She was young once … that Mom of yours.  Spunky, cute, ready to take on the world. Then … you came along.

She set down one dream and then another.  She’d say that she didn’t give up any dreams … just exchanged them.

You became the gold under the dustheap; the beating of her heart.

For you …

She let people call her Mama Bear.

She cleaned away barf, shook out diapers, fought off fevers, threatened away bullies, wore second hand clothes so you could have new.

She stared down teachers, teared up when other kids didn’t invite you to their parties; plucked gravel out of your knee.

For you …

She made ugly faces at the loser boyfriend when you weren’t looking; tried to make you think that the bargain shoes were better than the name brands.

She helped you prank the neighbor; came up with excuses to Dad for letting you bring home yet one more stray kitten. (Secretly, she wanted it more than you did.)

Mama Kitty
Live footage of my mom trying to corral me and my siblings.

She pretended to be deaf when your brother told her what you made her for Christmas.

She opened every gift as if it came from Nordstrom and not the 3rd grade art room.

She forced you to make your own bed, fix your own school lunch, and wash the dishes; reminded you that you’d have to do it yourself one day anyway.

And now …

She sees the storm on the horizon, a darkening sky.

She smiles, but her eyes are far away.

She’d like someone else to fight the battles.


So you’ll fight a few for her …

You stare down a doctor or two or five; try not to curse as you read through all the Medicare papers.

You remind her – as she used to you –  of the Heavenly light that will dawn after the dark night.

You tell a joke; laugh with hers; let her tell hers again as if you didn’t hear it the first time.

You thank her for letting you become the dream; apologize for being a snot; ask her to forgive you for not letting her be human sometimes.

You hold her hand; show her a funny YouTube video; try to explain YouTube; read a favorite Bible promise; turn up the country gospel music.

You tear up a little bit; try not to think too far down the road.

You hug her a little closer.

That’s what you do when you’re taking care of Mom.


Note: For those close to my family, you will recognize the picture of my mom at the top; please don’t mention it to her or that you saw anything on FB.  She doesn’t use Facebook or Social media so will be more stressed than blessed.  Thanks.

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