Pancakes and coffee in bed, flowers and wine. Tiki parties. These things are good, but nothing like that can begin to express the admiration, gratitude, and love I have for my mom.
When my dad passed away, Amanda and I spent about three weeks at our childhood home with my mom. That time is a blur of visitors, pain, tears, donuts, confusion, and a few exceptionally beautiful moments that shine through brighter than anything else.
My dad passed away at the end of August. It was hot at the house, nearly 100 degrees. A day or two after he was gone, in a mixture of grief and exhaustion, compounded by the heat, I completely shut down. I was literally too tired, weak, and sad to move. Grief and stress had a lot of physical effects on me, actually—from weird rashes and breakouts to weight loss to my back going out so bad that I literally couldn't stand up straight or walk normally for a couple of days. But on this particular evening, I hit a breaking point. I couldn't stop crying, I just wanted to sleep, and my body felt physically weighed down by sadness. I could barely lift my arms.
“Come on.” My mom said, grabbing my arm, trying to pull me out of bed. “I can’t.” I cried. “I can’t move, just leave me alone.” I turned away from her, and buried my face in the pillow. “Come on,” she said again, pulling me out of bed. She grabbed Amanda, and, against my protests, led us out to the pool—one of those 3 footer above ground types.
“Let’s go” she said, pulling me in. Tears were streaming down my face, my legs felt like cement. I just wanted to crawl back in bed.
The water was cool and refreshing, and as soon as I stepped in, the heat of the day instantly started to melt away. I started to feel a little bit better. I don’t know who started it, but the next thing I remember is the three of us running in a circle making a whirlpool, laughing hysterically, cheering and holding hands. After a little while, Evan joined us. We ran as fast as we could, around and around, in that little pool that barely held the four of us. My grandma and aunt came out to watch, smiling and laughing. My arms and legs felt weightless for the first time in days.
We still had a lot of healing to do, we still have a lot of healing to do. But at that moment, in that very moment of total selflessness, when we were all grieving and in pain, when my mom could have crawled into bed forever like I wanted to do, she didn't. She pulled me out of bed and out my head, and showed me how deep and selfless and exactly-what-you-need a mother’s love can be. At that moment, I knew we would get through it together. I knew that there would be more tears, but that there would also be laughter and even joy.
Love you ma, and thank you, times a million. Happy Mother’s Day!
PS. We got you a juicer.