All that I am or hope to be I owe to my mother...

Abraham Lincoln certainly got it right when he said, "All that I am or hope to be I owe to my mother". I feel the exact same way about my mom. My mom is my best friend. I talk to her almost everyday. As I'm getting older, and especially since I cut my hair short, I realize how much I look like my mom; it's kind of a weird sensation. My mom is a beautiful woman, but it's weird to look in the mirror and see pieces of her staring back at me.

When I left for my first year of college, there was a country song on the radio sung by Jamie O'Neil entitled "She's Somebody's Hero". The words of that song emulate what I feel for my mother. She has always been there, no matter what. I know she loves me more than life itself. I cannot count the sacrifices she has made for me and my siblings. We were lucky enough to have my mom at home while we were growing up. Having my mom at home has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I recognize that our particular situation is not possible, ideal, or desired by all families, but it has made all the difference in mine. My parents have always struggled financial as a result of their choice for my mom to remain at home, but my brother and sister and I are the people we are today because of their decision.

Both of my parents had difficult childhoods. My dad's mom died when he was eight years old and his father struggled with alcoholism for many years after her death. My mom's parents divorced when she was five years old when my grandma decided to leave to drink. While she was growing up, both of my mom's parents remarried several times, bringing her into many mixed families. Based on their different circumstances, my parents lacked the immediate example of what a loving, functional husband and wife relationship looked like. My mom did have one significant example in her Aunt Ginny & Uncle Glen. Seeing their loving relationship gave her hope that she too, could one day have the same kind of relationship with another person. Then she found my dad.

Moving away from I have a different view of my parents than I did when I was living under their roof. I see that they are imperfect human beings. There are parenting choices they have made that I will adopt and others I will not. There are things in their relationship with each other I hope to have with my spouse, and others I do not want. While my parents have had their fair share of trials, misunderstandings, and rough moments in their marriage, they love each other and they love us kids. Although my mom faces the debilitating condition of fibromyalgia on a daily basis, if asked, she would tell you she has everything she ever wanted. All that mattered to my mom was to be married to my dad and be a good mom. My parents are far from perfect, but they know what's truly important.

I'm a lot like my mom: determined, strong-willed, emotionally deep, thrifty, organized, detail oriented, a good writer, and a lover of home decor. I hope I can have the same type of relationship I have with her with my own kids. My mom doesn't have the energy to do a lot of the typical "mom things"---I didn't have a mom who could do my laundry, make me breakfast, always keep the house immaculate, plan elaborate parties, or buy me all my new school clothes. While at times, not having those things has been really hard, I know they aren't what really matters. What matters is that my mom is there for me when I need her, she loves me and our family, we can stay up talking until 3 am, she is sensitive to the spirit, and she knows being a mom is the highest calling she could ever possess.

Indeed, all I am or hope to be...I owe to my mother.

4 comments:

megan said...

I love this. I love all your posts really. It's amazing how much people's moms come out in them as they grow up. I'm the same way. My whole life people always told me how much like my mom I am both in looks and demeanor, but I never believed. Now I see some similarity almost every day. You're great :)

jjfid said...

I love this post Clairssa. I love the Beautiful Picture of you and your sweet Mom. It really touched my heart and made me long for the same connection with my Mom. I love you and I love your Mom. You are Amazing Women and my life would not be the same without you both in it! Thanks for sharing! xoxoxo
Auntie

Mandi said...

Your mama is a great lady!

Kevin and Jamie said...

I love this post Clarissa!!!