It took me a long time to start actually writing this. I had no idea how to start, or what words would even describe the profound person that is my mom Cheryl.
When I wrote back in June about my dad I knew than I would do this for her as well and no better time than her birthday. This post will probably be a long one, there is just too much to say, memories to share and tears to write-through.
The best place to start I guess would be to first say, to know Cheryl is a bit intimidating . she is a passionate protective person and will fight to stand up for that she cares about. If you are one of the lucky ones in her circle you will always have someone there for you big or small. To grow up in a house with her was rough, and beautiful. I learnt so much about the kind of person I wanted to be from her, I learnt how to love from her, fiercely unconditional. Honesty was valued in our house, you could almost do no wrong as long as you were truthful. Cheryl (with the help from my dad) teaches those close to her what it means to have a friend, to have integrity and to be accepting and compassionate. When my mom got mad, I mean really mad you knew it, a force within her would come to the surface and you’d know. Just as quickly as the anger came the forgiveness also hit.
It’s funny if you had asked me when I was 13,14,16 years old if I wanted to be like her I would have laughed and spewed some choice words. I wanted to be nothing like her, but as I grew and came into my own I realised there was no better role model then her for me.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have had many bumps in my road. I look back on every horrible day and there is a constant beacon of strength and support. My mother. She is the glue that held my world together when I felt is was crumbling. Even when I was old enough to fight my own battles and just to tired she would do it for me. My mom always is down for helping others. In fact she has built her life around it from being a LPN, working in palliative care for years, taking in teenagers that had no where else to go, to the work she does with seniors and finally the way she supports those close to her. She is special and I am blessed to call her mom.
I remember a time in my life when I just didn’t care, I felt like it wasn’t worth the fight. She was there, willing me pushing me encouraging me to go on. My first heartbreak, there to wipe tears. When I was hospitalized not once but twice, she stayed with me almost every minute so I knew I was never alone. When I found out I couldn’t have children, or when I found out I would be caring for one I didn’t know; she was there giving words of wisdom or sarcasm whichever I needed. When I needed her voice to read my words because I couldn’t get them out. Lots of times she was there with no reason to be just because she was the mom and I the daughter.
My mom has taught me many lessons. She has taught me that doing what right might mean you stand alone but you do it anyway. That you never give up one those you love even when they give up on you. That forgiveness is hard but the anger and resentment you carry is harder. She taught me that everyone deserves a fair chance and a second one and you NEVER stop helping it’s not what we do. My mom taught me to be strong, resilient, brave, loving and independent. All the good in me is rooted in the things I was taught growing up, the things she (and my dad) allowed me to be. I learned that you should never apologize for the space you take up in this world and you don’t compromise yourself to fit someones idea of what good. My mom taught me that it is okay to be vulnerable, it is in those soft moments you are the most powerful. She has allowed me the space I needed to grow and become who I am. That was not an easy feet, all the lessons and memories she has given me, I carry them proudly. It hasn’t always been this way where we were friends, however the trials that led us here I would not have changed any of them. For as many tears as there had been there has been as many smiles.
Happy Birthday Mom, thank you for teaching me about the kind of person I want to be and being patient while I found her. For always being there for me and for your continued support in everything I do. Quite literally I wouldn’t be here without you. I love you.