Monday, May 04, 2009
On Mother's Day
On Mother's Day, I have a whole lot to be thankful for, and a lot of that is wrapped up in Ronda, my mom.
I'm so thankful that she lived to raise me. I'm so thankful that she loved me, and nurtured me, and put up with my stubborness, and taught me any number of really cool things. Among them: how to make a Dairy Queen blizzard at home, how to hem my jeans, how to be a good Christian woman, how to fill out a job application and how to effectively complain about bad service at a a restaurant. I think that last one comes in handy the most.
Beyond childhood, I'm thankful that I can pick up the phone and call my mom whenever I want. My cousins, who lost their mom when they were 18 and 25 respectively, aren't that lucky.
I'm thankful that she taught me to be a good daughter and a good sister. Her and my granny were so close, they were like best friends. They called each other all day long and saw each other everyday. My mom was well into her 30s and my granny was still washing, drying and folding her clothes. And those of me and my sister, too. What can I say: the perks of being the baby of the family. My mom is also best friends with her older sisters (she has four of them). Two of them have passed away, but they were an extremely close unit of women. I learned by example that a sister is the very best thing in the world a girl can have, and nothing, not money or men, friendship or job, should weaken that bond.
I'm thankful that she loves me. Totally, unconditionally, fully and without preamble, in a way that I probably will never understand unless I have kids of my own. When I hurt, she hurts. When I'm glad, she's glad.
I'm thankful that she taught me to be my own woman. To not let others' opinions or wills dictate my life. When I was 16, she let me go off to a boarding school, even though she told me (years later) that she cried for days before I left. She knew it was a great opportunity and wasn't selfish with me. When I was 18, she put her foot down and said that I couldn't go all the way to Washington to attend Howard University. I went anyway, and I'm thankful that she challenged me. It let me realize how strong I was.
And, finally, I'm thankful that she is who she is, because it has allowed me to be who I am.