My mama hates attention. I’d say it’s one of her defining characteristics. Several times a year, I feel the need to post an ode to her on Facebook. She always says, “I wish you wouldn’t.” These days I mostly try and do what she suggests. But not bragging on her on Mother’s Day? That’s one order I can’t follow.
Folks who’ve only known us in the last few years assume we’ve always been best friends. Yeah. That couldn’t be further from the truth. For the first twenty years of my life, my mama and I did not get along. It was real bad. I was ornery and argumentative.We couldn’t be in a room together for long before the bickering started. Whatever advice she’d give me, I’d do the opposite. Luckily, one day I woke up, grew up, and realized the error of my ways.
For the past five years, my mama has been my best friend and partner in crime. The Big Edie to my Little Edie (for those who have ever seen Grey Gardens). We talk at least once a day. She’s the first person I turn to when I’m having a problem at work, when I’m feeling despondent about dating, when I have good news to share, or an exciting story to tell.
In all the awfulness of the last six months, one of the best parts has been realizing anew what a warrior my mama is. We marched together in Washington, and then I watched as she headed back to Atlanta and continued to fight – calling elected officials and writing letters, protesting the immigration ban and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act that saved her life. There’s no doubt in my mind who I have to thank for my fighting spirit.
For as long as I can remember, she’s drilled one motto into my head, “We Can Do It!”, Rosie the Riveter’s catch phrase. Most days I believe this. And the days when I don’t? She’s there for those, too.
We don’t look alike. We’re different in so many ways. But every day she rubs off on me a little more, every day she teaches me something new. There’s no one I’d rather grow up to be.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there. How are you celebrating yours today?