April 19th marks the anniversary of some significant, yet tragic, events in our country's recent history. On this date both the Waco massacre and the Oklahoma City bombing occurred. I remember where I was when I learned of both of these events, and I will never forget the shock and fear that enveloped me.
Although many of the remembrances around the country will be somber today, our family has reason to celebrate April 19th. Today is the birthday of a remarkable woman. A woman whose strength, integrity and unconditional love have helped shape me into the person I have become.
Today is my Mom's birthday. She often laments that her birthday is on April 19th, a date marred by such tragedy. For many years she dreaded the date not because she was concerned about aging another year, but because it felt like the day was destined for tragedy. Although we have always marked her birthday, many years it was difficult to muster a celebratory spirit. It is unnatural lighting candles and singing "Happy Birthday" when buildings are being bombed and people are dying.
My Mom has been a source of strength not just for me, but also for all members of my family. She is always willing to lend an ear to a friend who needs to talk, or offer her shoulder to a grieving loved one. When someone is hurt, sick or discouraged, my Mom is often the one to receive the call for help. It is common knowledge that my Mom will exhaust every avenue and resource in order to help somebody in need.
I struggled through over twenty surgeries before my decision to amputate. My Mom was present for every one. She was my strongest advocate when I was too weakened by infection and pain to lobby for my own care. Although my amputation saddened her, she demonstrated nothing but love and support. She was my biggest cheerleader when I took my first steps on my prosthetic.
A mother's instinct is a miraculous gift. My Mom can tell when I legitimately need to grieve the loss of my foot, and when I am "wallowing in the self-pity pool." She always encourages me to both legitimize and voice my emotions when grief sneaks up on me. She gives me a swift kick in the rear when I am simply feeling sorry for myself!
I am blessed that my relationship with my Mom has morphed into a hybrid between that of a parent and a child and a friend. As I have grown, my relationship with my Mom has matured. I am lucky to count her as a friend!
My Mom and I talk on the phone daily. I don't feel the need to check in with her or to be accountable in some way. I simply enjoy her conversation. She makes me laugh. I often feel sad for those who cannot laugh with their parents.
Today I am marking the anniversaries of the tragic events by lighting a candle in remembrance. I will try my best to explain the significance to Robby without invoking unneeded fear. Then, we will bake a cake for Nana.
Happy Birthday, Mom. You are loved more than you realize. You have impacted the lives of everybody around you, and we are all richer because you are in our lives. Through your example, you have shown me how to be strong and how to persevere against adversity . I can only hope to be as good of a Mom to Robby as you are to me.
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.