Perspective

Today I had one of those “A-ha” moments.  I was painting Miss E’s room and I was exhausted.  I started the project yesterday and finished today.  (Hooray!) Anyhow, I thought of all the times in my life my mom has worked beyond what she should have been physically capable of.  Put another way, I thought of how easy it would have been for her to throw in the towel and simply not do what needed to be done, but she didn’t.

Her resolve and her sense of humor have helped give a framework to my life.

This is not to say that we always got along.  We didn’t.  As is typical in many families we fought.  We distanced ourselves from each other.  The details would fill a book or two.

As time has gone on I have come to appreciate my parents so much more than I would have thought possible.

I realized that as we let go of the pain of the past we remember the joy of the past.  The things we remember that were so “bad” give way to memories of things that were good.

My mom provided for our family when dad couldn’t work.  She has always been a hard-working woman.

Mom stayed in a marriage that in today’s society she would have been encouraged to leave.  I don’t know if that was right or wrong, but it shows her tenacity.

My mom made me a dress for a Homecoming Dance that I didn’t even have a date to.  So when the last minute invitation was extended I had something to wear.  And not just something, but a beautiful dress.  Now how did she know to do that?

My mom was there to help me when my first little baby was born.  Those first few days of wondering if I could really take care of another human being, were eased by a mom who was there to help.  She showed me how to bathe him, calm him, swaddle him.  I had helped take care of younger siblings but it is different when it is your own little boy.

She showed up to support me when my marriage came to an end.  She cleaned up my garage when I moved.

I spent 10 days with my mom earlier this summer.  She and my step-dad had built their own little deck behind their house.  My mom has a terrible back, but she was out there getting it done.  She had to have been in pain.  She just plugs along determined as ever.

Maybe it is age, or maybe some wisdom creeping in.

You know how in art class we were taught perspective?  We would draw the horizon and pick a point on the horizon that the drawing went toward.  The buildings in the foreground were big and got smaller the closer towards the vanishing point.  (Imagine how the world would look if that weren’t true!)  Maybe memories are the same.  We have to get a distance away in order to put things in perspective.

I called my mom to tell her that I love her, that I appreciate her.  I made her cry.  It was all I could do to keep from crying too.

Sometimes I think that moms get the blame for so much of the world’s ills, that we forget that they are people too.  Turns out, my mom is a pretty great person.

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