Today, my beautiful Momma turns a milestone age.
I won’t announce her year of birth or the numbers of candles on the cake. As a woman I know, that is reserved for her discretion. But, I will share that it is in fact a celebration year.
I cannot adequately express the love and admiration I have for this beautiful soul. She is the heartbeat of our family. Strong and unbreakable.
You see, roots typically lie below the surface of the earth’s soil. My mother has always been in the background. She was the stay-at-home-mom, who managed five children, each with unique personalities and passions. She had gone to college to become a nurse and put that on the back burner for her children. As a child, I never noticed occupations, but as I entered middle school and became more observant of my friends and their family dynamics, I often wondered. At times, I remember not being proud when someone would ask, “What does your mom do for a living?”
“She stays at home,” I would mumble without making eye contact. Why did I think it was so bad? In fact, it was great! She was always present. She juggled us, our schedules, our wants and needs, the home, our meals, the laundry and much more. But, just like wine gets better with age, so does knowledge and understanding. I soon absorbed the weight of her sacrifice and once I had a child, truly understood the work, my golly the work of a stay-at-home-mom. It is a thankless, demanding, 24-7, no vacation days job. One no career seeker would ever want to take on. But, it was rewarding for us kids. She was the steady one, often unnoticed and underappreciated for her contributions and their value.
And, severing roots, can damage a tree. When she was down, we all were down. You know the saying “Happy wife, happy life.” It goes for Mom too! If our Mom hurt we felt it. To this day, any pain or sadness she endures seems to magnify my own feelings. It is like we are virtually connected and what her soul feels, I too can feel.
Roots take up water, minerals and nutrients from the soil to help the tree grow. When I read this, I smile, because that is the epitome of my Mom. The most selfless human I know. Sacrificing for the sake of others. Piling on her plate and adding another line to her to-do list. Not motivated by money or things for such added responsibility but for the mere sake of giving. Soaking up every bit of herself, her energy and her love, to throw back out to us to have and experience and to rely upon. Her kindness and care for her mother, my grandmother, who has become dependent on her through the years, to willingly and excitedly taking on childcare of my daughter, so that I can work outside the home. These are just a few examples of the magnitude of her love and heart.
Then the strongest of all, roots provide an anchor to the plant. And, that is what she is. Our anchor. A constant reminder of safe, home and love. The best wide open arms you would ever need to come running, crashing into. The best contemplation of words you need to hear. To make you a better person or comfort your breaking heart. The soft shoulder to cry onto or lean upon when the world gets brutal and tough. The steadfast root system that breathes the life into our family.
She is deeply rooted to us and we to her.
Thank you, Mom for all that you have sacrificed, for the strong support you provide and for the life you have made for us. Happy Birthday!