Sunday, May 6, 2012
Mother's Day, The Perfect Gift
In the not too distant past at this time of the year, I was frantically in search of Mother's Day, The Perfect Gift. That all changed in January of 2010. After a long illness my Mom died and Mother's Day as it always was left with her. My Mother was my only parent. The concept of her not being in my life at any point was never real to me though from a logical perspective, it should have been. Love is not logical. It cannot be defined with words, though maybe by works. I am not sure of that yet. It just is & I believe it lives forever.
I have had many blessings in my life. Like most of us as we live our daily lives many of those go unnoticed, under appreciated and are largely ignored as just part of our belief that these blessings are just "our lives."
My Mom was not what I would call a warm fuzzy. She could be brutal in her evaluations of you, your life, your decisions, and coupled with this was the very unfortunate fact that she was often spot on in her analysis of the situation- All the better to eat you with.
That said, though no one wants to admit it in these very politically correct times, when calling a spade a spade is often frowned upon in fear of damaging the party receiving these tidings- A bit of truth can prove transformative.
Certainly, to continue to tell someone you are supposed to love and whose welfare you are in charge of that they are making stellar, well thought out decisions regarding everything in their lives when there is palpable evidence to the contrary is really not all that loving. It sets up an expectation that moving forward in your life your best will never be demanded, that every person you encounter will say everything they wish to communicate to you in just the right manner lest your tender feeling be hurt and that just you-exactly as you are...is enough.
God loves us unconditionally but I think most of us have been alive long enough to realize that as an emotion, love is very conditional. It may be based on our looks & how we dress, it may leave if age anything else alters those attributes, it may be based on the good behavior others expect from us and may be lost if we no longer feel capable of or become disinterested in supplying that behavior, friendships of a lifetime can, under the right circumstances, evaporate in seconds. Till death do we part can become a thing of the past if a life altering illness crops up or expectations of what "happily ever after" really means changes.
Life is scary. It demands our best. Phoning it in was never condoned by my Mom. She demanded your very best at all times. Nothing else would do. If your job or yourself was not up to par, she had no problems telling you that and expected immediate efforts to improve. I was intimidated by those demands feeling that if I failed to live up to them, the love I counted on and needed could be withdrawn.
Who knew that what she modeled is simply what the deal is? That isn't pretty - but it is real.
I'm not sure if I ever gave her the perfect gift It is what all mothers want for their children and work toward as they raise them enjoying more or less success-their good lives, well lived, using every single attribute they have to create their very best life. I'm still a work in progress Mom, I hope you'll like the final edition as I would like to honor the investment, hard work, sacrifice and reality you brought to the job.
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers