I’m super excited I get to spend the day with mom… the first time in many years we have actually spent the day together on her birthday. Yup, today is mom’s birthday. Not to worry, I tell how old you are because honestly, no one would believe me.
Despite the memory gaps as a result of the MS, I actually have some memories of life with mom.
I will admit I was a spoiled only child. I could be difficult at times – like when I refused to move to our new house during middle school. I actually thought it was my mother’s plot to ruin my life.
Despite the heartache and headaches I gave my parents growing up, Mom was always there. She opened our home to my friends without giving it a second thought. Ours was the house to go to after a basketball game or when there was no place else to go. The house was always stocked with snacks whether I brought 2, 10, 25 or more people. I was not always thrilled but I was grateful. After my Junior Prom, my parents made breakfast for over 300 kids. Yes, the parade of non-stop kids through the house was a little more than this teenager was ready for but mom stood strong. Dad cooking, mom cleaning up and making sure everyone was fed.
My college years brought some struggles. Freshman year, my parents divorced and it wasn’t easy. I was in Rhode Island while mom was home holding down the fort. Scrimping pennies to make sure I had a home to come back to. They were tough years but we had fun. She often traveled to Rhode Island for a weekend where we toured the mansions of Newport, shopped in Fall River and she even camped out in my dorm room. After college, when I moved home to work locally, I moved in with mom. We spent endless nights walking the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.
Fast forward to changing jobs and moving to Atlantic County. The road got a little rough. Most struggle during their teen years but our struggles came in my late 20’s and 30’s. It was during these years, my addiction took hold. I pulled away and mom practiced some tough love but our relationship survived the test. Then along came Belinda. There were struggles but through it all – mom was there. She helped emotionally, financially and physically. Despite some differences and hiccups in the road – she was there.
When Belinda left for college and I moved to Brick, it was a rough time for both of us. Lives changed – I had a new hubby and the one hour drive to Mays Landing sometimes feels like an eternity. We don’t spend as much time together as I would like but we do try to plan at least once a month mom and me day.
I probably don’t say it a lot and I am sure at times she wonders what I am thinking but the truth is I learned ALOT from my mom. She taught me: how to be strong when life is rough, how to save and budget (okay, a lesson I still struggle with), the importance of family and about being a mom. She reminds me to believe in myself. She encourages me to reach for my dreams. I can honestly say my mom is one of my best friends.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you! I hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!