A Daughter's Tribute To Her Mother
When my husband and I decided to start a family after three blissful years of marriage, we had no idea how bringing a child into the world would change our lives. What we didn't realize, however, was how we would change the lives of some other very important people — our own parents.
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The ensuing months were filled with joy and anticipation. My mother constantly showered me with little tokens and attention. We laughed and talked and planned life with a little one.
Meanwhile, I loved being pregnant. In my opinion, this was the perfect situation. My baby was safe within my womb, and I could protect him there. Nurture him there. I talked to him on the way to work. I sang and read to him. I was a pretty good mother so far, I decided. But the thought of being capable of properly raising him once he left the confines of my belly still terrified me. I tried not to think about it.
Then, the unthinkable happened: My grandfather — my mother's father — had a stroke. A strong and quiet man, my grandfather was suddenly frail and vulnerable. My mother rushed to his side and stayed there at the hospital, as he was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. She kept vigil as much as she could while still maintaining her own full-time career, caring for her mother (who was in an Alzheimer's facility), and indulging me in my pregnant whims.
It occurred to me then that my mom isn't just an incredible mother: She's an incredible daughter, too. Suddenly, I felt more pressure . Have I been as good a daughter to her as she's been to her own parents?
Just when we thought that Grandpa was turning around, my mother received a call from the hospital. He'd passed away suddenly, unexpectedly.
The following month, another surprise led us all back to the hospital. My son had decided to join our family three weeks early by way of breaking my water. My mother was the first visitor to arrive as my husband and I settled into the triage room and began counting contractions. She and my father continued to make treks to the hospital throughout the course of my 18-hour labor. When my son entered the world, my parents were second only to my husband and me to greet him.
And on that day, something amazing happened. As I held this tiny being — my tiny being — in my arms, I knew that I was going to be a great mother after all. Looking into his beautiful, brand-new face, I knew that the love I felt inside would guide me.
And it has. My son is 19 months old now. I have since given up my full-time career to stay at home with my son, an opportunity that I thank God and my husband for on a daily basis. I hold my baby's hand as we walk to the park. I read him all of his favorite books. I look forward to a time we can bake cookies together on a rainy day, and I can't wait to make him his favorite meal on his birthday. After all, that's what good moms do. I know. I learned from the best.
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