I read a great article on the Huffington Post the other day regarding unconditional love. The author discusses how we have unconditional love for our children but not for our parents. It really made me think about my parents and in particular my mom. We are so much alike that it has been a love/hate relationship for sure. Mostly on my part, but I am sure there were days when she did not like me at all when I was younger. I was a button pusher to say the least. I was trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. I would say we did not get along from the time I was 12, until I was 23.
I never recognized my mom as a person. She was just my mom, who did and said things that made me mad or embarrassed (because I was too cool). Today I know this; my moms is a smart, hardworking, and talented woman who deserves my unconditional love.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of attending my mom's retirement party. It truly was an eye opener. There were so many people there that were praising my mom and all her hard work. My mom was a hand therapist at a major hospital in the area. In attendance at her party were several well known surgeons who thought my mom was the cats meow. They did not know what they were going to do without her; surgeons (you know the REALLY smart people). It dawned on me there, I do not and did not give my mom credit where she deserved it. She worked hard all her life to get where she at in her life. She has a great marriage to a wonderful and loving man; my dad. She had two daughters and has 4 grandsons.
I look back at pictures of my mom and think to myself how cool it would have been to known her as a person. She has this great photo of herself in San Francisco, circa 1960's. She looks so cool. She owned all the Beatles albums and we listened to them non stop growing up. I had no idea that this was cool. She was in the Army and really wore combat boots! That deserves some respect. She traveled to Europe after high school. She did cool stuff. Cool stuff!
Cool stuff is not why my mom deserves my unconditional love. She deserves it because she gives it. She loved me when I was the biggest pain in the ass and that is putting it lightly. She loved me through the Robert Smith 1980's hair stage, and the purple hair, nose piercing, and Doc Martin boot wearing days. She loved me when I was sick. She loved me when my heart was broken from some silly boy, through tough times when grandparents died, and through stupid high school girl stuff. Most importantly she loves me because I am her daughter.
Now every time I end a phone call with an "I love you" and mean it.