I have had many mothers; women who may not have seen to my day-to-day care but their presence and influence guided my girlhood and shaped my womanhood: Family, Teachers, Girl Scout leaders, counselors, mentors, neighbors, sorority sisters…
In this photo on the left is my Nana. I lost her early in life but not before she taught me it was ok to color outside the lines on purpose.
On the right is my Auntie. In my family you can have many aunts, but only one Auntie. She has always been the epitome of effortless grace and equanimity. Smooth. Just so damn smooth.
And that tall drink of water in the middle is My Mom. In this photo I’m guessing She’s in Her late 20s, early 30s. I may not have even been in Her life yet. Her past. My future.
Hard truths be told, This Woman didn’t want to be a mother. She had other plans. Loving Her like I do, I wish She could’ve had them instead of me. (What greater gift can love bestow than the freedom to be?) But the way Her life unfolded She couldn’t do both. It was a different time.
In spite of that, She and My Dad gave me a good life.
I have Her best (if I love you, you’ll know it) and worst (if I don’t love you, you’ll know that too) traits. I see more of Her in me everyday and it both terrifies and delights me. Sometimes I catch her when I’m looking in the mirror, and I smile and say, “Hey, Ma.”
These days, as alzheimer’s steadily grows the distance between us, I hug Her, tell her I love Her, and that She’s my favorite Mom.