Category Archives: mom

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

First of all, happy birthday! I guess today is as good a day as any to tell you how much I appreciate you. You have spent my entire life trying to teach me, but honestly, I learned most from the things you weren’t overtly explicating.

You are the strongest woman I know. I got my stoicism from you. I never quite learned how to block out all emotion, or never show I care, but I learned enough to protect myself. I have watched you my entire life, taking everything in stride. Nothing affected you. In a way I envy that, and maybe one day I will perfect the art of nonchalance.

You taught me how to build everything from nothing. You withheld from me when I was young, and as resentful as I may have been (and maybe still am once in a while), I learned to do everything for myself, never relying on anyone else. I am at a point in my life where I will have to build myself from nothing once more, and this time I have others depending on me, and because of the experience you have given me, I have quite a running start. I have learned from you how to pull things out of thin air, and in times of desperation, push just a bit further.

I have heard your stories, and I don’t know if I could do what you did, but I would like to think I could accomplish half. I have learned that much.

No matter what I did, you always wanted more from me, it was never good enough, and I think that was simply your way of motivating me, giving me impetus for achieving just a bit extra and never stagnating.

You even taught me the silly things, yet still important in their own right. I have your insane fashion sense, always ready for all occasions. I remember being about eight, and wanting to wear an outfit not far from pajamas. You asked me to change and I didn’t want me. You asked me to think about what would happen if plans change, if something spontaneous happens. What if I may think I am just running out for an errand and something comes up that demands I arrive somewhere formal? Then what? Wouldn’t I be embarrassed at the way I am dressed? That was the example you gave me and I never forgot. You will be glad to know I have never been embarrassed anywhere.

I cannot enumerate your many lessons, things learned directly, and indirectly watching you, inadvertently studying you and mimicking you as a child would do.

You have never lied to me, and taught me to be more honest than may be good for me. You praised my talents, and simultaneously reminded me of my shortcomings. Thank you for never deluding me into believing I am good at everything, or worse, at the very things I don’t have a calling for. Thank you for helping me develop those things at which I excel, even when you could not give me the answers, but guided me to find them elsewhere.

Now you have grandchildren who learn everything from you second hand through me. So far I cannot say I have taught them any great life lessons, but they see, and have probably gleaned more than I think.

Mom, from you I have learned patience, defiance, wit, charm, decadence, passion, stoicism, strength, and my own weaknesses.

I love you like I love my own children. When you had me you gave me life. Since then you have given me your life in pieces. Thank you for giving me everything, and teaching me how to find those things you could not give.

What Are Friends For?

There have been a few blogs written lately about what it means to be a best friend. Jenny, for example, feels that a best friend is one who would help you move a body, should the need arise. While, yes, this is true, it got me thinking.
If I had a body that needed moving, the first person I would call would be my mom. While my friends would help me, they would also have five hundred questions. My mom would show up, no questions asked, help me the best she could, and be a total cheerleader. “Dig faster! You can do it!”
My dad would also be very supportive, but he is a little squeamish. So if I showed him a body he would probably pass out. And then I would have to move two bodies. So I would be right back to calling my mom. Why complicate things?
If, for whatever reason, my mother was unavailable, then I started making a list of friends who would help. Or who I would trust to help. Only three names came up.
Which got me thinking about friendship overall. I have not made any friends in the last decade or so. I don’t mean that I don’t have friends, but I haven’t made any new ones. All the people I consider  my friends (even beyond the three who make the body-moving list) I have known forever. Sure, I have met people, made friendships and acquaintances. I go out with them for coffee every few months, maybe lunch or something. But when it comes to moving bodies, or serving as alibis, they don’t make the list.
And of the three who do make the cut, two happen to be married to each other, and live half way across the country. So unless said body moving is happening around the holidays or summer vacations, I am really just down to one person. And she currently can’t lift heavy things. Or perform any kind of strenuous work, such as digging or pushing.
Therefore, by process of elimination, and my superior deductive skills, it can be surmised that I have no friends.  Clearly I should quit my day job and become a detective.