How could I give a list of things I’m grateful for and not include my mother? I’m a little surprised she didn’t throw a fit because Milo was mentioned before her.
I absolutely know I’ve been blessed with a fantastic mom. I’ve said many times she has been my rock throughout this whole divorce. I found out on a Monday night that Jerry Lee and Harley were back at it again. I slept fitfully that night, woke around 5 in the morning and waited until 7 am to finally call her and tell her my husband was having an affair and it wasn’t the first time. In those early days, weeks and month, when discovery after discovery was made, I called her every day, sometimes several times.
She cried for me. She was enraged for me. At one point she offered to shoot him for me. “I’m old and I’m not afraid of prison,” were her words.
She took me and my kids and my three dogs into her home and has given us sanctuary ever since. We would be homeless without her.
When I was working two insane retail jobs at Christmas that first year she was the one who would pick Rock Star up from work. It was a little challenging to do that myself when I had to be to work anywhere between 2 and 3 am in the morning, and she sometimes wouldn’t get out of work until 10:15 or later.
That period of time is a blur but I’m certain she was the one who made sure my kids were fed. I know she is the one who would wash my work clothes so that my khakis and red shirts were ready to go.
She’s the one who runs Picasso to school or picks him up if he misses the bus or if the bus is running late (sadly, that is a frequent occurrence with our bussing system). She takes him to the other high school for his after school activities and picks him up when I’m donating plasma.
She does my laundry and most nights she cooks dinner for all of us. It is definitely appreciated. When she’s gone all winter I have to do all of that on top of working. Quite honestly I don’t know how I managed that first year when she was gone. I was still working two jobs, I was still getting up at 3:30 in the morning, and Rock Star didn’t drive yet. That’s probably why I cried so much back then.
It’s not just what she does for us, though. She’s a pretty cool person. My friends like hanging out with her. She dances. She’s funny. She likes to go out to eat. She hates Jerry Lee with a passion. She’s amazing with money. She gets shit done.
If someone asked me to send them something I’d be like, “Okay, sure,” and then I would probably put it off for months. Not my mom. You ask her to put something in the mail and she is down at the post office the next day. She always seems to have stamps, too.
She’s a hell of a bargain shopper. She still sends sympathy cards and get well cards and birthday cards, too. They’re on time as well, unlike me who regularly gets the birthday card in the mail about six months after the fact. She makes phone calls and reaches out to people.
Over the years I’ve watched as she gives and gives to those who don’t deserve it. She makes the 600+ mile drive to attend the funerals of various family members still living in Virginia. She puts forth the effort to get together with people who have never, in my fifty years, ever visited us in our state. She still visits her late husband’s side of the family on Christmas morning, even though she’d like to stop. She says she does it for him. She’s a lot nicer than me; I would have stopped quite some time ago.
She was also a single mom raising three kids some forty years ago. My dad did send his support on time, but it wasn’t a whole lot and that’s about all he did.
She didn’t move in with her mom. Instead, she worked and raised three kids, ranging in age from 12 months to 9 years. She got a job and then she got a better job. She bought two houses on her own by the time I graduated from high school.
She has been a great example. Being a stay at home mom I was always thinking about what I would do if Jerry Lee ever left. Her success after divorce assured me that even if the worst happened and we ended up divorced, I would make it. With a lot of help from her, I have.