It never fails.
Me: “Mom, you know what?”
Me: “Come on, Mom…Guess. Guess what?”
June: Sigh… “What??”
Me: Chicken Butt!!
It gets her every time. She’s a constant victim of my ridiculosity.
What can I say? I like to see her smile.
We look alike, no?
I recently wrote about beautiful scars. My Mom has an unfair share of them. Really. It’s not fair.
Here’s just a peek.
Physical scars would include those from four total hip replacements and a knee replacement. She was younger than I am when a Doctor’s mistake caused her joints to erode beyond repair, forcing her to undergo drastic surgery (it wasn’t the quick fix it is today) and leave her in constant pain for the rest of her life.
She fought discrimination in order to graduate nursing school. The head of the nursing department told her she wouldn’t be allowed to finish and she should think about another profession. No hospital would allow her to finish her clinical courses at their facilities; they didn’t want the liability. Without those clinical hours she could never be an RN. She was discouraged, but not beaten. Threats of a lawsuit from a state advocate got the schools attention and she graduated.
All of this while raising children. Her role as a Mother came early in life, in her teens. That couldn’t have been easy.
About those children? She has watched us struggle with alcohol and drug addition, divorce, tragedy, single parenthood, and an eating disorder.
She watched her husband fall ill to a disease which paralyzed him for a year. Though his nerves grew back, he still has trouble walking. I don’t think he’d have gotten through it without her.
Our pain is her pain. She does all she can to help — all the while knowing there is nothing she can really do.
Then she lost a child. That’s left the biggest scar of all — on her heart. When you lose a spouse you are a widow. Losing a parent makes you an orphan. But there is no term to describe what you become when you lose a child.
So see why I like to see my mom smile?
I got her this card for Mother’s Day:
I know I look nothing like the little girl in the picture, but suffice it to say she made a real freaky human in 1978.
“I’m here, I’m weird, Get used to it.”
(Yes, it’s me. Florida girl. Always in a bathing suit.)
And she might deny it, but I KNOW she has a freak flag of her own to fly.
I clearly did not inherit her mammary genes. Nor do I think I inherited her strength. Maybe I will grow into it. I hope so. My mother is the strongest woman I know.
She always tells me :
“Build a bridge and get over it.”
Coming from anyone else that would seem dismissive (and really annoying). But she’s earned the right to say that; she means it. She’s done it. She had to.
She is on a cruise right now, so on her card I gave her my own words of wisdom:
See what I mean? Constant victim of my ridiculosity.