I spent a lot of time with my Mom growing up. Ok, most of us did. But I like to think our relationship (that's mine and my mother's, not mine and yours... although you and I may have something special) is special.
We moved a lot and my Dad traveled a lot. That made my Mother one of my best friends growing up. We'd watch Abbot & Costello horror movies together and old Godzilla crap. She was my biggest fan and my best supporter.
I remember having a paper route and her sitting with me for hours rolling newspapers and rubber-banding them. Then driving my route with me.
My Mom and I are a lot alike. Too much sometimes. It's lead to many frustrating moments for my Father when Mom and I would just be talking and, both to stubborn to give in, everything would come across as an argument to him. We both laugh, then continue.
Once, as she was picking me up from school in second grade, a bully from the high-school down the street yelled something about me being fat. My mother turned, without hesitation and said, "He can go on a diet but you'll always be an idiot." Probably not her best moment, but one I'm proud of her for.
I get my stubbornness from her. My determination. My need to make sure other's needs are taken care of. I also get that part of me that sometimes says, "screw it," from her.
Mom has always been there for me. She's never walked away. Even at times when I was in the middle of swamps and completely unbearable to be around, my Mother never left. The fact that she's so stubborn is part of the reason that I'm alive today.
All that is going to make this new journey even harder on her. She can't walk away. And, this time, she can't pick me up either. She can only watch. She'll be there for hugs. She'll be there to cry with and on. But I'm no longer her little boy and this is one bully she can't fight for me.
What she probably doesn't realize is how precious those hugs are now and how amazingly sweet and comforting all those memories are of my life growing up with my Mom. I hope she does. I hope she knows that I still need her and always will.
Thank you Mom. (Does this mean I get to skip the card on Mother's day?)