In my early years, it never occurred to me that my mother was special. I mean, I loved her and I appreciated her being around to take care of me, but I didn’t know how special she was until later in life.
Okay, I knew she was a divorced, single mom with a low paying job raising a daughter who wanted to take dancing lessons. But she never complained. How was I supposed to know how hard it was?
Through my high school years all my friends’ moms were nice enough. Some of them were a little stranger than others, but they all seemed okay to me. I don’t remember any friend complaining beyond being punished for some teenage infraction.
In retrospect, I suppose we all took our parents for granted. We assumed everyone’s mom and dad were like ours—good or bad.
It’s only by extreme comparisons much later in life that I became aware how really nice my mother was and how much she loved and accepted me—no matter what. I realized how lucky I was to be blessed by our relationship.
My stepfather never understood the closeness between my mother and me. He was jealous of all her connections—friends, co-workers, or strangers. But nothing bothered him as much as the unconditional love his wife shared with her only child. I imagine it’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t experienced that type of closeness to “get it.”
Until my mother passed away in 2000, Mother’s Day was the most important holiday in the year for us. When I lived away from home, I would often fly home on the second Sunday in May. We rarely shared it with others. It was our day to spend “quality” time together, even if only by phone.
I miss my mother’s company and support every day, but on Mother’s Day more than any other. If only everyone were so lucky.