“To mothers who have lost children, those who have lost mothers, those who with strained relationships, Mothers with strained child relationships, those who have chosen not to be mothers, and those yearning to be mothers”, this post is for you on this Mother’s Day (artwork by Mari Andrew).
As many of you know, my mother and I are best friends. In the way that a mother and daughter can do everything together but the daughter can also get in a lot of trouble if she crosses the line too much. That’s who we are and it works well!
Let’s Reminisce a Bit
The day I moved into my dorm room ten years ago was a day I will never forget with my mother. It was drop off day and it was a total nightmare. I don’t know how many times I cried leading up to the day for fear of new experiences, a new city, and being away from my mom. She drove me two hours to my new college town on move-in day and despite how I was feeling, she tried to make the day special for me. Once she finished helping me move into my new ‘home’ by bringing all of my new college gear from the car to my dorm room, she said goodbye.
Goodbyes are the Worst
After she left, I cried uncontrollably. I never felt such a shift happen in my life. I was devastated at the idea of leaving my mother and the life I knew for what was supposed to be a bigger, brighter future. At the time I could not see any of that, I just wanted to go back home. I even called my mom and begged her to come back and get me. And, because my mom was as awesome then as she is now, she came back to my room to give me one final goodbye and to also tell me that everything would be okay. At this moment, the only thing I wanted was to be a kid again and never grow up, but I knew that growing up was something I had to do.
Later, what she told me was that she stayed in the car outside of my dorm room for a while and cried as well. Needless to say, we both knew how much this move was going to hurt.
Finally, Out of College
After I graduated college, I moved back home with my parents, which was great. Although at times, I let the societal pressures of adulting get to me and I did not always feel like I was supposed to be living with my parents again after four years of semi-independence. At home, I started going to church more often with my mother during the week and I also began to include myself in her routine, hobbies, and lifestyle. It was a fun change in my life because I got to spend a lot of time with my mom. I felt like we had so many new opportunities to get to know each other better, which was awesome.
An Interesting Life Shift
A year or so after I moved back home, my mother’s health began to deteriorate. She was always getting sick and constantly rushed to the emergency room. What I remember most about that time was how scared everyone was, especially my mother. It also felt weird to see our lives shift as a family. Because of the strength my mother possessed and still manages to showcase every day, she was able to get through her challenges and find her new normal, despite how much it, quite frankly, sucked. After many appointments and tests at multiple doctor’s offices and specialists, my mother was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
A Change in Our Relationship
My mother’s illness definitely brought us closer. I vowed to myself and silently over her in prayer that I would take advantage of every second I could with my mother, no matter the cost of time or money. When my mother was around my age, she lost her mom, my grandmother, to breast cancer. Through conversations I would have with my mother, I knew that she sometimes felt like she missed the full adult relationship she longed to have had with my grandmother due to her sudden passing.
The relationship that I have with my mom is something special and very unique. We are able to talk about everything and I still have the blessing of my mother’s wisdom. She shares things with me about life, faith, marriage, and self. Those conversations are very special to me. I love the age I am right now because I genuinely understand such conversations differently than I would have in my late teens and early twenties. Something my mom always says to me is “tomorrow is never promised to anyone” and this is very true.
Another Change in Pace
When I got the news that I’d be moving to Morocco with my husband, it was bittersweet. This was because I had grown extremely fond of my mother and our deeper bond. It was really hard for me to think about how she would live her life while fighting this illness without me by her side. The hardest decision I ever made was to leave my mother behind and move to Morocco with my husband. Although the move was similar to that of my college days, in that it would be a new chapter for my life and future, I was really sad and still get sad from time to time.
My move to Morocco has definitely made both of us stronger. We’ve had to learn how to figure things out without the other person being present in the physical sense. Although it sucks not being able to go to my mom when I need her, I try to get creative with the ways we communicate. We chat every day via Skype. We also send letters, homemade gifts, memes, texts, and more! Our new relationship abroad has been a juggling act of creativity, and I love it.
Planning is Key
Now, when it comes to our relationship, we try to plan everything as much as we can. For example, I will be going home this summer for a while. We already have our activities planned. We even know the flavored popcorn we will indulge in as we watch a Netflix series together. Being able to have things like that to look forward to are so important.
This is for You
To my mother, I pray that you have a wonderful day. I am thankful for you and I cherish every moment I have had with you in this life so far. I love you with all of my heart.
What’s your favorite memory of your mother?