In September 2014, my parents and sister dropped me off at Memorial University and we parted with a tearful goodbye. I’ve always been very close with my family and the fact I wouldn’t get to see them until Christmas was hard, a big change from our daily family dinners. A week later, after spending a half hour sitting on the floor with my roommate attempting to sort and do our laundry for the first time away from home, trying to tackle a life of independence and adulthood head on, I called my mom.
Her role evolved into a long-distance mom, always there when I called but too far away to physically help. This made me realize how big of a part my mom truly plays in my life. She makes everything look so easy. She can balance making dinner, talking on the phone, sorting laundry, and driving my sister and I around like nobodies business. But I learned during my time living hundreds of miles away that it really isn’t as easy as mom’s are so skilled at making it look. It takes time and effort and patience to get to that level of awesomeness.
Then, when I got sick, the role she played in my life evolved again. I moved back home and my illnesses caused me too become a lot more dependant on her help again. Neither of us asked for nor wanted these extra challenges in our lives but she has handled all the curves balls with such incredible grace. All moms are super-heros but chronic illness moms definitely have a special super power. Now more than ever, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for being my nurse. Keeping me alive and functioning is a hard job and you do it fabulously. Nobody can beat the air bubbles out of a bag of IV saline like you can. You know all the doses of all my medications and when I should be taking them. You are a pro at setting up my Kangaroo feeding pump and can prime an IV line like nobodies business. When you hear a pump beeping, you are here in 2 seconds flat to fix the problem and save the day. You’re always one step ahead of me and can anticipate my needs before I even ask. It may have been a learning curve at first but you took on the role fearlessly.
Thank you for being my rock. When I’m having a bad day, you always know what to say (or sometimes what not to say). You always encourage me to keep my head up and to stay realistically optimist. Your positive attitude is unwavering and, when I’ve reached the end of my rope, you never show me that you have reached the end of yours as well. I never feel like a burden. People ask where I get my strength from and I can truly say I get it from you. I know this journey hasn’t been easy on any of us but seeing you forge ahead bravely always reminds me to do the same.
Thank you for being my advocate. Sometimes I don’t have the strength to fight for myself and, when I don’t, you’re always there to step in as soon as I ask. The health system will chew you up and spit you out if you let it but you always make sure that that doesn’t happen to me. I’m not always brave enough to say what I want to doctors but, when I’m not, you have the courage to say what would have gone unsaid. You get me more than anyone else and can convey my thoughts without me even sharing them with you.
Thank you for always keeping my best interest at heart. I know that everything you do is because you want the best for me. You keep notes of new symptoms and what was said at doctor’s appointments in order to help arm me the best way possible to fight this battle. We may not always see eye-to-eye a hundred percent of the time but that’s okay because I understand that your goal is always to help make my life a bit better or a bit easier or a bit happier. Everything you do, you do to benefit me. For that I’m grateful.
Thank you for your constant encouragement and support. There’s no doubt that growing up, I’ve always been a bit different and marched to the beat of my own drummer. But no matter what goal I was working towards or what crazy dream I was trying to pursue, you always had my back no matter what. You taught me that, even if things were a complete and total failure, as long as I did my best, you were proud of me and that I should be proud of myself as well. You never pushed me to be the best at everything but to simply be the best version of me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.
I see that, everyday, mothers play hundreds of different roles in our life and my fabulous mother is no exception. Over the years, the roles will wax and wane, some will evolve, some will disappear, and some new ones will be added to the list. One thing will never change though. My mom will always be the super hero of my story, saving me time and time again. There are not enough words that can be said to convey how truly grateful I am. Thank you Mom.