With another Mother’s Day approaching I can only feel blessed that my mom is still alive and still able to know who I am. For me each day begins with phoning her, because I am a long distance caregiver. Just yesterday I asked if she wanted to speak with me. Her sweet reply was, of course she wants to speak to me, “ for I am her daughter and she loves me.” As she shared her words and sentiments with me, it brought such warmth to my heart and filled my eyes with tears.
My relationship with my mom was not always like this. I wasn’t until mom became ill with Alzheimer’s that I fell unconditionally in love with her. Somehow my love for her was transformed. I wonder what changed in me or in our relationship?
Why did it take her getting sick for me to fall in love with her, for me to be able to cherish every word and each syllable that she speaks to me? I realize that this no longer makes any difference. What matters to me is that I choose to celebrate my mom, her life and who she is. I am grateful for what we are still able to share and do not hold on to what has disappeared from her existence.
The person my mother has become has opened for me a world filled with love and compassion. My mom who, is eighty-eight years old and stands less than five feet tall, has taught me another lesson in life. Lessons that as a teenager or young adult I was unable to understand. She has taught me the real meaning of being a mother. What the dictionary might define as a mother does not matter to me. She has inspired me to see the world from a different place and has opened my eyes to embrace a deeper sense of gratitude.
Her strength and courage have inspired me each and every day for the last eight years. Today, and all year long, I will be celebrating Mother’s Day. I know deep in my heart and soul how very much my mother has become my hero. No matter what day it is, Mother’s Day or not, I will honor and cherish her and our loving relationship.
LIsa Hirsch recently published My Mom My Hero, a book celebrating her mother and in honor of the many great women in her life. The book is based on Lisa's blog of the same name.