About 14 years ago, I lost my mother. She passed away from a rare form of cancer and my life, obviously, has not been the same.
She never got to walk me through those first years of motherhood, never got to meet my kids, and I never got to ask her the one million questions I wonder about my own upbringing and her own experience with motherhood.
I am truly lucky, though, because I have surrounded myself with the most amazing mothers. Without getting completely sappy (I am soooooooooo gonna get sappy), these women have changed my life. So in honor of Mother’s Day, I am going to tell you about 5 of them. One for each day this week. I am going to brag and be corny and may not even be sarcastic or funny (gasp!), but I want to make these ladies feel special because they are truly so important to me. They are the ‘mothers’ I’ve needed over the years that have made being motherless bearable.
Cassie is my cousin from my Dad’s side and she is amazing. When we were kids, she was the “cool” cousin and I got way overexcited about the Thanksgivings we got to spend with her and her family. She was pretty and fun and spunky and a little sassy and she introduced me to those risqué Judy Blume books on her mom’s bookshelf. We would giggle and gasp over them and, even though I was the older one, I totally looked up to her.
Our families didn’t see each other much, so I wasn’t in touch with her a lot over the late teen/early 20’s years. She went to college and then moved to New York City. I thought she was brave, fearless, and beautiful. I saw her a couple times in NYC and I was in total awe of her. Her confidence and her ability to fit right into that city without batting an eye were inspiring to me.
After a couple of years in the city, she got engaged and we found out she was moving to my area. I could not have been more excited. I hoped that we would get to see each other a lot, but I was the stay at home mom shlub and she was the gorgeous, successful career woman. I had no idea if she had much interest in hanging out with me. Turns out, to my immature squealy delight, she liked me too. She asked me to do a reading at her wedding because she said she “really looked up to my marriage” with the Hubs. I was flabbergasted and honored. I agreed (of course!) and finally felt like I was a part of the cool crowd.
And then she started having kids 🙂
We kind of switched roles for awhile – where she would call me and ask me every parenting question you can imagine. All the ones that sound stupid in your head, but every mom has thought. I felt like she really respected me, and god knows, with two toddlers and an infant, I wasn’t feeling very respected. I diagnosed her kids with strep throat and viruses, told her about never letting your kids sleep in the bed with you, and gave her potty training tips … but mostly I told her to relax.
And, to no one’s surprise, least of all mine, she is this AMAZING mother. I look at her and I wish I could have been more like her. I was so stressed and critical of myself when my guys were little. She has three adorable girls who are so incredibly lucky to have her. She is crazy busy and insane like the rest of us, but she’s real and she’s funny and she can let a lot of that mother guilt stuff go that really has no place in our minds … let alone our parenting. She has worked her ass off for an amazing career that, yes, is still evolving, but is such a testament to her tenacity and perseverance.
Here’s the best thing about her though – she gets it. She really does. Sometimes I can just say a few words and she completely gets it. And she doesn’t judge. And we are so much more similar than I would have ever imagined. And she has been there for me through some of the hardest things in my life. Like some stuff that I would have never gotten through without her. And we are friends. Friends in the truest sense of the word. And she’s my family on top of it. I brag about her constantly – like you would if you were friends with a celebrity. Yes, I’m that juvenile.
The word ‘lucky’ doesn’t cut it to describe how I feel. There is no word. ‘Blessed’ maybe … definitely blessed. I know she will read through this timeline and think about all the shit that she went through and all the ‘mistakes’ she feels she’s made, but I want her to see herself through my eyes. Cause I think she’s magnificent.