Dear Mothers

Dear Mothers

Dear Mother,

You were utterly unknown to me. I imagined your face, your hair, your touch, but you were merely wisps of smoke and I played a child’s guessing game. You gave me life when you didn’t have to; carried me, nurtured me, nourished me inside. Then you let me go. Without so much as a touch or kiss good-bye.

*

Dearest Mother,

You longed for me. I was a dream in your heart that couldn’t come true. Yet you found a way. You believed that if you wanted something truly enough, purely enough, it would come to you. You traveled far for me at a moments notice. You brought me in to your life and gave me a home. We shared the same birthday and you said I was the greatest gift you ever received. You cared for me, nurtured me, helped me to grow. You were there for my first step, my first day of school, my first period. When I was sick, you sang to me – off key. You taught me to ride a bike. You taught me to celebrate my successes and when I had failures, you commiserated with me, encouraging me to try again. When my heart was broken, you held me and cried with me. But you never promised me it wouldn’t break again. We were a real family, as real as any other. You told me where I came from while still making me feel loved. And when Daddy died you made sure that I still felt safe and adored. When I needed him, as a willful adolescent, you did all you could to take his place. I gave you more kinds of grief than I could count but you loved me anyway. When I became engaged you rejoiced for me. You welcomed my fiancé into our family without hesitation and began planning a beautiful wedding. My heart broke in a million irreparable pieces when you died, before you could walk down the aisle with me. I realized that you’re never too old to need your mother.

*

Dear Dear Mother,

You embraced me when I married your only son. You took me in as your own daughter, even though you had two others. You have always been there for me and when I became a mother, you shared your wisdom as my own mother would have, but couldn’t. You gave me a family when mine was gone and made me feel a part of something bigger than myself. And you got to be something my mother never did, a grandmother.

*

Now I’m a mother. I endeavor to live up to the examples set by my selfless, loving mothers and hope that the young women I am raising will become mothers like the ones that came before them.

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