Please welcome my friend, Amber Fort, back to my blog. She’s been on hiatus, but has decided to make an appearance with a post she wrote after a dream she had about our mother’s meeting in heaven and giggling and playing with our deceased pups. Love you Amber, you make my heart sing.
My fondest memory of my mother was as a high school senior: I’d been bent over impossible calculus homework for hours. She made me a tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee so I could catch a second wind. I think of mom often. I wonder how she is doing in the afterlife, whatever form that takes, and hope that she is proud of me. I think she would have enjoyed seeing me graduate from medical school. I hope that she has everything she ever wanted in heaven that wasn’t meant for her in life. When I think of “Mom,” I think of hardship, curiously intermingled with culture, music, open-minded tendencies. A desperate want for an alternate reality that could never match her unfortunate circumstances, and no realistic way to obtain it. Unbreakable, iron resolve. Which I inherited. For better or worse. She catapulted me to the life she couldn’t have.
One of my very best friends in the world recently lost her mom. Like mine, I’m fairly confident that her memories of her mom more closely resemble a “Twisted Sister” album then they do a “Run for the Roses”. It’s something we have in common. I’d wager our moms have gotten to know each other in the next life. Wherever they are, they cackle over swizzle sticks and coffee, our former canine companions by their feet sniffing for scraps, watching our defeats and minor victories. I imagine that they speak of their pride in us. Their admiration for the lives we’ve created, the children we’re raising, and the work we do. Learning from their mistakes. Mostly, I imagine them speaking of their love for us. Tapping each other on the shoulder, “Look! Look at your daughter now!”
More than anything else, I want for my own children to think of “Mom” in a very different way than I do. I want them to think of love and food and home, comfort and wisdom and kind guidance. The possibility in dreams. I want them to see the value in hard work, a stable marriage, and emotional balance. I want them to internalize that mom is demanding and mean addressing their wants, unselfish and patient in meeting their needs. I want them to think of their mother as someone willing to stand for the right rather than the popular. The thing is, though, I’m muddling through just like my own mother did, just like everyone else. Just like my dear friend.
I picture our moms in heaven willing us to be and do all that they would have wished for themselves. There’s no pamphlet, no manual, no set of policies and procedures. No flexible social construct that defines what makes a good “Mom,” what gives a child the security inherent in the word. But it seems to me, that when everything is drilled down to molecules, what’s left behind is a knowing that “Mom” means “love”. I’m not sure we lived it. But we’re trying our hardest to be it.