I took Mom to brunch and to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens today for Mothers' Day. It's easy for her to hop on a train, I pick her up at Grand Central, and away we go. Though I love my family get-togethers it's also fun to have my mom all to myself once in a while - something we had precious little of when I was younger.
All day I considered how Mom has shaped my life, how much I've learned from her, and how much comfort she's given me over the years. We drive each other crazy from time to time also, though I think that's more just the nature of mother-daughter relationships. I wouldn't swap lives with my mom - she had a tough go of it for many, many years. She came of age in a time when women were starting to be treated with equality, though she endured many unfair circumstances that had nothing to do with her ability and everything to do with her gender. I know she lives vicariously through my accomplishments and I try to live up to that honor every day.
After dropping Mom at Grand Central so she could catch her train home, I hopped onto Facebook to see a note from my friend, Heidi, that she was spending the day celebrating the great lady who now watches over her from above. I reflected back on my day with Mom, thinking about how excited she was to smell the full scent of wisteria and see the azaleas in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I'm so grateful for this time we have together - it's one of the biggest reasons I came back to NYC. After my Mom's cancer in 2006, I realized with a sad and painful awareness that she wouldn't be with me forever, that someday I'd have to celebrate Mother's Day the same way my friend, Heidi, did today.
For now though, Mom's alive and kicking (or at least she will be kicking once she gets her new knee on June 1st) and time is of the essence. As we went up the escalator from the subway, my mom gave me a hug and thanked me so much for the day.
"You spent a lot of money, today, Christa."
"That's fine, Mom. I'm happy to be able to do it. It's only money."
And I meant it - it is only money, and I can always make more of it. I won't always be able to get more time with Mom so we need to savor it while we can. Happy Mother's Day to all!