I wish I could unsubscribe to all the email reminders from merchandisers about Mother's Day. It doesn’t apply to me one iota any more. I don’t have grandmothers or a mother.
Not living, anyway.
But my mother’s presence is heavy in the air today, as it was last night. My sister is in the woods singing to her, and all of us children are the beneficiaries.
Last night as I was going to sleep, under the almost-full moon, I had a flash of a memory. I pulled on the familiar tale, drawing it out again, as I have so many times before. The story is of a t-shirt, one of my mother’s many gifts to me.
I cherish it because it represents a truth about me, but I cherish it more for the words she spoke to me as I held it aloft to examine it. It made me special then, as it does now.
Mommy and Daddy returned from a rare trip away from us kids; they had the opportunity to travel to Alaska, thanks to my mother’s parents. While my parent’s cruised Glacier Bay, my dad’s parents came to stay with us for the week. I was probably 11; Tracy, 16; Ian, 4.
We gathered around them when they got home, basking in Mommy’s radiant love and hearing stories of what it was like of the far side of our country. They dispensed the requisite gifts that travel bestows, and we gathered closer to open and ogle the thoughtfully considered gifts we each received.
When she gave me this shirt she said, “I brought you this because of any of my children you will do something like this.” I’ve remembered this time and time again throughout my life.
Sometimes I wonder if I would have ever had the courage to take any of the travels I’ve made if it weren’t for my mother offering such empowering words to me and handing me a symbol of strength to which I could cling. I have, during many challenges, remembered this shirt, and said to myself “of any of my mother’s children, I will…”
Other times, I feel like her motherly knowing –of knowing me to my absolute, pure essence allowed her to purchase just the thing that captured what she knew to be true about my spirit – and convey it “you will do something like this.”
What special gifts have you been given that you cherish?