Friday, May 11, 2012
Happy Mother's Day, Mom
The Nicest Thing My Mom Ever Did For Me
I can't even begin to think of what the nicest thing is that my Mom has ever done for me. From indulging my passionate, but brief forays into various extra mural activities - ranging from horse riding to ballet, swimming, drama and (very briefly) netball to long distance running and even singing in the Eisteddfod (ag, shame)...my Mom was always there. Always driving me around. Always buying the various paraphernalia. But best of all, always truly believing in me.
"Of course you can sing!" "Of course you can swim 1,2km's!" "Of course you can be KTV presenter!" My Mom made dreams that I didn't even know I had, come true. For 4 years, my Mom used to pick me up from school, drive an hour to the Mnet studios, wait for me to finish presenting, drive home in peak hour Joburg traffic, and then still cook dinner.
When the kids at school were shit to me, my Mom came to fetch me and let me stay home. When I forgot my art pencils at home, my Mom came and dropped them at school. When I didn't wear tights under my school pants and was freezing on the playground, my Mom went shopping for some, and dropped them with lunch.
My Mom allowed my friends to sleep over whenever I asked. She talked my dad into allowing me wear nail polish and shave my legs before his promise of "when you're thirty". She accepted my shortcomings and praised my accomplishments. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive Mom.
The Best Thing My Mom Ever Taught Me
There are lots of lessons my Mom actively taught me over the years. She taught me that lying to her once: "yes her parents are going to be home for the party" would mean 5 years of "yes you can phone her Mom to find out if they're going to be home for the party". She taught me how to drive - even after I drove her car into a pole and a bush... and again after I failed my license the first time around. But the most important lesson, the one she didn't even know she was teaching me, was how to love people.
Through her actions, not her words, she taught me the value of giving another human your time and your love, unconditionally. I remember being dragged to an old people's home to visit my dad's senile old miserable grandmother and saying to my Mom "I don't know why you even have to visit her. She's not even your Gran." Only years later, did I realise what it must have meant to that old crazy bat to have some company. Someone to fight with the nurses on her behalf. Someone to hold her hand when the confusion of it all became too much for her mind.
I remember growing up in my mom's hair salon, where she would go and collect old people from her church, cut and style their hair for R20 and then drop them off again. Even deep into the 2000's! My mom does things for people that people don't want to do. She listens intently to the old. She gives of her time freely to the lonely. And of her love unconditionally to the forgotten. It is only thanks to my Mom that I have cultivated and value my feelings of true compassion for people - and act on them. More and more as I grow older.
The Best Kindness My Mom Ever Showed Me
My poor Mom has been burdened with two depressive people in her home. While she and my sister have never experienced a day of chemical depression in their lives, my Dad and I have both suffered for many, many years with bouts of severe depression - often in synch with one another. For the first years of their marriage my Mom had no idea what was going on with my Dad (and neither did he), let alone how to deal with it. But as science learnt more about how it works, so did my Mom (and Dad). And when, in my early twenties, I started to feel like everything was out of my control and that the world was maybe a little bit too much for me to deal with, my Mom recognised my hereditary depression and immediately showed me all the support and understanding that I would need to get it under control.
Her immense kindness and acknowledgement of depression as a real disease was the difference between insanity and mental health for me. Without her there, holding my hand and promising me that I am in fact, not crazy and that everything I'm feeling can and will be sorted out with the right medication, I would definitely not have been as happy and stable as I am today. When I sometimes still start to feel myself slipping into a depression, when my head starts to cloud and my limbs start to feel heavy and the only option feels like sleep, my Mom is only a phone call away. Her voice is literally the lighthouse that guides me back to the harbour. Out of the waves of sadness and hopelessness, away from the rocks, back to safety.
Thank you for every single thing you do and everything you are. Thank you for the love, the lessons and the kindness. I love you.
Happy Mother's Day Carol-Lynne P-more xxx