My mother died when I was 33. She was an overbearing, loud, feisty, Italian mother and she was my best friend. Looking back I was probably inappropriately co-dependent on my mother but being an only child, and a daughter no less, that was simply how our relationship existed. I went to my mother for everything. And I mean everything. Big decision to make? Check in with Mom. Scared about my future? Let Mom ease my weary heart. Clueless as to how to clean something in my home? Well, I didn’t have to ask for her opinion on this issue, she freely asserted her thoughts on the state of my homemaking skills. At 33 I felt more connected to my Mom than I ever had. But you know all this, because you have bared witness to my journey. You once asked, “How did you make it through the death of my mom with grace?” The answer is, I have you. I have you, my dear friend.
Since the death of my mother, you have mothered me.
Not in the overbearing opinionated way my mother would have. You mother me in the “I got your back” way that I so desperately need and crave. While I never expect it, you always show up. On dark days you have uplifted my heavy heart with a perfect balance of love and humor. On bright days you have supported and encouraged my wild ideas. More importantly, you have allowed me to be real and authentic in my grief. You have walked alongside me, ready to rescue me should I fall too far into the pits of hell.
As the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into years you have continued to mother me. I feel your mothering when you are fiercely loyal, dropping any motherhood task you were in the middle of at the first sound of a quiver in my voice. Or, when I told you that I was accepted into a teaching program, you squealed with delight and told me “I knew you could do it.” My worried heart was filled with a new confidence and belief in myself that I was lacking. And when my heart is exhausted from trying to be supermom and continuously falling short, you remind me that my kids are dang lucky to have a mom like me because not all moms have the extraordinary ability to still rap Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby from the 90’s. You listen, you offer advice and perspective, and then you offer me wine.
The death of my mom rocked me to my core. My heart will always bear scars, but a piece of this wounded heart is dedicated to you. And just like the piece reserved solely for my mother, should I ever lose you, your piece will be reserved until we meet again.