Posted on 09 May 2010

I have spent the morning searching through pictures to send to my mother. As a little girl, I thought her the most beautiful woman in the world. When I was a teenager, I resented the time she gave to politics mostly because my older sister and I had to babysit our younger siblings. And yet, I remember her once standing at a podium and giving a speech. I was stunned by her intelligence and courage. After I left home and had children of my own, I was in awe of her. How could a woman bring up six children? I found raising three overwhelming.

Now that my mother is in her early eighties, I find her tender and loving. She contacts me almost every day on Skype to help her sort out problems with the Apple computer my father gave her for Christmas. She often worries that she’s bothering me. I tell her “no” that I am happy to help her and if I’m too busy, I’ll let her know. Sometimes, I bring the computer into the kitchen when I’m cooking and show her what I’m doing. She loves this. My mother like my daughter adores recipes and food. (I avoid the kitchen whenever I can.)

I am fortunate I know to be in my sixties and still have my mother. I worry about the day she will leave me. There will be one person less in this world who loves me for who I am. She doesn’t agree with a lot I say and do and yet she never stays angry with me for long. She says that I’m the odd one, the strangest of all her daughters. I don’t like fancy houses. I never ask for recipes. (When asked once which daughter she liked best, my mother paused and said, “the fourth has the best house.”) And yet, this is the woman who stood at a podium and in a loud voice told a crowd that so-and-so said that she never says anything nice about him. “When I find something nice to say, I’ll say it.”

I can’t help loving her.

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