I had that mom.
The one that made Halloween costumes from scratch, even if it meant staying up until 1 or 2 am to get it completed. The one that found the coolest and newest homemade treats for birthday's and class parties, no matter how much the ingredients cost. The one that had rules that made you the laughing stock of your friends, but looking back at them with the eyes of a parent you can finally understand the motive and reasons behind those rules, and you're grateful for them.
My mother has been through so much. It often breaks my heart to think about how hard the last 16 years have been on her. She has had a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis, but unfortunately that only touches the surface of her struggles. There have been many additional health concerns attacking her strength, independence, and cognitive abilities, especially picking up over the last several years.
Not to mention the stress of raising three young women. I know that I didn't make it easy on her. My own personal pain, and inability to separate my actions towards the disease from my actions towards my mother still haunt me. I deeply regret the disrespect I showed her in high school, college and still occasionally let slip out in moments of weakness and impatience. She has been battered by so many things, by me so many times, and yet her love is strong and unconditional.
She may have trouble showing me that love in the way she used to, through magnificent meals, home made gifts, cute care packages, but it is still there and still so strong. Her heart is pure. In many ways I aspire to be my mother. When people ask why I make the kids costumes from scratch even though it's my busiest time of year at work, why I get frustrated or struggle at the last minute to scrape together the perfect party snacks, why I make sure to get involved with the boys playing or swimming, why I like to have people over. The answer is always the same.
Because my mom did many of those things for me. Because I remember her doing those things, and I want my kids to grow up and remember the little extra's and realize that despite the strict rules, the misunderstandings, the mistakes I might make, I love them. Period. Just as I've come to realize this with my own mother.
This isn't a Mother's Day post, though I guess it definitely could be. This is a prayer request. Today (May 3rd) my mother will be having a complete right knee replacement. She has been in so much pain for about 9 months now, and the hope is that this surgery will (in time) help to reduce that pain. However, the road wont be easy, knee surgery is very hard to recover from in normal circumstances, and my mother's life, health, (and personality :-P) are far from normal.
I love this woman so much, for how she raised me, fought for me, and loved me. For what she stands for, how she's directly impacted the woman I have become. I pray that her surgery is easy, that there aren't any complications with her medications, that this does not cause any extra stress on her body, that her MS isn't some how triggered (I know it sounds crazy, but I've seen far less cause severe relapses), that she will have strength and endurance for her recovery. That her left knee can continue to withstand doing twice it's normal work until her right knee is again strong enough.
I love you Mom! Thank you for everything you have done for me. I know it hasn't been easy, I haven't been easy. I pray for you often and I'm praying special for you today and in the weeks to come.