When I went away to college, I remember my mom telling me how her friends kept saying things like, "Aren't you so sad Lauren is leaving!" or "This must be so heartbreaking, she's moving out, what are you going to do?" But what I remember more is her response. That she said of course, she would miss me. And of course it was going to be a little hard. But sad? Hell no.
She was ecstatic.
Not because her only child was leaving home, but because she had raised a daughter who COULD leave home, who was ready to go out and claim the life that was hers, and live it to the very fullest. She would joke that it was "better than the alternative" because she had raised someone who was motivated and brave. I say this not to boast of my own abilities, because lord knows inside I did not feel like I was leaving home because I was brave (because in reality I was terrified), but to boast of the mother who saw in me the person I had no idea how to become.
The mother who supported me, and held my heart above her own, and never in 28 years has let a day go by without telling me she loves me.
I will raise up this woman who is by no means perfect, but who claims her flaws and mistakes, and refuses to let them become just a dark chapter, but rather uses them to grow and change and teach me how to learn from them as well so that I might not have to learn those same lessons the hard way.
I will honor the woman who had seen the harshest realities but continues to smile. The woman who loves without reason or agenda, and has shown me over and over that the heart is not a finite space, but that it is something that grows in proportion to your willingness to let it.
To the funny little lady who makes me roll my eyes, sigh deeply, be overly critical, and far too harsh. To the woman who brings out the worst in me so that I might recognize it and work to fix it.
And so, to the woman who loves me anyway, even when I'm a jerk. Mom, you bring out the worst in order to create the best. You have walked through fire so that I don't have to.
You have raised me up and yet still get down in the mire when I am lost, and we get back up together.
You ARE love.
And you are LOVED.
Happy Mother's Day.