I had a nice long conversation with my mother for Mother’s Day this afternoon.
She’s doing pretty well, although she’s been coughing pretty much non-stop for the past couple days, and she’s worried that the pneumonia is back. She was a little confused about what day of the week it was, although she knew the date and wished me happy birthday.
It’s conversations like today, when I had to correct her on the day of the week, that make me realize that our dynamic is changing once again.
When I was young, she was my caretaker and my teacher. She did everything she could to expand my insatiable thirst for knowledge, allowing me to read the encyclopedia at the dining room table while prohibiting anything else that I might care to read (except there was so much to the encyclopedia I couldn’t help but read it – it took me a couple of years, but I read every word in the thing). When I was older, she was, to the best of her ability, my adviser, trying to help me grow into a man even though she wasn’t really sure of the best way to go about it sometimes. When I was an adult, she became one of my best friends. And now that she’s older, the tables are turning. I’m advising her nowadays and being the best caretaker that I can be from half a country away.
It’s a little painful and a little sad that this woman who I’ve been able to rely on for so many years is now becoming reliant on me. But I suppose it’s the way of things for this to happen.
A lot of times, we take mothers for granted. They cook and clean for us and raise us and do their best to help you be the best you that you can be and do so very many things for us throughout our lives, and we only ever stop to thank them for it all once a year.
My mother is of an age that I can’t take her for granted anymore. She’s starting to go downhill, and it won’t be too many more years before she’ll be gone. We’ve had our moments, because it wasn’t easy raising me, but she did the best she could. And I thanked her for that today. And I will throughout this coming year and all the years to come until I can’t thank her anymore.
If you’re a mother and reading this, you have my thanks for being such an integral part of preparing the next generation for life. Happy Mother’s Day to you.