I’m not sure how she did it but my mom always gave the perfect gifts, especially at Christmas time. Mom had this uncanny intuition. She would shop for hours, going to the many stores, analyzing details, and voila! Christmas morning was spent with a gasp of joy for me as I always opened her perfect presents. I could never predict what I was getting. I remember my first pet bird, a parakeet named Bobby; my first album, Alvin and the Chipmunks; and years later the Ralph Lauren polar bear sweater that I wouldn’t buy for myself. The list goes on and on. Though Christmas morning will never be the same now that she’s gone, I’m grateful for the sweet memories which I’ll always treasure.
Life without Mom isn’t easy. I miss most everything about her; her hugs and smiles, our special lunches and especially our mother-daughter reflections as we sipped coffee at a nearby bistro. Of course I regret our disagreements, when we couldn’t see eye-to-eye. I’m such a free spirit, an unconventional dare devil, not very lady-like in many ways. The last thing I wanted was for a man to take care of me or to be pampered. I’ve spent my entire life proving my independence.
I recall vividly on my 22nd birthday. Mom sat down with me on the corner of my bed and asked when I was going to consider marriage. I laugh to myself now in reflection. At 22, the thought of marriage hadn’t even occurred to me. It was the “alternative lifestyle”. In fact, it took the right man three proposals before I finally said yes.
Though Mom and I were different in so many ways, she never stopped loving me. At Christmas I now recall fondly how special she made me feel. My memories are pleasant and I realize how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful mother.
Mother-daughter relationships are tricky. So to all the moms out there, forgive your daughter as she asserts her independence. After all, you’ve been her role model. My advice to the daughters, give your mom space to be who she is. She comes from a different generation. Women have made great strides in the last several decades, progress which many of us take for granted. Your mom loves you with all her heart. Trust me, you’ll miss her when she’s gone.