Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Adventure

Tomorrow is Mothers' Day and while I am sad that my mother is not here to celebrate this day with us I look to celebrate this day as a mother. Part of my celebration is to know my daughter is with her husband, with him in person and not on Facebook or Skype from where he sits on the other side of the world, the side of the world that holds all our soldiers. They are together for a very short two weeks and as her mother this brings me joy. Joy for her and for him as they spend this time together.

As her mother I want her to be happy and being with this wonderful man is what makes that happen. For her and for him. They are on an adventure, my daughter and son-in-law, an adventure that attempts to put time together in the short time they have. Time for them to forget there is a war on, a war he must return to, a war that keeps them apart.

But for this short time they are not apart, and as her mother I am glad for that. They are together and on an adventure, an adventure of freedom. Freedom to go where they want, when they want and that is what they've done. From a BBQ restaurant in Syracuse, New York, to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to Old Faithful in Yellowstone and back again, they are in all of these places together and I can't think of a better gift I could have received from them on this Mothers' Day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Shared Life

It has been a year now, a full year since we lost Mom. It's hard for me to believe that the days have passed, events have come and gone and we survived. What is not hard for me to believe is that we have not only survived, we have thrived. Not because she's gone, but because she was here in the first place.

I told a good friend last week that I know people thought of my mother as weak. They couldn't have been more wrong. She may have been diminutive in size, but she more than made up for that in strength of spirit. I see that in our family every day, her strength runs through us.

It lives in our love for each other (and we do love each other...imagine that in a family these days!) and the way we live our lives. We live a shared life. My family doesn't simply keep in touch with each other, we live fully immersed in the daily activities of all of us. It may be too much for some, but it works for us.

We know work schedules and the stress that each job holds for whoever holds it. We know the wishes, goals and dreams of each member (yes....I truly do have only 369 weeks until retirement!) and we share it all.

My daughter didn't wait alone for her husband to come home on leave last week, we all waited with her. My nephew isn't waiting alone for tenure, we're waiting with him. My sister isn't praying alone for all of us, we're praying with her. It's just who we are and that is what makes us strong. Mom taught us that.

So it's been a full year. A year full of grief and events and sadness and joy. A year when we've missed Mom with tears and a year when we've missed her with laughter. But at the end of this year, at the end of the passage of this time without her, we've still got her with us.