My Mother

This is one of my most favorite pictures of my mother and I. May 24th, 1987 - Graduation Day from West Point. The first time I put on my Army Greens. My first salute. The day I realized that my mother and I were more than mother-daughter: we could finally be friends.

My mother was never big on that whole "be a friend to your daughter" thing. When I was growing up we didn't hang at the mall together, I didn't call her by her first name (it was Mom or Ma'am), I didn't sass her or talk back (especially if I wanted my permanent teeth to remain permanent) - my mother was god. I respected her. I feared her. I did as she expected me to do.

I tried my mother on many occasions - especially in high school. I may have been top of the class but I ran the street with the best of them...yet, my mother JUST KNEW how to handle me. She was the master of psychological warfare. No yelling, no hitting. NOPE. I would come in 3 hours past the time she set...she would be sitting in the dark at the top of the stairs, just waiting. I'd get to the top of the stairs - she would be sitting there. She would say NOTHING. Mom would just stand up, go into her room and shut the door. The next day, week, sometimes a month (depending on how long I could hold out) she would not speak to me, let alone look in my general direction. I used to yell at her, "Would you just beat me, please!?" Nerp. Silence. Disappointment. Shame.

I would snap to and behave just so she would speak to me again.

I loved my mother and I wanted her approval. I wanted her to be proud...and I know she was.

My mother is a woman of few words. She leads by example and just does.

My mother STANDS. Stands in the door. Stands strong. Against the wind. Against Adversity. She STANDS.

I believe I get my strength from her. My fierce Independence. My sometime twisted sense of humor. My ability to STAND myself when all seems to be lost...I get from her.

That day at graduation, 10 days before I was to be married - we became friends. Nothing formal. Nothing spoken. It just was. I was an adult. She felt she had did all she could. She had done well and now...let the party begin.

I am blessed that my mother is still around. She lives under the same "roof" with us. (We live in the old & busted section of our home - she lives in the new hotness section). I see my mother everyday. We travel, decorate, plant, plan & plot together. At my lowest moments, I am blessed to have her here - even if it was just to have her sit with me while I cried. More importantly, she is here to revel with me in our success.

She doesn't say much - doesn't interfere or give her opinion unless I ask for it - but she is always here for me...for us.

I love my momz.

I know sometimes she feels that she missed out on some things and life has dealt her some hard blows. Yet she STANDS. But as God is my witness, I have tried my darnedest to create some experiences and moments that make great memories...and we still have more to come. I promise!

I love that picture of us...some 23 years ago. We have the same eyes. The EXACT same smile. I am my mother's daughter. I believe I am what my mother wanted me to become. The daughter she worked so hard to raise.

I love my momz and I hope she knows and feels it.

Happy Mother's Day, Sandra. May All Your Days Be Blessed.