogan’s ice-cream — the old ice-cream parlor in town — for the best creamy ice cream ever.
My mom guided us. Throughout our grammar school years, life was fun,easy and yet we all had responsibilities. Help clean a room or two in the house on a weekly basis; cook dinner one night a week (even if it was just putting something from freezer to oven in my case as the youngest). I learned that when you commit to something, you stick to it. You don’t change your mind if something better comes along. I watched my mother over the years endure pain and heartache that no mother should have to endure. I watched her emerge — still sad, but stronger. I watched my mother take charge, protect us when necessary. She didn’t back down, she was bold and strong and amazing. She taught us to stand up for ourselves and encouraged us to always take the high road.
When I grew up, my mom was not just a leader and a thinker, but also a friend. We traveled to Egypt together and to other wonderful places – just she and I — experiencing new moments and new memories. Later when I had a family of my own, she was the most incredible mother and grandmother anyone could ask for. She was always there for me, and — better yet — always there for my kids. She taught them so many great values and showed them love and respect. She was my guiding light and even though she is gone, I continue to live by the creeds and the ethics she instilled in me.
I am a journalist because she encouraged me to follow my dreams. I am an independent, self-confident woman today because I watched my mother live that role. I am, i hope, to my kids at least half of the mother she was to me. I am who i am today — someone i am proud of and I hope my kids are proud of — because of my mother. She was smart, sharp, funny and incredibly — well — special. Anything I try to write about my mom can never do her justice.
Mother’s Day isn’t just about honoring our moms for doing what they do every day. It is also about recognizing exactly what they instilled in us. It is about an entire lifetime of memories and moments. It is about love and a special bond that no other two people in the world can share.
To all the moms whose hearts break when they watch their kids hurt, cry, flounder…. To all the moms whose hearts ache with joy when they watch their kids fulfill accomplishments, laugh with thunder and hug with the strength of a bear …. To all the moms who sometimes wish for that illusive handbook … I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.