[52PWM] = 52 People Who Matter to Me
I guess it’s far to say that without my mother, I wouldn’t be here, right? I mean, biologically, she certainly matters, correct? That means I have to include her in this list, I think.
In all honesty, my mother is one of the most important people in my life, aside from having been my incubator, caretaker, cheerleader, chef, chauffeur, and guidance counselor. She’s also one of the few people I turn to when I need the most important advice. In fact, alongside two other women in my life – my wife and my sister – my mother forms the third side of a triangle that I call “The Wholly Trinity”. I know that if I take any issue upon which I need serious advice to these three women, I will get every possible angle examined and every hidden nuance thought out. In short, if I take it to these three, I’ll get the best advice I can get. I’ll get the whole truth.
My mother had the thankless job of raising three children while my father busted his butt to make a good living for our family. The joke has always been that Dad makes a good living, but Mom makes the living good. It couldn’t be closer to the truth. I was fortunate that I had both parents around growing up, but Mom shouldered the majority of the load when it came to caring for the kids. Dad’s job kept him away some nights and gone every day. Mom was thus promoted to chief runner-arounder, ensuring that we were picked up from school and delivered to each practice, recital or lesson on time, always with a hot meal in the car courtesy of the home kitchen, aluminum foil and an igloo cooler. Dad coached our teams, but Mom made sure that both players and coaches were fed and wore the proper attire. Dad helped with homework, but it was Mom who typed faster and was up late at night cranking out the handwritten reports that we put off until the last minute. Dad worked, and Mom made the work matter.
Mom was the one who spanked me when I mouthed off or stuck my tongue out (I still swear she had eyes in the back of her head while ironing). Mom was the one who bought pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey for birthday parties. Mom was the one who showed me how to quickly fold shirts. Mom was the one who called the neighbors’ houses when we were out too late. Mom kissed the owies, Mom picked out the socks, and most importantly, Mom knew where my Hootie and the Blowfish CD or Beach Boys tape had been left.
Mom was also the one who I talked to from 15,000 kilometers away while I was going through a divorce. Mom was the one who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning because of the time difference. Mom was the one who sent the care packages. She was the one waiting first in line at the airport, and she was the one whose hug lasted forever.
My mother does it all, and it wasn’t until I became a parent and watched my wife learn to be as good of a mother that I realized how backbreakingly tough and thankless that job is. I am blessed deeply to have a wife who is as good of a mother to our children as my mother was to me. I see that now, and I try to tell Mom that I love her every time we talk.
My mother still does the thankless work. She helps care for my grandfather who is in the final stages of illness, while making sure my grandmother knows where the bills are. She also runs her mother-in-law, my paternal grandmother, around when she needs to get groceries or style her hair. Mom delivers the newspapers, takes in the mail, phones the doctors and cooks the chicken. She changes the diapers when she visits, makes the snow angels with the girls, does the dishes and runs the errands.
My mother is amazing. No doubt about it. Not only is she a wonderful mother, she’s also as awesome at being a grandmother. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Thank you, Mom.