Saturday, June 30, 2012
Blog 37: Oh Mom, I Need You!
There are times in a woman’s life when she just needs her mom. More and more, I have come to realize just how much she has always been there for me and how much I have always counted on that. It’s always been a sense of comfort knowing she was around. I could call her at any time and she would be there with a listening ear. Always soothing any discomfort I had, offering advice that only a mother can give, and letting me know just how much she loved me. Just hearing her voice made me feel so good. A mother’s love is unconditional. It’s the kind of love that can’t even be put into words. It’s the best love there is.
This is one of the last gifts my mom gave me. She bought one of these for all of her daughters for Mother's Day in 2007.
Mom was there for me when I had my three children, and the pride she showed me was priceless; she raced me to the hospital when I was having a kidney stone attack, disregarding the speed limits; she tenderly rubbed Vicks VapoRub on me when I was a teenager and very sick with the flu, and I realized just how worried she was when she called my grandparents to come stay with me when she had to go to work; she mailed a video camera to me when I was living in Germany so my dad could record my high school graduation because she couldn’t afford a ticket to fly over there. (Back in the 70’s, I’m sure that was a pretty expensive piece of equipment). After returning to the states, my mom used my video camera to record me in a fashion show, only to realize she forgot to put the tape in the camera! It was me offering comfort to her then, because she was so upset.
My mom put up with me when I screamed and cried at the doctor’s/dentist office when I was a kid. I’m sure I embarrassed her many times, especially the time I ran down the hall from the nurse as she was holding a needle in her hands, ready to poke me with it. Mom was right behind the nurse, trying to get me to stop running away because I was embarrassing myself (and her), and I was going to get the shot whether I wanted it or not. Mom told me that my younger sister had the shot and she didn’t even cry.
Mom was there for my band concerts, church plays, and high school minstrel shows. I remember her coming to watch my first grade Christmas program. She was standing there, all beautiful, with a proud mom’s love written all over her face. We lined up on the stairs in the hallway and I was in the first row because I was so little. That children’s program stands out in my memory because I couldn’t snap my fingers when we sang Up on the Housetop, click, click, click! So the teacher told me to just hold my hands down by my side, instead of telling me to pretend. Because I did that, instead of raising my hands up to click, click, click like everyone else did, it drew more attention to me and it seemed like everyone was staring at me. I was so embarrassed, and apparently that’s why I never forgot it. My mom tried to make me feel better by telling me everyone stared at me because I was the cutest one. Funny how little things like that, which seemed so big at the time, can make you hold on to a memory.
I thank God that my mom is still here. She is different now that dementia has taken over her brain, her memory is pretty sparse, and she isn’t the same as before. She doesn’t seem to remember anything about my childhood, or even hers anymore. She can’t be there for me like she used to. But she is always going to be my mom no matter what. She is still here and I can still hear her voice, that voice that I love so much. I still need her, and any way I can get her, I am grateful for.
I was thinking the other day about what would my mom say to me, to my sisters, about what we are going through with her illness. What advice would she give me (us)? She's always been there for us before. We need to figure it out on our own now. I know we have to take what we learned from her and be there for each other, like she was for us, and like we used to be with each other. I know that. Oh Mom, I need you to show me how, once more. I can't seem to do anything right when it comes to this.