|Posted by Lesley-Anne Sheppard on May 10, 2012 at 5:45 AM|
So Mother's Day is Sunday and once again I am nowhere near my own Mother.
In fact, I am not sure if I can remember the last time I was with her on this special sunday. I do recall her visiting myself and Rhiana, who was one at the time, in Appleton....so that was back in 2006 when I was pregnant wth Colton. She had gotten a ride as far as Terra Nova with my sister and Rhiana and I picked her up to spend the weekend with us. So that was probably the last time....
And to make things worse.......I did not buy my Mom a gift this year. Bad, bad daughter I am!
I will be blunt here, my mother is the WORST person in the world to shop for! She is just hard! She isn't crafty, has more than enough knick knacks (dust collectors), owns every cookbook ever printed (she likes to read them - and when I say read, I mean read, like cover to cover!). She has more clothes that she will never wear than clothes that she does and she never wears what I pick out anyway..... she is just difficult. When shopping for Mom I have resorted to gift cards the past few holidays since I am so far removed from any decent shopping and she still hasn't used the last one of those I have her either!
And Mom is laughing as she is reading this I bet.
This is my Mom. Mary Elizabeth (White) Hynes - a.k.a. Liz, Beth, Betty (Douglas' Betty in Dad's family), Nanny Hynes.....Mom to me.
Truth be told my Mother doesn't want or need stuff on Mother's Day. Her house is already full and cluttered with all of the stuff we have given her over the years and God knows there was enough of it. Now, at 66 years old, Mom doesn't need stuff at all.
You see, my Mom is pretty simple. She loves to bake (hence the cookbook reading) and she to sample what she bakes, along with a glass of pepsi and she certainly isn't the fancy type - could be where I get it from. She isn't into collecting things or fine jewelry or technology or makeup or travelling......but Mom loves people. Maybe that came from growing up in a family of 17 children ~ I would be more inclined to think that she would want to avoid people!
I have learned a lot about my Mother in the past few years than I have my whole life. I think it started around the time that I had my own children and I started to recognize my parents as adults....other people....not just my parents. I started to see a lot of myself in my Mom and although we are not what some people would call close - we don't call each other ten times a day, or even talk everyday sometimes - but we have grown a lot closer in the past few years as well and things just start to make sense when you get older. You begin to recognize and put the pieces together.
I guess when we are children our parents try to protect us from the human side of themselves, I know I do it to some degree with my own children. We don't see them as vulnerable. We don't think that they understand us or have been where we are and for a while we distance ourselves from them in some respects as we try to find our own way.
But there is no way to remove the lessons learned in childhood....spoken and unspoken.
I was blessed to have a mother who was always there. In fact, I used to get soooo excited if I came home and she was gone somewhere and I got to use my house-key! Trust me, It was a VERY rare occurance.
She was over protective and very nervous and with Dad working away she was on her own, for the most part. I hated her at times for that. Now I understand. Anger and frustration is replaced by gratitude.
My Mom was very actively involved in my school, when she was physically well enough and she supported me in anything and everything that I wanted to do - and still does. She went on every field trip, skating or bowling outing and every concert or recital. Now I am the Mom who practically lives at my children's school.
As I got older and dealt with bullying and failed friendships she was the one who wiped my tears and told me that they were "just jealous". I told her she didn't know what she was talking about and went about my crying, not realizing how much it hurt her to see me in pain. Now I cry for my own children when they feel hurt or left out.
And every time I stood on stage to perform, to speak or to accept and award, I never understood or really thought about the overwhelming love and pride that she felt at seeing me succeed. Now I am the Mom filled with pride.
But it works both ways. I don't think she ever knew just how proud I was...of her. How inspired I was as I watched her struggle to regain her health, quit smoking and prescription medications. And how her love and support shaped who I am today; even the things that upset or annoyed me the most.
I don't know if I have ever thanked her for the million and one little things that she did for me....and the big things too.
For giving me my FAITH.
For instilling such a deep sense of responsibility in me.
For teaching me the value of education.
For teaching me to cook and bake.
For bringing music into my life at every opportunity.
For reading to me.
For tucking me in at night.
For singing "You are my sunshine" to me and playing her accordion.
For putting Mercurochrome on my scraped knees and noxzema on my sunburns
Did she do it all right ? Who knows! What I do know is that she did the best she could with what she had. And I could not ask for more. She gave it all.
Now, we are grown and moved away, she is blessing others. When most people are retiring, my mother has returned to work. She has found new purpose in her life in doing respite care for develop mentally delayed adults.
She loves to spend her days with the "young ones", as she calls them, playing games and going to movies, bowling and having dances. And for probably the first and only time in her life she feels appreciated.
In one way it makes me sad to think that it has taken this long for her to feel that and it makes me feel a little angry at myself for not saying it or showing it more often. But mostly I am grateful. I am truly grateful and honored to share my Mom with these special people so that more people in the world get to experience my Mom.
Our family isn't big on words. We aren't demonstrative or open at all with our feelings. This is something that has always bothered me and I vowed to change with my children. But there are somethings you just know ..... and this is one of them. But for the record....
I am proud to be your daughter, always have been, always will be.
That is my gift to you....you are a gift to me.
Categories: Mommy and Family Stuff