|Mom & Me Mother's Day 2013|
I used to have this reoccurring nightmare when I was a little girl; A green-faced witch, much like the one in the Wizard of Oz, would snatch me out of my bed and carry me away from my family. Over and over again this cackling voice would recite the same phrase; “Witches are taking you away, witches are taking you away...”
It would scare me so badly that I’d wake up and creep into my mom and dad’s room. It was the only place I knew I’d be safe from the predator. I’d snuggle in with my mom, and practically dare the witches to try and snatch me away from her side.
Back then my mom was like my armor, she protected me from all the evils that I knew, and could make everything better.
As I grew, my mom’s ability to make everything better started to diminish. Not because of her, but because as I grew, my world got bigger, and she was no longer up against scary figments of my imagination. No, she was up against the very real experiences, emotions, and people that were expanding my world.
My adventurous childhood turned into my tumultuous adolescence. The older I got, the less I felt I needed my mother. Yet, she still hung on (sometimes to my dismay) and continued to protect me, even when I didn’t want her to.
But like I said, she couldn’t protect me from everything, no matter how badly she wanted to or how hard she tried. Time and time again, like all of us in life, experiences, emotions and people would hurt me; some leaving deep battle wounds that my mother would have to tend to.
If she couldn’t protect me, she certainly made up for it in helping me mend my wounds and move on.
To this day my mom has a mantra that she lives by; “Forward Focus,” or “F Squared” as she sometimes calls it. She’s a firm believer in moving forward in life, and never stopping, no matter what obstacles stand in your way.
She is strong, determined, and resilient. She is the type of woman who literally makes lemonade out of the lemons that life dishes out. A perfect example of this is when she was diagnosed with MS a few years ago. Rather than get lost in this disease that has no cure, she took her new reality in stride and used it as motivation to start running. Her logic, that she may one day lose the function of her legs, was enough to make her do something she’d never done before, but had always wanted to do.
She started running and eventually signed up for a 10k race, which she completed like a champ.
I’m lucky to be my mother’s daughter. While I learned a long time ago that she can’t protect me from the evils of life, she can certainly help me see these people, experiences and emotions for what they are; character builders and chances for new opportunities that we never knew we wanted, or that we never thought we could accomplish until we were forced to.
My mom stabilizes me and is constantly reminding me that we are not defined by the things that happen to us, rather these are just defining moments that we accept and move forward from.
In a sense I guess my mom is still protecting me, just in a different way.