My mother has been on my mind a lot as of late and being a superstitious person, it’s kind of unsettling.
I’m 46 years old for those of you who don’t know, which means she’s getting up in years, but more importantly I think is the realization of just that recently for me. I know, this is a morbid subject, but writing columns is a personal thing for me. Otherwise they’re just empty pieces, hollow with no significance for me or you the reader.
It may have been Valentine’s Day that actually brought all of this home to me as I sat back and composed an essay I published socially, or her baptism, which I attended recently. As I was reflecting on that piece and my life in general, I realized what an impact this woman has had on my life and how irreplaceable she is.
I make it a habit to speak with her on a daily basis, sometimes two or three times every day, and not out of some sense of obligation either. She’s one of my best friends, if not my best friend altogether. Over the years it’s been a rare occasion when I didn’t pick up the phone to talk with her. When I didn’t call it was usually because I knew she was going to call me on the carpet, as she has since I was just a boy.
It’s rare when you have the kind of relationship my mother and I have. More than once, and it’s been awhile since I tried her patience with my obstinacy or hard headed attitude, she’s pointed out “I love you, but sometimes I don’t like you.” How many people can you honestly have in your life that can make that kind of statement and still remain friends with?
Somewhere along the road of the last 40-plus years, this woman was able to teach me a few things. I take responsibility for being a slow learner, or at times just refusing to grow up, making all of this drag out a lot longer than it should have, but I wanted to take a moment to thank her for a couple of things. Any more than that and this becomes a work of epic proportions.
First, my mother has always been my biggest fan and supporter. There have been times, I’m sure, when she didn’t necessarily believe in the same dream maybe, but that never stopped her from standing up and believing in me, which is even more important. Even when I don’t believe in me, she does, and I don’t know that there’s a word big enough to describe the security and comfort that entails.
Second, my mother taught me to stand on my own and be a man. The strongest most enduring traits of my personality are all her. I remember as a third grader having a bully, and it was my mother who taught me how to handle it. And it didn’t have anything to do with a warm, fuzzy resolution but more akin to a mafia vendetta. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but times have changed.
I could go into so many stories and details of my life and still never be able to truly show how I feel or what I think. There were times of tough love, Band-Aids, dried tears, and broken hearts and through it all there was one constant in my life — and still is today.
I pride myself on being gifted with the written word, being able to evoke images and reactions, especially with my fiction, but my mother has me stumped. One of my favorite quotes — and yes it’s my own — is: “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a single word holds infinite possibilities.”
But in this case, infinite doesn’t come close. Sometimes there just isn’t a word big enough to describe how you feel.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.