I have vivid memories of mornings as a child. I would wake up and go downstairs into the living room just to hear my mom say good morning in the happiest voice. I looked forward to that sing-song good morning from my mom each and every morning, without fail.
When I was five years old, she went with me to the pumpkin patch on a class field trip. I remember riding on the hay ride and looking at her and smiling, just so happy that she was there.
When I was 10, she took me to the mall to get my ears pierced for my birthday. We went up and down the aisles in Claire’s trying to pick out the perfect little stud earrings.
When I was 16, I began babysitting for a family I went to church with. They lived on a side of town I was not very familiar with. The day before I was supposed to go over there for the first time, my mom rode with me to make sure I knew how to get there and would feel comfortable the next day.
Freshman year of college, my mom helped me move into the dorm. She had worked all day and then drove over an hour with her car filled up behind mine just to help me move about 50 totes up and down three flights of stairs, in the sweltering TN sun (my dad who was coaching at football practice still has not lived this down).
When I got engaged, my mom helped me plan every detail of my wedding. We picked out flowers, went dress shopping, looked at decor, and truly planned a dream wedding.
You see, that’s just who my mom is. She put her whole heart into being a mother. To this day, if I need her, she’s there. That won’t change. That’s just my mom.
When I found out I was pregnant, I could not wait to tell my mom. I imagined how she would react, and I could not wait to tell her she was going to be a Nana.
When we shared the news with my parents and my sister, the joy in my heart was unexplainable. I will never, ever forget the look on my mom’s face as she pulled the onesie out of the bag. Pure joy. Pure love.
Everything changed just a few days later. It felt like a moment when you are standing still and feel like everything is moving around you. You know that it’s happening, but you can’t quite grasp the reality of it. Like you are looking through the lens of your life in slow motion.
I was standing at my window in the living room, looking outside at the frost on the ground. It was a cold morning in the middle of February, and I could feel the chill coming from the window.
My mom had gone to a local ER, so I was waiting for an update. I answered my phone and my dad’s voice was on the other line, “The doctors believe that your mom had a heart attack.”
“Okay,” I said as my voice cracked. Okay? That is not the response you give when you are told that your mom has a heart attack. But okay was the only word I could muster without bursting into tears. I instinctively put my hand to my stomach. I was six weeks pregnant and terrified. I couldn’t become a mom without my mom here to see it.
I prayed to God. Praying for answers. Praying for recovery. Praying for what felt like a miracle. There have been times in my life when I have questioned whether God has heard or answered my prayers. I know with all my heart God answered that prayer because my mom is still here today.
If the local ER doctor hadn’t referred my mom to a different doctor at a larger facility, she would not have received the level of care she did. If she had not been at that specific hospital when it happened, she would not be here today.
While my mom will tell you she is lucky to be here, which is true, sometimes I feel like I’m the lucky one. I still have my mom.
I couldn’t have survived this first year of motherhood without her but even more so, I couldn’t survive life without her. My mom is here to watch me do motherhood and do motherhood alongside me because she’s still a mom too. I’m so glad she’s mine.
“When you are looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” —Charley Benetto