Dear Mom


This is a sketchy photo of my mom.  She’s spending Mother’s Day in France this year and I could not be happier for her.  My adventurous, amazing Mom deserves this fun trip with her girlfriends and I know she is soaking it all in.  But, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, and since she’s far away, I knew the best way to reach her would be Facebook this year.  This letter is a Mother’s Day gift from me to you, Mom.  I love you.

Dear Mom,

The other “kids” are still jealous I have the youngest, coolest mom.  It’s true.  You always were.  I mean, aside from that time you FORGOT you were the mom and you screamed wanting ME to kill the mouse in our kitchen (“YOU DO IT! YOU’RE THE MOM!  I’M ONLY 12!”), it always worked out pretty well for me.  I could use all kinds of adjectives like “hilarious”, “kind”, “creative”, “selfless”….and those are all accurate and true but they just don’t do you justice.  The thing about you that is truly mind-blowing to me as I gaze back over the decades is this one simple thing.  You ALWAYS show up.  ALWAYS.  You might be exhausted, your schedule might be frenetic….it has never mattered.  There you were and are.  Birthdays.  Softball games.  Tennis matches.  Choir performances.  You were at every May Crowning—you weren’t even Catholic then and didn’t understand—but we were there so there you were.  This selflessness only increased once Robin and I headed off to college and then down the aisle.  You organized my closet when I was too pregnant to breathe and stayed overnight in the hospital with my 4 year old when I had food poisoning and couldn’t bear to have him alone for a moment.  You’ve watched my kids for days on end so I could try and remember what it was I liked about that guy I married after 4 months of tax season…………..too many times to count.  The thing is, I don’t believe they miss me at all because the entire time you just spoil my goofballs until they’re sufficiently ruined.  I have three boys and you’ve never missed a single birthday. How’s that even possible?

I’m gonna make a confession, Mom.  There have been moments in my life where I have thought to myself, “God doesn’t love me.  Why would He?”  We all get blue and feel crummy about ourselves.  I have special gifts in this area.  Here’s the thing.  I have never doubted for a moment in my life that I am loved by my mom.  Even when I was acting like a moody, pain in the ass, immature teenager (sorry about that)…I knew you loved me anyway.  ALWAYS.  So, follow this logic if you would.  When I was struggling and truly blue some thoughts rumbled.  If I know for SURE that my mom loves me even when I am being an idiot, then one starts to suspect that perhaps the God of the universe is maybe even a touch more adept at loving.

Years pass, and this magnificent example of love in my life? I am given the chance to share it with my own three smelly, sarcastic, terrific ying-yangs.  Motherhood has a funny way of helping even total knuckleheads like yours truly to understand a bit more about love.  Then, circumstances of life rattle me, and that same nagging, negative, interior voice crops up.  The thing is, now I can slay that dragon from the south in short order.

Why?  First, I know that I have parents who love me NO MATTER WHAT.  Plus, I am certain that there is NOTHING my sons could do that could cause me to quit loving them.  Yes, they might disappoint me.  They could break my heart.  Even if one of my sons did something unthinkable, though, I know that I would still love them like you love me.

So there’s this.  On my bad days, those days when I feel God must not love me because of whatever stupid reason I concoct interiorly with my (high quality) creative gifts….I stop myself.  My math won’t add.  God doesn’t love me.  BUT, I love my boys forever and always?  And I am SURE my mom loves her girls to the moon and back?  So.  You and I love better than God?  Hmmm. I mean we’re good.  B-U-T….

You didn’t know you taught me that I am a cherished daughter of God, did you?  Well, you did. That’s pretty much the best gift ever.

Even I am not so lacking in humility that I believe you and I love our children better than God loves His.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I miss you… and I love you more than you will ever know.


1 thought on “Dear Mom

  1. Well, Shell, you’ve gone and done it now. It’s exactly 5:00 AM in Ville Franche Sur Mer and I am overflowing with tears of happiness, love and thankfulness. How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter? Thank you for this extremely beautiful gift. Happy Mother’s Day to you. Not only are you a terrific mom to three extraordinary young men, but you’ve gathered in dozens more boys and girls to mother over the last 18 years. I think they would all say hanging out at your house is the best! What a blessing you are to so many and especially to me!

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