If I had to pick one person to spend all my days with for the rest of my life, my mother would probably be leading in the running.
Although I don't have many specific memories of being little and needing her, my mama has always been there, always ready to provide just what I needed.
When I was in my early twenties spending a winter in Montreal, I called her (petrified of the cold after a disastrous trip ice-caving a couple years before) almost in tears over the impending winter as cold air already was rising up through my frame-less mattress in my poorly insulated ground-floor apartment. Within a few days, a box with a down mattress cover, down comforter, flannel sheets and heated mattress pad arrived in the mail. I spent the rest of that winter tucked into bed, too poor to raise the thermostat. When I arrived home the next year, heartbroken and alone, my mama was there.
When I was terrified as my own sweet girl was in the hospital and having heart surgery, my mama was there.
She really is always there for me. For everyone in her life, really. The number of people who have found temporary (some less temporary) refuge under her roof and in her life is remarkable.
Even now, when I am sick, or sad, or need someone to talk to, it's almost always her number that I call, her couch that I want to lounge on. Though sometimes she hovers in the background, at others she is the boisterous life of the party, usually one of the masterminds behind the family antics, of which there are plenty. She's not one to talk much about herself but is always listening, always there, always supporting. Never too quick to give advice, never judgmental, and usually ready with a poignant comment when asked her opinion. She is truly the woman I aspire to be.
I, on the other hand, am not nearly as easy to be with, nor am I so relaxed and accepting. Even if I wanted to spend all my days with her, I seriously doubt she'd be able to tolerate that much time with me (even though she may not admit it.)
As I celebrate my second Mother's Day I am overwhelmed by the searing, blistering, almost physically painful love that I have for my daughter, so thankful that her presence in my life has offered me this opportunity to be this most incredible, mysterious, blessed person: a mother. So far Cora seems to think that I am the greatest. That, in and of itself, is a lot to live up to, and I'm sure that I am bound to let her down at times, human that I am. But am I ever lucky that I have had the best role model of all. My mother. My friend.
I love you, Mum.