There’s nothing quite like walking around Walmart on Mother’s Day. This year, the withered 2 for $10 flower barrels, the clearanced Easter candy, cutoffs showcasing entirely too much and the smell of suntan lotion were sad reminders of just how much I missed my Mom.
I really hate that place, but I hated it even a little more on Sunday. But – life goes on. Even if that sometimes means, without the people you love around and the people you don’t bumping into your cart. As I grazed through the aisles, I thought about my fabulous, can-do-anything-mother. I thought about how lucky I am to know her. How perfect she is because she can, quite frankly, smack reality into anyone with a devoted hand. Honestly, that kind of honesty is hard to come by.
Think about it. You may have a sprinkle of friends or family in your life that you consider to be good hosts of honesty. Being your strongest emotional sources, they sit quietly on the other line, offering an occasional “Awww” in their sweet tones and allowing you to complain about your darn good life. Your mother, on the other hand, lets you complain and then, promptly reminds you in her own indirect way that you should just do “What you can do. Someone is noticing your hard work.” Whether that someone is her, my boss or God – I’ll never know. But, she probably doesn’t realize that I am often the one leaving our conversations feeling proud of her optimism.
In light of my Walmart shopping cart eventually encumbered with carbohydrates, protein and real “Great Value” all over its insides, I thought about the fact that I’ve been away from home for ten years. TEN years. In that time, I left a kid. A crazy, overzealous, driven, ambitious dreamer. Knowing not a single soul, I went through what I remember of college in a haze of late nights. In the end, I walked away crazier and happier that I accomplished something (sort of) on my own. During the drive up to college with my parents, the only thing I could think about was getting out of their car and making new friends. The second they left, I wished they hadn’t.
And yet – here I am – ten years later in a state that is completely backwards, but has amazing weather that allows you to forget that from time to time. While I still miss home – I am so happy with my life and the fact that my husband is pursuing his dream. Without you, Mom, I probably wouldn’t have tried a lot of things I have because I’d be afraid to fail. You have taught me so many things in life, but the one that resides so clearly – particularly in Walmart – is to never be afraid. You have to at least try. I’m still figuring out exactly why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that as we get older, it’s not the judgment of others we feel we have to answer to – it’s our own. I know me and surely, I do not want to have to answer to that crazy woman. Mom, from one crazy lady to another, I love you.