Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mama tried to raise me better

My relationship with my Mom was complicated, and had a definite arc. As a young boy, with a single parent, it was all about Mom, and her parents with whom we lived. I adored her.

As an adolescent and young adult, we had problems. Some were mine, trying to grow up and find my boundaries, some were, well, it was complex.

But as life went on, we developed respect, and a closeness and tolerance we had never know before. Her ascent from apathy to liberalism, combined with my awareness that she had done the best she could, and understanding my own flaws, brought us closer together. We connected in a way I found precious, and she became one of my best friends.

Today is my first Mothers' Day without her. I miss her. I miss calling and saying "So, what are you doing?". I miss the goofy emails (I saved them all). But I also treasure the times we had and the closeness and honesty we knew.

She was a quiet yet passionate crusader for LGBT rights, same-sex marriage, and equality. She proudly signed her No on 8 absentee ballot the day before she died. I have no idea what went through her mind that last day, as she slipped away, from sleep into something deeper and more eventual. But I hope it was confidence that she had done the best she could, and that she knew how much we all loved her.

Happy Mothers' Day, Mom. Thank you for everything.

UPDATE BY The Sailor: Steve, thank you for your omage to your Mom. I miss her too. She and I had several exchanges in comments on your blog. I think your Mom and my Mom might have appreciated this: