I can’t really imagine how she felt. After all, she was only 16 when she found out she was pregnant with me. She came from a strong Christian family and I am sure that the news of their 16 year old daughter being pregnant must have rocked the boat quite a bit. But hey, It was the 70’s things were different then, or so my Mom tells me.
The good and obvious news is that she decided to keep me (although I’ve never actually asked her if she considered otherwise). I am trying to think of specific memories of her and I together but I can’t. I am filled with memories of moments and times; however, it almost feels like we were just an extension of each other and to split those memories into ones of she and I is almost impossible. What I remember most is her strength, perseverance and resolve. No matter what storm we were in and how turbulent it was, she always remained calm and together.
It was my Mom and Me against the world. As much as we are alike, we are very different. Her nails are long and always painted, she wears a ring on (almost) every finger, two necklaces at a time, her decorating is tacky (and she would self admit that fact), she likes The Rolling Stones MORE than The Beatles and she uses paper towels as napkins, regardless of occasion. She is totally laid back, mellow and doesn’t care what ANYONE thinks of her, including me! When I was a teenager and “cool”, these things used to embarrass me to no end. Yet, now and with some maturity, they are some of my favorite things about my mom.
She was about 34 when I moved out of the house and I think she lost her best friend when I left. I never asked her and she never said. She was always encouraging, supportive and loving – no matter whether I was in her good graces or not. I never understood that then, but I do now.
You showed up.
You were always there.
You were never too busy for me.
You would walk out of any job, put any situation on hold, and sacrifice whatever you were doing whenever I needed you…even if it meant you couldn’t go back.
You fought for me.
You cooked dinner for me every night, even after you worked an 8+ hour day.
When I was arrested, you showed up and still loved me.
When I was a teen and I called you a B#*!@, you slapped me (it was the only time you ever hit me) and that was the end of it.
You always thought I was beautiful, even when I didn’t.
You NEVER spoke badly about my Dad to me, even though he did bad things to you. You let me make my own observations.
You let me mess up and learn on my own.
You taught me that even if we had NOTHING at all that “as long as we have each other, baby…we’re ok.”
You made Thursday’s our “date night” when I was in high school (one of the hardest stages in my life). You must have known how much I needed you.
I have never in my life had a relationship deeper than the one I have with my Mom. She is at my core, now, then, and always.