So on Wednesday, I awoke with a plan. I cleaned my kitchen and thought:
Hey! I should bake cookies!
I put on a podcast and set to my plan.
Alas. No brown sugar.
Double Alas, no baking soda.
“Callan, let’s go to the store!”
Somehow on the drive to the store, my entire day got changed. Cookies can be baked another day. No harm, no foul.
I spent my day helping my parents plant their garden.
I ache. For real, stepping on dirt clods hurt my feet.
I came home for Alex, promising to return to finish tonight.
And that’s when it happened.
“I’ll bill you for my pedicure!” I joked to my mom.
She didn’t hear me, and I am glad.
Hang on, y’all. ‘Bout to get honest up in here.
See, this is the woman who unselfishly delivered still warm, homemade chicken noodle soup the week Callan got pneumonia. The woman who taught me so much about life, cooking, loving…
There is one night I somewhat remember with much shame.
I had recently been introduced to alcohol. And it was a welcome escape. First to drown the sorrow of a breakup, a boyfriend I was positive I would never stop loving. A short week after the breakup, a boy from church pulled over and raped me. And from that incident on, alcohol became my escape.
I stopped at a school friend’s apartment. And after having 1 drink and a half that had been handed to me, could not stay upright. Her boyfriend, who had given me the half drink, began to act strangely. And he took my car key. I called my brother. The one down south and asked for help. I don’t remember much. I remember stumbling down a lot of steps. I remember walking down the street, and falling so often. I remember stumbling into the local fire company. I remember a lady helping me in the bathroom and she called my parents.
My mom arrived and my dad and my brother. I don’t remember a lot from that night. I do remember the look on her face. A lot of love, equal amounts of frustration and disappointment as well. I remember hearing her lecture the girl who provided the alcohol, and the young man.
My mom has flaws.
So do I.
My mom is an amazing. She cooks. She gardens. She watches her grandchildren and spoils them. She cares beautifully for her family and neighbors.
Her example to me has been great.
And often I’ve wished God had molded me more like her.
She and my dad had 3 biological sons. Then they opened their home to adopt another son, foster to legal guardian another son, and adopt me.
5 boys. 1 tomboy. I mean, the house was a constant zone of craziness.
Yet she maintained order and cleanliness, teaching us early responsibility and teamwork.
Garden every summer. Sharing the fruits of her labor with family and neighbors.
She has a degree in nursing, yet for only a short season did she return to work.
She has rarely complained, has taken all the ups and downs of life in stride. And there were downs, believe me.
And sadly I provided so much heartbreak for her. And I deeply regret that.
She has been a godly example, a woman who loves and serves others.
So tonight, we plan to gather as a family and honor her. We will provide treats, celebrate as a family this woman who is the [earthly] reason we are family.
* * *
Then there is Lamar’s mother. Despite big differences in not only our zip codes but in our lives, she accepted me from Day 1. She loves my boys and cares deeply for us.
Made a special trip to PA for Liam’s graveside service. Who called often just to check. She loved from afar.
She raised a son who has been so good for me. Who has not run from the baggage and emotional pain I come with, but has stepped up and carried the pain with me. This man who loves me, flaws and all. He does my grocery shopping most weeks yet, tolerates my snark and sarcasm and trashtalk, encourages my writing and creativity in painting and decorating our home. He holds me through the painful nightmares, the tears over the son qe have lost and miss, the valleys that life has brought us through.
These women, play a big role in me being a mother. Their advice, their love.
And these boys, they make it possible for me to have my arms full on this Mother’s Day.
For those who have empty arms this mother’s day, I am sorry. You also, are seen and loved on this day 💕
As always, with love…