Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day. Yes, I totally celebrated. I don’t care if this one’s not born yet; it’s very much a part of my life, I take care of it, guard it, talk to it, and love it. I’m a Mom even if I can’t hold it yet. Brian treated me like a princess (which, of COURSE, is not new 😉 ); he made me breakfast in bed, cleaned up the kitchen, and even made me lunch. He finished installing my screens (which was a big deal) and just all in all gave me a wonderful, relaxing day.

Yesterday got me thinking about my own mom, though. I haven’t seen her now in over a year. Granted, this is not the first time I’ve gone more than a year without seeing my mother. But still. It doesn’t make it any easier.

Growing up, we were not close. I was not the sweetest adolescent around and we clashed… big time. She was my piano teacher and it seemed as soon as I turned 13, we couldn’t be in the same room for the long half hour it took for a lesson. I, of course, knew it all and my mother, regardless of her professional training and experience, knew nothing. She also knew nothing about boys, dating, school, or relationships. Amazing how over the years she has gained knowledge.

Long about early college, we started hitting it off again. I think it was the move to Montreal that did it. Looking back, I can see how my mom had a hard time with culture, leaving friends, and starting a tough work, even if she wouldn’t talk about it. Since my sister and brother were gone and I was around frequently, we became each other’s sounding board. She talked me through my first serious boyfriend. She even made him his favorite dinner the night he came over, even though she knew he was not right for me and we wouldn’t last. She supported my decision to date him even though she knew I was making a wrong decision. She knew telling me would make no difference. And when it crashed and burned, she was there. No judgment. No reproof. Just a shoulder to cry on.

We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve seen each other at our best and worst. We’ve fought like there’s tomorrow and then were best of friends the next day. She walked me through the biggest life decisions – like college and marriage. She loved me enough to sit me down the morning of my wedding day and give me “an easy out” if I honestly felt I should not marry Brian. She told me if I had any doubts, she’d stand by me and would never, ever judge me. But she wanted me to bow out before the wedding, not after. Some people might think that’s weird. I look at all the failed marriages in the world – people who went through with it because they didn’t want to disappoint family and friends who came for the big event – and wonder if their mom had given them an easy out if a divorce could’ve been avoided. I didn’t need it, but I’m glad she thought enough ahead to offer that to me and I will for sure do that for my daughters when the time comes.

I’ve seen my mom struggle through impossible to understand health problems. I’ve seen her deal with the stress of marriage to a pastor while raising three children. Pastor’s wives are horribly under-appreciated. She is by far one of the most humble women I’ve ever met in my life. She’s gone from would-be professional organist to church piano player being told what to do by people who can’t read music. Humble. If you’re a musician, you can imagine what that must be like. She’s the force behind my dad, the one who keeps him on his feet. She’s… amazing.

I am not embarrassed to say that she is one of my best friends now. If I can be half the woman she is when this little one is born, I’ll feel I accomplished something. I miss her terribly. I got to live with her for a year while we raised support and I would give a million dollars to be able to do that again. It was so nice not working and having time during the day to just sit and talk for hours, about anything and everything. Now I’m lucky if I talk with her via Skype or phone once a month. There’s little that was hard to leave when the time came for us to move to Peru. My mom was one of the hardest. I envy those of you who live close enough to see and or talk to your mom on a regular basis. You have no idea what you have. Treasure it.

I wish I had a great picture of my mom and I to put on here, but unfortunately none of the good ones are recent or on my computer. That’s on my to-do list for December furlough.

So, this week after Mother’s Day, what do you appreciate about YOUR mom?