This I Believe

Diana - Boardman, Ohio
Entered on September 16, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love
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I believe in a mother’s love.

A mother is a stronghold in life. For most a mother is a constant and a mother’s love is deep.

I grew up very close to my mother. She was my friend, my safety net, my confidant, and my biggest fan. She supported me when I needed supported and loved me when I was unlovable. Yes, this is what a typical mother does, but I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

On August 16, 2006, I thought I lost it forever. My seemingly healthy mother, at the age of 49, had a stroke while eating a bowl of cereal. In the first few days of her recovery, I pondered at the possibility of having to mother my own mother for the rest of her days. I thought I had lost the comfort of my mother’s touch and words as the realization of her mortality and the very fragility of her life stared me in the face. I wondered if I would ever feel that love first hand again or if I would have to rely solely on the memories we created together.

Her recovery started off incredibly exhausting and difficult. Her speech was not good and we began waiting patiently to see what her obstacles would be. I hated the fact that she was not on my side of things helping me through it as she has helped me through just about everything else in my life before. Instead, I was now helping her just relying on what she taught me through the years. I yearned for her words and fresh advice to calm me and guide me.

I was stressed out by life and Mom’s recovery. I was sitting with Mom on her bed in the rehab hospital. Mom couldn’t say much that made sense, but somehow being in her presence was helpful. I believe that my mother’s sense of me informed her of how I was feeling, and even though she couldn’t say much, she began to stroke my hair and say “pretty” over and over again. I felt like I had her back. When I drove home that night, I wept at the fact that not even a debilitating stroke could take away my mother’s love for me, her child. It just made its way to me in a different form. This love is so precious and deep, and there was nothing that could stop it. How foolish was I to believe it would end just because life threw something different our way.

Life, death, illness, and injury can take many things away from people. Love is not one of those things that can be taken, especially not that of a mother’s. Love simply changes forms. It doesn’t die unless we don’t tend to it or if we close our eyes to its manifestation. I now know that no matter where I am or no matter where she is or what happens, her love will always be there for me. Always.