I wrote this back on September 25, 2003 and posted it on my old personal blog that had about five entries, in early October 2003 (I created my personal blog on the same day I created the political blog that would eventually turn into the “Sister Toldjah” blog). My personal blog fell by the wayside as I focused more on politics but I saved this post, and am reposting it here in honor of Mother’s Day.
September 25, 2003
Do you ever sit back and just marvel at the strength of mothers? If so, probably the first one you marvel at is your own. Such is the case with me. The past few weeks, my mother has been hit with some things that would send some ppl over the edge, but she has pulled through like a champ. She is so to be admired. Words almost can’t even express it, but I will try to do my best.
In the time span of three weeks, my mother turned 60, found out she had basal cell (skin) cancer, and lost her job. The timeline: she turned 60 on the 9th of Sept., found out she had basal cell on the 15th, and lost her job on the 18th. Had this been me I would have cracked. Bring on the straight jackets!
Celebrating her 60th birthday was great – we had a 60’s style themed bday party for her and she really enjoyed it. We (my sisters, their hubbies, and guests) dressed in 60’s style clothing – had a lot of fun. At the same time, it was time for reflection for the family. 60 is a milestone, of course. By far not the end of the world, but as my mother explained to me, you start thinking about things like retirement, are you going to start losing your memory, etc etc, things that come with age. The reflection on my end was the realization that, hey, my mother is SIXTY. That old fear crept up in the back of my mind about losing my mother. You can’t help but think about it. My grandmother (her mom) died at 67. I want my mother to be around for alot longer than 7 more years. My mother and I have had talks about this and I have discussed my fears with her and she has tried to drive the point home with me that she knows we (my dad and sisters) love her and if something should happen to her, she would pass on knowing that. Soothing words. She is good at calming me.
And then comes the basal cell a week later. I freaked when she told me about it but she comforted me by telling me that, of all the skin cancers, this was the “best” one to have as it was treatable and removable. Whew! I thought to myself. She made me feel at ease right away.
Anywho, a few days later, after five years as the office mgr for a highly respected dental office here in Charlotte, the two doctors she worked for unceremoniously let her go. It was a bitter pill for her to swallow – being let go was quite a shock but what hurt her more were the ppl who she knew backstabbed her that she believed were friends. My mother is a very trusting person – she’s not naive, but like most of us, she wants to believe the best in ppl. She called me while I was at work last Thursday afternoon to tell me what happened. My mouth dropped open and steam started coming from my ears. I couldn’t believe what had been said to her. My mother is a true jewel in the world and it made me sick to think of her sitting there having to listen to that crap. I know it’s a part of life to be let go from your job, but still. I was outraged. The first day was the hardest – she would tear up every now and again but no big cries – just a few tears, which is natural. But I know my mother and just looking at her I could see she was hurting more than she let on. She was putting up a brave front in front of us. Me, my dad and my sisters all did our parts to help keep her optimistic about her options for the future. She reassured us that this happening was actually a blessing in disguise and told us not to worry. She had been unhappy there for many months. At 60, though, she feels like ppl won’t want to hire her – but she’s not letting that get her down. She’s been active all week faxing resumes and visiting various dental offices. Even had an interview on Tuesday.
Today, I took the day off to take her to the dermatologist for the surgery to remove the basal cell cancer. It didn’t take but about two hours and she was all done. She looked so pitiful with that bandage on her face but she was smiling when she came out. She was glad to have got it taken care of quickly (obviously, I was too). Took her home and she took a nap this afternoon and she’s been doing very well. Just very tired from the what she’s been through the last couple of weeks.
With all that said, it should be easy to understand that I feel as though I am not nearly as strong as my mother. In fact, I’m nowhere even close. I have not faced all the challenges she has over the course of her lifetime, and never have faced so many difficult challenges all happening within a few weeks time of each other. In all of the above examples, it is SHE who calmed and comforted me that all would be ok. My mother is a boulder. Me? I’m a pebble. I stand next to her, and I feel like the wimp on the beach standing next to Tony Atlas. With one exception, of course. Atlas gets and eats up all the accolades and attention. My mother shrugs that off and points to her (her words) “beautiful girls” (her daughters). Amazing eh? Well that’s a mother for you. One day, I hope to be one. But not just any one. I want to be like my mom. I remember the days when I was young and stupid when I’d get mad at my mom because she wouldn’t let me do something I wanted to. I’d say to myself “I’m never gonna be like my mom! I’m gonna raise my kids different!” But that was the immaturity talking. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you grow up and realize that, hey, mom WAS right about this stuff! When you’re young, you don’t want to acknowledge that your parents are right about anything.
So, what do I want to be when I grow up?
I wanna be just like mom.
If you have a Mother’s Day note you’d like to post, please feel free to do so in the comments section.
Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful mom, and to all moms out there. God bless you all.