The greatest Mother’s Day gift of all is when your child realizes your role.
The first time we were alone in our hospital bedroom I had a long conversation with Andrea, my daughter.
Well I talked, however she was all ears. I opened up with: “I asked God for a miracle and He gave me you” but she only yawned. Then I assured her that I will ALWAYS love and support her, that I will NEVER get mad and that she could tell me ANYTHING. We made a pact to be BFF (best friends forever). I remember promising to teach her how to cook, but her interest conveniently faded right there and she fell asleep. (Years later, she would still get sleepy whenever I suggested cooking lesson.)
So there we were, just her and I being best friends – most of the time.
On occasion I’d break my promise and get mad and on occasion she didn’t want to tell me anything.
As I look back I wondered if I was making the right choices: from the shoe selection to moving from Bosnia to Germany and then to the States. But every decision I made I had her best interest in mind, so I believed.
I learned that she hated those shoes and six years in Germany, which left her with some really bad memories. The guilt crawled in my chest and nothing would remove it. Was I the right role model, was I too lenient or too protective, what could I have done differently? It only got worse during those crazy teenage years where nothing I would do or say seemed to be right. You know, the whole “school stinks-what do you know-leave me alone” attitude.
What happened to being BFF?
But all I could do was love and support her like I promised on the day she was born. Was that enough?
She became a responsible, sensible young adult with a nursing diploma and great goals for the future.
All my doubts about the choices I made were gone one Mother’s Day when she presented me with this poem, wishing it was hers, but feeling the same nonetheless:
Sometimes I know the words to say
Give thanks for all you’ve done,
But then they fly up and away,
As quickly as they come.
How could I possibly thank you enough,
The one who makes me whole,
The one to whom I owe my life,
The forming of my soul.
The one who tucked me in at night,
The one who stopped my crying,
The one who was the expert
At picking up when I was lying.
The one who saw me off to school,
And spent sad days alone,
Yet magically produced a smile,
As soon as I came home.
The one who makes such sacrifices,
To always put me first,
Who lets me test my broken wings,
In spite of how it hurts.
Who paints the world a rainbow
When it’s filled with broken dreams,
Who explains it all so clearly
When nothing’s what it seems.
Are there really any words for this?
I find this question tough…
Anything I want to say,
Just doesn’t seem enough.
What way is there to thank you,
For your heart, your sweat, your tears,
For ten thousand little things you’ve done,
For oh-so-many years.
For changing with me as I changed,
Accepting all my flaws,
Not loving ’cause you had to,
But loving “just because.”
For never giving up on me,
When your wits had reached their end,
For always being proud of me,
For being my best friend.
And so come to realize,
The only way to say,
The only thank you that’s enough,
Is clear in just one way.
Look at me before you,
See what I’ve become.
Do you see yourself in me,
The job that you have done?
All your hopes and all your dreams,
The strength that no one sees,
A transfer over many years,
Your best was passed to me.
Thank you for the gifts you give,
For everything you do,
But thank you, Mommy, most of all
For making dreams come true.
Did I mention we are BFF?