Maybe I don’t write about my Mom as often as I should but you should know she is my rock plain and simple. She has taught me everything I know about how to be a giving person, how to think of others first and to always try to help someone out if they need it and expect absolutely nothing in return. Try as I may, I pale in comparison to her ability to effortlessly give with an open, loving and non-judgmental heart time and time again.
What I have learned has been by example. I could write a book with a thousand pages, filling it up with stories of times that my mom went out of her way to help someone by doing something anonymously, changing the world around her and making life better for someone else. Many of these things can not be purchased. There have been many times I would see her slip her soft hand into the frail wrinkled hand of a woman or man in a nursing home who had no visitors or family of their own, never too busy to stop and ask how they are, if they need anything, smile and often remember that they like a certain treat or item and show up on a future visit with something to brighten their world.
There have been cars fixed for neighbors in need, dental bills covered, groceries and pet food purchased, loans that may or may not be repaid (Lord knows I am on that list!), gas bills submitted anonymously so that there is no threat of being cold in the winter for a friend of a friend that is down on their luck. It is how she has always been, it is who she is and how she sees the world, she finds the good in almost anyone or situation. Her life has not been easy at times, but the dignity and grace she possessed as she watched the love of her life slowly become a stranger in his battle with Alzheimer’s will forever impact me. I will always know what is possible with love, kindness and compassion. I am not like her, I judge and question and see things more black and white rarely does the grey mix paint my world, but I always strive to try and see the way things could be through my Mom’s eyes. She makes me a better person and the world a better place each and every day.
She turns 70 at the end of the month and there is no one more beautiful inside or out to me than my Mother, who most in my life call the “Gooch”, she got this nickname when I was in college by a friend of mine who was a soccer player and loved my moms cooking. She sent some Lasagna back with me one Sunday and after my friend Bob finished his giant serving he called right up to thank her! In his best Italian accent that was horrendous at best (poor guy had a southern twang so thick you could cut it with a butter knife)…. “The Mama Goochie, she makes the best Lasagna” and the “Gooch” was born, it stuck and never went away.
She has stood by me through thick and thin, been the one constant in my life no matter what the circumstance. We have endured the pain of death together being with my father, holding him tightly as he slipped from this world. We have laughed hysterically at things only the two of us found funny, and we have learned how strong the bond between a mother and daughter can be, and what a blessing is it when friendship is thrown in the mix. I could not be more blessed with the unconditional love of my mother.
Happy Mother’s Day Gooch, I love you.