Since the first Mother’s Day without my mother, I believed year after year that it would be easier to get through. But now that I am starting to understand aspects of my life and realizing how bad I am at this adult thing, it’s been getting increasingly difficult to keep it together. At this point I believe everyone is well aware about my mother, but for those who are new to my blog and my life, let me give you a run-down.
This is my mother. My Mom passed away from stage four lung cancer in 2009 after a three-month battle. From what I remember of her, [insert disclaimer about a swear word here], my Mom was badass. That is the one and only word I can use to describe how fearless, tough, and how well-respected she was. She was the only woman I know who could keep my Dad in line. She was the only woman I know who shaved her legs every single day. I remember most of her morning routine, her good morning greeting to me, how she likes her coffee, and how she loved French manicures.
My mother passed away very early in my middle school years, and right before puberty struck me like a brick. (What a coincidence). My grandma and I have had a close relationship since I was very young. My grandma taught me almost everything I needed to know about becoming a woman. She taught me how to cook, bought my siblings and I clothes for school, took me to get haircuts, and loved me both as a grandma and as a mother. My grandma has continuously shown an incredible amount of support throughout the years and is one of the only women who can make me cry just talking about her casually. She was there for me when I needed a mother the most and even when I wasn’t able to see her as much as I used to through my high school years.
Taking a snip of my testimony, my sister Logan, who started off as one of my best friends, was who brought me both to Jesus and my second family. At the time, I declared myself as an atheist, I was depressed, suicidal, and lost. The Neubeckers took me in at a time when I was the most vulnerable, weak, and was hopeless. Through them, I renewed my faith in Christ, found my purpose and my calling, and gained both a mother and a mentor.
If you ever hear me talk about my Mom, I am referring to her at least 83% of the time. She doubles as a mentor to my life and, like my grandma, has taught me how to be a woman. Through her, I’ve learned character and how to stand my ground. She has motivated me through my high school years and has played a big part in my upbringing and success. I’ve learned through her that it’s okay to cry, I’ve started to open up about the parts of me and the emotions I have that I was told all of my life to hide. My Mom has taught me to love in the ways I couldn’t love in the past. That is one of the biggest things my Mom has helped me do.
While I wish my biological mother was here to have helped me transition as a teenager, graduate high school and move to college, and beat up everyone who has stepped in my way, I am so thankful for all my grandma has done for me and the Mom that God has put in my life for a specific purpose. Let me say this again: God gave me a Mom for a reason. Shawny was meant to be in my life for a reason. Calling Shawny my Mom does not replace the hurt or the memories of my mother. You can’t replace mothers, butt its not shameful to call a woman who has helped shaped you, inspires and motivates you, and cares for you a mother. I call Shawny my Mom proudly. I know that my Mom, despite those who try to tell me my mom would “beat me” for calling someone else Mom, is so thankful for Shawny stepping in when I needed a mother most. My Mom understands the purpose God has for Shawny in my life because my Mom is closer to God than any of us are.
Time after time, I’ve been shamed for calling someone other than my biological mother my Mom. My friends have trashed their mothers right before my eyes and through social media. These experiences, along with what I’ve learned through my purpose and understanding why I was chosen to face the things I have, have shown me why mothers are so important, whether you get along with them or not. I’ve been told that I don’t need a mother even as an adult. In one way or another, my mother(s) have pushed me to where I am today. They understand me, allow me to express how I feel, and open their arms to me willingly. Mothers, along with woman figures who represent mothers to others, deserve to be treated with respect. I will never take my grandma or my Mom for granted because they understand me when my Dad doesn’t. They love me in ways my Dad can’t.
While some may take that statement as a diss on the Dads who play both Mom and Dad, it’s not because my Dad is just that. But, because of my childhood and my experiences, there are places in my heart my Dad can’t reach. There are things that we don’t understand about one another even after 18 years. I’m thankful for what my Dad has done for me and I don’t take any of that for granted, but there is a difference in viewpoints between the both of us that have made us clash heads throughout the years. But both my grandma and my mom have been helping me to learn to understand my Dad and work to rekindle the relationship between us. If you asked me in 2012 if I loved my Dad, I would’ve said helllll noooo. Even to this day there is some restraint to saying I love my Dad, but I’m still going to say it. I LOVE MY DAD. I love my Dad so much that even though we butt heads, even though he has hurt my heart in ways that its hard for most to understand, I am determined to have a better relationship with him. He’s done all that he can as a single parent, and I give him mad respect for that.
Mothers are powerful. Women in general are powerful people. Please please please don’t forget to tell the women in your life how thankful you are for them, both the current and soon-to-be mothers. Birth or adopted. Your friend’s mom or the woman from the gas station that’s a mother. And for the Dads who are Mom and Dad, (and my own), this one is for you too .Thank you.
Even on a special day like this, have faith, and know hope.