Honoring All Mothers and Those That Fill the Shoes
This started as a post for Facebook but grew much too long for that.
I grew up with a chronically ill mother. I remember multiple hospital trips. Our daily routine was as much shaped by what needed to be done as her level of sickness on a particular day. At 55, my mother lost her battle with cancer. I was 15 years old.
As sad as that event was, I had in my life two women that stepped in to wear the mantle of mother to a very lost teenager. Lost - because I was adrift in an ocean of grief. Lost - because Momma had been my world, my idol, I wanted nothing more than to make her proud and to be just like her.
My father was a long-distance truck driver. He was a great provider always. When he was home, we made amazing memories. But I was much more used to him being gone than at home. Have no doubts, I love him very much. His years as a truck driver shaped the relationship between us to this day. We just don’t have to see each other as often or talk as frequently as maybe others do.
My best friend’s mom filled those shoes many days during the rest of my high school years. I spent so much time at their house that her husband joked about finding a way to claim me as a dependent. She nurtured me. Gave me a sense of normalcy in a very nontraditional time in my life. Because of my father’s job, I lived with my Grandfather and his 2nd wife my Junior year. My step-grandmother wasn’t thrilled at having a teen in the house. With my best friend’s family, I was welcome.
The summer before my senior year, my brother got out of the military and moved into the family home. I was able to sleep in my room! My senior year was an adventure. I got to know my big brother and it was a time that I look back on very fondly.
The second person to fill those maternal shoes, however, was my older sister. She was another superstar as far as I was concerned. My sister sparked so many of my interests, favorites, and loves. She was very protective of me and taught me many valuable skills that I use to this day. I wanted to live with her, but my dad didn’t want me away from home. As an adult, I realize that the only reason that it was “home” for him was that I was there. After I moved away, it was no longer that for him - it was just a house.
After my own children were born, it was important to me that they always knew without a doubt that they had me. I intended to spoil them with the most important thing in the world - my love. We had many ups and downs materially and financially, but they always had me and I was 100% present for them. I have 3 beautiful daughters of my own and at least 10 other children that I helped raise.
I honor my mother and grandmothers. I honor each woman that steps in and helps a child find their way in this crazy world. Happy Mother’s Day!
Cancer has devastated so many lives and families. Please consider donating your time or resources to the American Cancer Society.
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