For some reason this Mothers' Day has been different from those in the past. The last week has been full of introspection for me. My thoughts have been full of my mother, of my aunt Martha who stepped in when she died, of other women who have played a mother role in my life, and of my own thoughts and dreams of motherhood. This year is different. This year has been of reflection of my past while looking towards the future, but also striving to live in the now.
My mother died when I was 6, but my memories of her are still vivid. I still remember her voice, her smile and the way she smelled. I can still taste her homemade donuts as if I just had them yesterday. She used to make them when my uncle Boots would come and play cards...I can still here his laughter in our kitchen and the anticipation of the powdered donuts and all their yummy goodness that were sure to come as the game ended. The image of my father kissing her cheek as she was cooking dinner is still with me. I can still feel her arms around me as a sat in her lap. Even the smallest gestures of mothers live on in their children's memories. She wasn't long on this earth, but she touched many lives. No one who knew her can remember her without a smile and a little sadness that she was gone so quickly. She was her name embodied: Grace
Although her death and my father's subsequent stroke meant I was separated from a wonderful loving family core, I can't say I could have chosen a better family to take care of me. My mother's brother and his wife gladly accepted me into their already large family with no questions and no doubt that the right thing was to not only provide the basics, but to make sure my life was as enriched and as blessed as it possibly could be. Most of their children were grown, but they chose to open their home and their hearts to a little girl they hardly knew. My aunt Martha became my mom and took on everything that comes with a mother-daughter relationship. She hurt more than I did when kids were mean to me, she wanted me to have every opportunity she did not growing up. Although we don't always agree and sometimes don't see eye to eye, I know that all she does is out of love and affection for her children and the wish for them to have rich fulfilling lives. She is mother to five, but mom to many many more.
As I have come into my own as an adult...although I still have no idea how and when I became an adult, it all happened rather quickly, I have been fortunate to have many women share their wisdom in mother roles. Dr. Tee has been a major mother figure in my life and I can't say that I would be near the woman I have become without her influence. She showed me how to think and how to be myself with no fear when I was making my first steps into being an adult woman. She is a woman of passion who refuses to compromise who she is or what she stands for, although it sometimes gets her in trouble or gets her fired. My mother-in-law Evelyn, who is THE most amazing mother-in-law in the world. She has shown me that you can love your children completely unconditionally and disagree with their choices, but still accept them and love them as who they are. She never meddles, she may give advice, but if it isn't taken, she never says "I told you so." She allows her children and their spouses space to be adutls, while still holding them close in her heart.
As for my thoughts and dreams of motherhood, I know I need to be patient and that my turn will come when it comes. The logical part of me realizes Leonard is probably right, that we should probably wait until we are a little more financially stable (recovering from one partner being out of work for 2 years can take time), however there is another part of me that screams "but I'm ready now and want a baby now!" Sometimes I want to be illogical because are you ever really "ready" financially or otherwise for kids?? However, I also know that children come when they want to and not always in the most conventional manner and moms always seem to figure out a way to make it work. Sometimes it's of your body and when and how you plan it, sometimes it's not when you want it or how you imagined, but it seems as though the best moms step forward and do what needs to be done, no matter who needs mothering or when. I've been very lucky to be witness to great examples of motherhood and can only hope that when it's my turn to venture into that stage of life, I can make all of them proud as only a child can make a mother proud.