You are the strongest person that I know and every single day I strive to be more like you.
I watched you as a little girl trying your best to make your essential oil business a reality, but never did because you were busy caring for us. I watched you make work fun – vacuuming, dusting, canning, and even cleaning the toilets! I watched you create your own homeschool program and work with us at our own speeds (and try to keep up with me!). I watched you many times breathe through that intense anger when I did exactly what you said to do – only not what you meant (and yes, I knew what you meant – and we both knew that I knew it!).
I watched you as a preteen become a nurse to my father who refused to listen to the doctors. I watched you reassure your daughters that if he died, that we would be alright – even if you maybe didn’t know it. I watched you shield us from his anger that seemed to get worse by the day. Before the rifle disappeared from the bedroom, I still remember you getting in between the end of the gun and I when I had a nightmare and scared my Dad half awake.
I watched as a teenager as your world fell apart when your mother unexpectedly died. I watched as you asked for emotional support and was denied it from the man who was supposed to love and cherish you. I watched as you crumbled inside, battling depression and anxiety, and yet still made sure that your kids were doing their school work, chores, and being cared for.
I watched as I started really struggling with mental health – and how you fought the patriarchal system we lived in to get me the help I needed. I watched your heart break when I told you that I wanted to kill myself as a teenager. I wish I could take that back. I so wish that I never felt that. I watched you rub your arm where my thrashing from intense nightmares had caused me to hit you. I don’t know if I ever told you, but I am sorry – I never tried to hurt you.
I watched you protect my sibling when I broke free of the patriarchal system and watched your heart crack when I had to move 2000 miles away from you. I could feel the hurt when I didn’t have time to call because when I wasn’t doing college or working, I was out with my boyfriend. I watched you intercede with my father and me, trying to get our relationship alright again. I watched you threaten my boyfriend if he ever hurt me.
I watched as your marriage finally crumbled when your best friend died and you realized that my father no longer held your heart. I watched as you realized that you no longer had to worry about him trying to get custody because we were adults and that you were free to make your own choice. I watched as you climbed from the wreckage and fell in love again with an awesome man who knows exactly how lucky he is to have you!
I watched as you put aside time you would want for yourself to make sure that I was ok and able to adult – even if it is taking me far longer to learn than it should! I watched as you became ok with the idea of my sibling being transgender and reassessing your own beliefs. I watch as you became more open minded each day about mental health, different beliefs, and even cooking stuff that repulses you!
I watch you with your grandkids and instantly think of your mother who was everyone’s favorite grandmother growing up. I hope you know that I so want to be as strong as you, but still be a delicate and gentle woman with grace in her demeanor.
I love you so much Mommy! I hope that one day, I can be everyone’s favorite grandmother too.
About the author
I am a mother of 2 precious angels who drive me slightly more crazy
than I already am with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
When asked "are you crazy?!" my favorite come back is:
"yes! And I have the papers to prove it! How about you?" LOL