My parents have both passed away and I think about them often. It’s interesting to think back about how the relationships change. I think in some ways this mirrors how we grow as individuals over time. In the case of my Mom, there was significant change for both of us. Towards the end I think Mom and I had a harder time relating to one another since we were practically polar opposites on the political spectrum. I remember returning home to Oregon from Arizona a few times thinking to myself “who is this person?” It didn’t diminish how I felt about her at all. And here’s the reason why. Perhaps you too can relate.
When I was a kid, I’d have my usual bad days like everyone. Could have been that I did poorly in a class, was having trouble with a friend, or perhaps a family member was not happy with something I had done. Doesn’t matter what it was, the point is, you’re a kid and you think the situation is hopeless. You feel totally defeated because nothing is going your way. Your hopes and dreams seem completely shot. What do I have? Who is on my side? Who loves me? There are those moments. I think we all had them.
The thing I remember most about Mom is that when I was down at my lowest point, she was the one there with a hug and words of encouragement every single time. Everyone else could be all negative or indifferent about what I was going through, but she was not. She was my last, and sometimes it felt like my only, line of support that affirmed I had some self-worth and whatever it was would be over soon. No matter what I did, she didn’t seem to care in that moment. She was wise in the sense that knowing a heart-felt connection of love was not condoning whatever mess I was in. It was simply, unconditional love and let me tell you, that’s a very powerful thing. If you have children, they need that sometimes. I don’t know how my life would have turned out differently had I not had that. All I know is that I’m glad I did and I hope every kid gets the same benefit. And that no matter how different Mom and I were in the end, it doesn’t matter. This is how I choose to remember my Mom.