Like most kids, I adored my mom the first 12 or so years of my life.
Then despised her during the teen years.
Then, after I had a child, we bonded again, and I realized she actually did know a lot about raising kids.
She should. She had five kids. Then adopted five more. And took in countless foster children and cared for them.
She was the Brownie troop leader. The PTA President. She even coached a Little League team to a championship the year that my dad became the Little League president.
She took belly dancing classes. She embraced holidays with a child’s enthusiasm. Now, she’s a red hat lady and wears her red and purple with pride.
She is generous to a fault. Even though she’s in no position to be. We had lots of love growing up, but very little money.
She’s incredibly naive, so gullible. But also very smart. My dad always teased her for having smarts…just not street smarts.
She was a master negotiator, though, bartering out dance lessons for us, or gymnastics class, in exchange for other things that the instructors needed.
And she could get my dad to do anything or go anywhere that she wanted (though that may say more about his love for her than her power of persuasion).
We all worried so much about her after my dad died. After nearly 50 years together, we wondered how she’d get through a single day without him.
But she did. She leaned on her friends, her family. But she was coping.
And now she’s struggling.
Concerned, I called and let her know I’d drop everything and be there in a flash. She insisted I don’t change a single plan.
She told me, and I quote, “I’m stronger than you think.”
And even though she’s now going through something that would bring others to their knees, she’s proving she is strong. She believes she will be just fine.
I guess that’s what I need to tell myself, too. She is strong, and so am I. And we will both be just fine.