“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am
I owe to my mother” -George Washington
Growing up, people used to always tell me that I looked like my mother. At the time, I didn’t see that as a compliment; my mother was forever tired from running around with my brother and I so I refused to see what they saw. She was always an attractive woman, looking younger than her years, but it wasn’t physical beauty that most people were speaking of. Right around my 19th birthday, she had to have a very serious surgery which thankfully she made it through. When she was laying in her hospital bed struggling to get her mental and physical faculties back together, I finally saw it. While I’d seen her at vulnerable points before then, I had never seen her at such a crossroads of vulnerability and strength. I was forced to pause and take a good look at the woman who was responsible for me. In her eyes I saw love and peace, in her skin I saw grace, and in her hands I saw the feminine dogged determination and strength of a nurse. For the first time, I really saw my mother. And I cried. I crumbled, humbled by her strength and awestruck by the fact that she saw what she was going through as a reason to rejoice. At the sight of my tears, she reached to her bedside, picked up a tissue, and wiped my eyes like she had so many times before that. I’d cried in anger because of her punishing me for doing wrong, I’d cried because of puppy love, and I’d cried over the sista girl drama of the day. That one action of her mothering through her pain let me know that I was blessed. She wasn’t always what I wanted, but she was everything I needed.
I got it. That day she went from only being my mother to being my mother and my best friend. I’m so blessed to have her in my life to this day. I find myself sharing my joys, my anger, my sorrow, and even my everyday junk with her and that’s okay. I’m a full grown adult who still calls home just to talk to mommy. 3 AM, noon, no matter. Frazzled nerves? Pissed at the boss? It’s okay. Sometimes only a chat with mommy can fix it. I saw that day in the hospital a woman with faults, with weaknesses, with strength and beauty. I got it.
One of the first things people say when they see my mom and I together is that we look so much alike. “You look just like your mom” is no longer received begrudgingly on my part, but rather with pride. It is my hope to one day truly look like her from the inside out.
Pardon the stream of consciousness rambling of this post; there just aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to describe my feelings about her. She’s my rock, my Mama G. And I’m a damn lucky daughter. I know one day she won’t be here anymore, but my life will have been better for her presence.
I love you, mama. Happy Mother’s Day.
-Your baby girl