Today I saw this fish tank. It had quite a few neon fish…not as many as we had, but a lot nonetheless. I was sitting in a restaurant and the tank was right against our table. As I watched them swim around, I was catapulted back to that little apartment with Mom, Audrey and me. We didn’t have much in terms of possessions or money, but we had lots of love. Mom made our apartment sparkle and shine all the time. Mom made sure we never “felt” poor even when we were so poor.
I know as she worked 3 jobs in order to keep a roof over our head and food on our table that she got tired, felt scared, and didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Dad lived high on the hog and made her life difficult at every turn, but she kept on teaching us to love him anyway. She could have done the complete opposite. I also know that by the time he died, Mom had long since forgiven him for everything…so much so that she visited him at his home and on his deathbed. I admire Mom’s heart and the way she forgives people.
Mom had so many things against her and even her own parents didn’t help. I remember when we ran into them at the Sears store which was less than a mile from our apartment. They had no intention of coming to see us. They treated Mom differently and even back then I knew they did. I remember the shock and pain on her face when she realized that they had driven 2 1/2 hours to get to the store and were not even going to bother seeing us. As much as I loved and still love them, I lost something for them that day. Even with the way they treated Mom, when they needed her to help take care of them when they had fallen ill at the end of their life by helping her sister, Barbara, Mom quit her job and for two years devoted her time to helping them. Mom could have turned her back on them they way they did her, but she didn’t. I admire the way Mom honored her parents and loved her sister enough to help.
So with the little neon fish tonight I had a reminder of Mom’s unselfishness and undying love. I want to publicly tell you, Mom, that I admire you. You have been a FANTASTIC mother and a wonderful grandmother to Brittany and Alyssa. Yes, you made mistakes, but who hasn’t? Besides, all the good you have done far out shines any mistake you made.
We may not always show you how much we love you and for that I’m sorry. But today I want to tell you that I love you so very much and I’m so grateful for you. I am thankful for how hard you worked to support me and Audrey because you could have been a much different mother. You gave us ALL you had and the best of you. Thank you Mom for being the best mother. I love you.