A Belated Mother’s Day Post

I’m 23 years old and have lived as an only child with just my mom for the majority of my life. There are a few years in between where we shared a house with my grandparents, but it’s been mostly her and I. Being an only child of an only child, people often referred to us more as sisters than mother and daughter. I would always scoff at the notion. Maybe it was because I always looked older than I really was and mom always looked much younger. She really did, it was quite amazing, frankly. In retrospect, I think the thing that made me look so much older when I was a kid was the fact that I was always so much heavier than the other kids. I was also taller, though I stopped growing in sixth grade when I hit 5’6”. But this post isn’t about me.

I didn’t give my mom credit often enough when I was growing up. She worked (sometimes two jobs) to be able to provide things for me. She went back to school and finished her degree amid health problems (her own and those of family members.) She became caretaker for my two aunts, my grandfather’s older sisters, who had no one else. She did all of things and never forgot about me. Though I didn’t want many toys or play things as a child, she always made sure that I had enough. She stayed up all night beating Super Mario World with me during the Blizzard of ’93. She encouraged all of my geeky interests and never criticized my idiosyncrasies. And most of all:

She’s always had my back.

In 2005, I made the decision to come to Lexington for school. She knew I’d get it, just as she knew that I’d be able to do anything that I set my mind to. She constantly supported me and made me go back even though I contemplated not returning after my first year. She’d had surgery and had to go on dialysis due to a sudden, freak kidney problem in the summer of 2006. I have tried to stand by her through all of her health problems, even sleeping in the waiting room of the intensive care unit at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital because my grandma wouldn’t leave. Mom spent two weeks in a coma over Christmas and New Year’s 2008-09 following another surgery. I couldn’t leave, just as she has never left me.

Six years after I made the decision to come to Lexington, I haven’t completed my degree, but her faith in my hasn’t wavered. (I haven’t been in school that entire time, by the way.) I feel like a failure because of just how much faith she’s had in me. My output of success vs her faith hasn’t been that high. I know that everything happens for a reason and that if things are meant to be, they’ll be. But if there is one thing I can give her right now, it’s my weight loss. It’s been a long time coming and she said I’ve already made her proud of me. (Though I have a long way to go.)

This year, I couldn’t see her for mother’s day. Grandma was working (she’s been a Walmart people greeter for over 20 years) and mom didn’t feel like driving to Morehead where we have our weekend lunch dates. So, I hopped on my computer and recorded a song for her a capella. This song means a lot to us. We heard it when we were out for a Sunday drive on Mother’s Day probably 7 or 8 years ago. We listened to the song and we cried, just as I’m crying right now writing this post and still not expressing all of the love that I have for my mom, and all of the appreciation that I’ve had for all of her sacrifices over my last 23 years.

I love you, mama. I can’t tell you how much you meant to me in only one day.

The Wilkinsons – 26 Cents
She sat alone on a bus out of Beaumont
The courage of just 18 years
A penny and quarter were taped to a letter
And momma’s goodbye in her ears

She watched as her high school faded behind her
And the house with the white picket fence
Then she read the note that her momma had wrote
Wrapped up with 26 cents

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

A penny and a quarter buys a whole lot of nothing
Taped to an old wrinkled note
And when she didn’t have much she had all momma’s love
Inside that old envelope

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

Oh its been years since momma’s been gone
But when she holds the coins she feels her love just as strong

When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I’ll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There’s nothing I’ve got that I wouldn’t give
And money is never enough
Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

Here’s a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma’s love

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