I dedicate my post today to my Mom. Of course, in my younger years, she was lovingly referred to as Mommy. (Even my 4 year old is already phasing out Mommy, and replacing it with Mom. I’m not sure why I’m offended, but I am.) Besides being a mother, she is known by many different names, some more colorful than others, all equally meaningful to the person speaking of her.
“Katy” – by her loving husband.
“Aunt Katy” – by her many nieces and nephews that have always adored her.
“Chatty Cathy” – by her extremely funny children.
“Grandma” – by most of her eight grandchildren.
“Kiki” – by 2 of her 8 grandchildren.
“Grammy” – by one, little Honey Badger.
“Daughter” – spoken from the lips of her Father, but only until the age of 3 when he was taken from earth. And, most certainly spoken with elation when her mother gave birth to a girl, after 5 boys preceded her.
“Sister” – spoken by her 5 brothers, each of whom have passed this life before her.
“Friend” – the many, many friends she has touched over the years, and the close ones she relishes today.
But, if there is one title she deserves, it is that of “Mother”. You see, that is how she always referred to her own Mom. I have always found it to be a very reverent title for a woman, my grandmother, that symbolized the epitome of strength. Her name was Sarah Nadine. At least, that was the new name she chose for herself after she left behind a life of torment, walked from Ohio to Indiana by herself, got a job, and married a man 16 years her senior. Together, they were raising 6 children, until his sudden passing. Poor and alone, she did the best she could to feed her family. She never learned how to drive; she walked, or took the bus wherever she needed to go. She, in fact, walked to church every single day. She had weak knees, but her faith was stronger. I once found myself in a small church in Rome; I believe it was called the Scala Sancta. They had a staircase that Jesus walked on to his way to Pontius Pilate. It contained drops of his blood, and was encased in a protective case. I saw little, old ladies on their knees, going up each step, one by one. It was difficult with my prosthesis, but I went up those stairs one at a time for my grandmother. She would have. She was a woman of devotion and endless love for others. Once, she had just enough money to buy groceries when she boarded the bus with my Mom. But, a little girl boarded as well, and she had no shoes and she was dirty. My grandmother insisted they get off at the next stop, and they took the little girl and spent all their grocery money to buy her new shoes. This was the kind of selfless person my grandmother was, and passed along to my own mother. My mom would give the clothes off her back to her children, her nieces and nephews, her husband, or her friends. She has given countless time and energy to making each of her grandchildren feel loved. When my aunt was dying from cancer in a hospital in California, she and my Dad drove my cousins to the airport to send them on a plane so they could be there for their final goodbyes. My Mom decided, in that moment, that she was boarding the plane as well. She had no clothes, no toothbrush, but she provided an amazing amount of support that came from the depths of her amazing soul.
I believe that there are two kinds of people in this world; those that have lost a parent, and those who have not. I cannot even fathom losing my Mom. My heart goes out to the many people today that I hold dear that are celebrating this day with an ache in their heart that I am sure will never, ever go away. I will be one of those people one day, and so I take each moment I can to relish my relationship with my Mother. I find that my relationship with my Mom means more to me today than it ever has. I appreciate each visit, each moment, each conversation.
So, today, I want to say – I love you, Mother. I am humbled to be your daughter. My children are privileged to have you in their life in such a meaningful way, and I hope that I have made you proud. You are incredibly beautiful inside and out.