My Mother, My Friend

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I was lucky to have such a good relationship with my mom as a kid. Of course we had our disagreements but overall things were good, are still good. I never had any reservations about telling her anything. About asking her anything. She knew how to maintain a proper balance between being my mother and being my friend. She believed in my abilities and let me know when I wasn’t living up to my potential. Sometimes I agreed with her. Sometimes I wished she’d stop expecting so much of me. But I always knew she was right, that becoming a better person was an active decision. And that even if I continued to be stubborn and slough off in my school work or other areas of my life, she would still love me. I knew she would always be there for me.

I remember the night my boyfriend left. I was 18 and he was my first love, the first boy I had ever kissed. I was certain I would marry him, but first he needed to serve a 2 year mission for our church. It wasn’t a requirement, it was his own decision and one I had encouraged him in. But that didn’t make his leaving any less painful.

As we stood out on the lawn that final night in a tight embrace whispering our 10th good-bye, my mother stood inside the door waiting. A final tight squeeze as the tears filled my eyes and we separated. He had to run to his car to avoid being drawn back toward me and I had to run to the door to avoid the same. He started his cars ignition and waved at me with tears in his eyes as he drove away. I waved too and then broke into a sob as I fumbled to open the screen door. I flung it open and then jammed the weight of my body against the main door to push it open. As it swung open I saw the shape of my mom standing there, her arms pulling me to her. I was already sobbing so hard my head hurt. She guided me down the stairs, helped me crawl into her bed and tucked me in. Then she lay on the covers beside me and stroked my hair until I fell asleep. She was completely silent in word but her actions meant everything. Whether my pain was over dramatic or not, she knew how keenly I felt it and she didn’t try to stop that. She let me grieve hard while assuring me with only her presence and I’m forever thankful for that.

I love you mom. Happy Birthday.