I didn’t always appreciate those little things, Mom. When we used to go to Washington, pick up KFC sides and go eat along the river (because we didn’t have the money for chicken – you taught me memories don’t depend on money). When you bought me a ceramic, lighted Christmas tree decoration when I was 16 (because Christmas was ‘our’ holiday and you knew we wouldn’t have another one together – you left me a tangible reminder). When you always left me a note when you were leaving the house (because even though I wasn’t usually thinking about you, where you were or what you were doing – – you were always thinking about me, where I was, and what I was doing.)
I didn’t always love you like I should have, Mom. When I called you that word that no man should ever utter to a woman. (Thank you for throwing a glass of water in my face that day – you shocked me into treating a lady right.) When I chose my friends over my family – and especially you. (Thank you for calling me out that day on being a stuck-up jerk – you shocked me into valuing and honoring family.) When you asked me to cut your food because you were too weak to do it yourself and I scoffed. (Thank you for crying that day – you shocked me into striving to be a servant at home.)
I didn’t always understand your decisions, Mom. When you stayed. (Thank you for teaching me to stick it out, even when it’s hard.) When you cleaned. (Thank you for teaching me a house should be a home.) When you loved me even though I was a stupid teenager. (Thank you for showing me forgiveness – unconditional love – how to live while dying – and how to adore my children more than life.)
I miss you. Happy Mother’s Day. I wish you were here – and I am so grateful for all you taught me while you were…I wish I had learned it in time to show you.