Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Our Mom, on Mothers Day

The funny thing about Mothers Day, is that it is a rather unfunny day.
Think about it, any other occasion you can pick any number of funny cards from Hallmark to celebrate it in a light hearted fashion. Mothers Day however, you don't see a lot of that. Cards are warm, fuzzy, grateful and meant to honour without poking fun of. While society differs in just about any belief, we all seem to agree that Motherhood is a sacred calling, filled with giving, self sacrifice and love.
So on this Mothers Day, we wish all Mothers a wonderful day full of great memories, but we also specifically wish to honour our own Mother.
In thinking about what I would write to show the person that our Mother is, it occurred to me, that our Mom is defined just as much by what she gave up as what she gave us 3 children.
When my Brother and I were little, my Mom was a smoker.. Not really a shock as in those days everyone smoked. It was trendy, it was considered cool. It was in the days before smoking sections or cigarette bans. I'm not sure if it was my Brother or me that saw the commercial telling us how bad smoking was for us, but one of us did. One day we asked our chain smoking Mom, "Don't you want to see us grow up?" With that one question posed to her by a 5 and a 3 year old, my Mom threw out her smokes and that was it. I'm sure that there were other things but the first thing that I remember her giving up for us was smoking.
My Mom was and is a talented musician, it was a great way to grow up, lots of travelling, new fun people to meet, fine restaurants. Then one day, the call came.. The call that every country singer dreams about. The call to Nashville. Everything was put into place for her to go, including an excellent babysitter/nanny for us kids. Then came the little voice inside her head, the one telling her of all the things that she would miss by being away from home so much. Others have heard that voice and ignored it, you may have some of their Cd's in your collection... But the money, fame and recognition didn't mean as much to our Mom as the chance to see her kids grow up. She hung up her work dresses, put away the wigs, sold some guitars and moved us into a smaller apartment. She gave up the Glamour and did the only other thing she knew how to do, which was sew.... For hours and hours a day, for pennies a garment, so that she could be home with us. I know that financially we were pretty poor back then, but we kids never felt it. It was a thankless move as well, because we were just too young to fully understand... But today I can say that her career is the second thing that I remember her giving up for us. I have to interject  this tale of my domicile mother to tell a story that my Brother reminded me of. I think it's best told in his words:
"She was our champion and defender being a single mom, I remember being at her show and singing along like I always did when I was about 4 years old.  A strange lady rubbed my head and I didn't like it so I brushed her hand away. She didn't like that and slapped me across my face I was in shock then I heard the strangest sound from the stage where I only saw moms guitar laying on the ground, Mom was beating the tar out of that lady mid song."  Mom has been aptly described as a Lioness defending her cubs.. For no small reason.
Now our Mother, had a bit of a temper when we were growing up, we joke about it today... No she never beat the crap out of us or anything, but when she blew.... Everyone ran just the same LOL. Today though, it's just not the case, and hasn't been in many years... Because even though we may not have noticed the day it happened, her temper is the third thing that I remember her giving up for us.
My Mom raised the three of us as a single parent... She was both Mother and Father for as far back as I can remember, and she filled both roles with what seemed to be ease.
Mom instilled a huge sense of family in us that is so deeply ingrained that I try to pass it on to my own children, she would steal a line from that 1970's hit and always tell us "United we stand, divided we fall".
In truth, there hasn't been a time in our lives when we didn't know that we could turn to her for anything. We have had normal issues in my life, we have been angry and haven't spoken sometimes, but even then we always knew that she was there if we needed her.
Today, she still is an amazing Mother but also an incredible GrandMother... and the truest of friends.

Mom, on this Mothers Day, thank you just doesn't seem like enough. Even so, Thank you Mom, for always being there, thank you for putting us first, thank you the choices that you made, that made us a family, and thank you for helping us become the people we are today. We owe so much to you Mom, and we could never adequately express our gratitude.. But know that the good things about the three of us, honours you, because they came from you.

Happy Mothers Day Mom

Love Mike, Kevin, and Kris