I knew this celebratory day was approaching when I reached in the desk drawer and pulled out some random stationary with no Hallmark words attached to the paper—just a blank card with a fancy black and white mosaic-style design.
After I had one dream after another, the only image that popped into my head was my mother and her grey hair. Hers is a fine blend between salt and pepper (with way more salt). The stationary that jumped out at me from the drawer was very befitting for my words written to her this morning and then mailed off for her to receive on the special upcoming day.
I adore my mother. It took me longer than I care to admit that she is the driving force behind all of my actions, without me ever knowing what it is I am doing.
I hear her voice in the back of my brain, her wisdom, her Spanish-speaking accent trying to annunciate words that we kids used to make fun of while growing up. She would just let it roll off her back and laughed along with us.
She has been through the worst of the worst, kept her modest role in her heart, and maintained her class and grace throughout. I don’t speak to her that often, and that’s my own doing. It seems we have an understanding.
We were never best friends; more like respectful acquaintances who called each other out when we felt things weren’t right, and loved each other more than ever during our own processes.
We still laugh at the silliest and simplest happenings, but it’s only when I visit her in her gambling city we call Las Vegas that I truly sidle up to her daily life.
She is much older now. She is set to change up her scenery this summer and move to a place where she is able to continue to tend to her wishes of being close to her children. We all live everywhere that’s nowhere near each other. Her desire to remain at the core of our lives is why we celebrate her this Mother’s Day.
She is the ultimate cook, the ultimate provider of little nags here and there, the quintessential classy woman who insists on never leaving the house without earrings or lipstick.
She is well put together at her advanced age. She will always love her proximity to the creature comforts that create her world and those who are lucky to be in it. She sticks to her routine of walking her beloved small dog, visiting with neighbors, dancing and exercising at the local community center, and staying in touch with every family member who means the world to her.
She and I had some big breakthroughs this past year, and as odd as that sounds for someone of my own advanced age, it was me who couldn’t come to terms with how our relationship was evolving. We are very much alike and even mirrors of each other on many levels.
She brought out my shadows, but more than that, she showed me that the best parts of my being were always there and waiting to emerge. It took me 50 years to figure that out.
I’ve played out our dynamic over and over in my head and heart for years, to have a better understanding of my choices in life and love. It was never her decision to see to it that I always knew what to do. She simply empowered me in a subtle way.
She allowed the highest parts of me to shine when they were due.
She always encouraged and discouraged many of my actions, yet my own rebellious nature was mine to look at, not hers. She stepped back and bit her lip on more than one occasion, and to this day I often wish she had intervened more, yet when she did *butt in* (as she would say), my own free-spirited streak usually won. Whether good or bad, it’s a mother’s way to offer their advice on any and all decisions their children make.
My mom did a great job of offering her words, and some are still ringing in my ears. Her treasured nuggets of common sense always presented themselves at just the proper time. She even had a way of adding to my household collection of domesticity with things that I normally wouldn’t buy for myself, yet every single practical item she purchased for me found its way into my home and never left.
The same goes for my wardrobe: just when I thought I was all good to go with clothes and what I needed, sure enough a package would arrive with a scarf or a small tote for fancy outings that I would have never thought to buy on my own. It’s as if we have this telepathic connection on what’s best for me. She always knew.
I celebrate my Mom, not only on Mother’s Day, but every day.
I want to always hear her sweet Peruvian-inspired voice in my ears. I admire her guts, her heart, and her effervescent laughter that emanates from her being when she’s moved with catchy phrases.
She is always with me. She is always a part of me, as I am soulfully connected to her.
I think back to when she sent me some Eleanor Roosevelt inspired sentences that adorned my fridge for years, and I can’t help but feel that in her own way, it was Mom (not Eleanor) who was always inspiring me as I grew up.
Thank you, La Condesa. I love you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Valics Lehel at Pixoto