I fully recognize how lucky I am for the relationship that I have with my mother. Not everyone gets the chance to have something like this, for many different reasons. Whether it be because their mother has passed away, that their relationship was or is strained, or maybe they grew up not knowing their mother at all. Other people were raised by someone other than their biological mother, who ultimately became their mom (or moms). There are so many different definitions for the word and the feeling of what this person can mean. So, let me tell you all about mine.
My mother married my father when she was just 20 years old, had me at age 22, and was separated from him when I was around a year and a half. Being a young single mother with a baby meant that she had to work extra hard to make sure I was clothed and fed, while having to sometimes rely on other people like my grandparents to help her out. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for her, because one thing she never let me in on, was really how much she was struggling.
I can’t thank her enough for not letting me get involved in any drama with her and my dad, or for always making sure that I never felt like I was a burden on her – even though at times, it must have been like the weight of the world was on her shoulders. Although, I won’t pretend like I didn’t know that we were in a hard place financially. We didn’t have a car for years, bussing or biking around was the norm. Sometimes she didn’t have enough money to buy milk, let alone food. Sometimes we had to live with my grandparents for extended periods of time. And sometimes, I didn’t fully grasp all of this and still threw fits when I saw other kids getting things that I wanted, but we just couldn’t have. No matter what we went through, not once did I ever feel like I wasn’t loved unconditionally by her.
But over the years, I started to realize that she’s not just my mother, even though that was the only role I used to believe that she held for most of my life. But that’s not all that she is, or ever was. She’s also a woman, a wife, a friend and a sister. She’s a musician, a world traveller, a superhero, a huge goofball, and someone who has worked tirelessly for over 3 decades for the Canadian Government. She’s a caregiver, someone who gets sad or angry sometimes, a dog-lover, a history-fanatic, a philanthropist, and she’s a human who makes mistakes. She’s so much more than a mother, even though that’s been a huge part of her life in raising both me and my little sister.
She’s one of my best friends, because of all of the many things she is outside of just being my mom. And she continues to show this to me, with every day that I get to know her better. And I know it might not seem like much, considering all that she has done for us, but treating her in really special ways and making sure that she knows how much I appreciate her – that matters to me.
This year, I decided to celebrate all of the things that she is to me other than my mother, with my presence… and some presents too. When I think of the best place to find a personalized gift with meaning, I gravitate towards places like Hallmark. I fondly remember wandering the aisles every year on Mother’s Day, looking for the one card that best expressed how much she means to me. And while nothing will do or say that better than I can, the gesture was always appreciated and gave her that little something extra to make her feel as special as she truly is to me.
This year, I picked out some gifts that will help her to practice more self-care, which I whole-heartedly believe that she needs more of in her life – considering she takes care of a lot of people other than herself! So, with a Lavender Neck Wrap, some Just Chill Slippers and a pop-up card in tow, I will head over to her place on Mother’s Day to spend some time with her, while showing her how much I appreciate all of the amazing things that she’s done for me and will tirelessly continue to do, without question.
If you’re looking for some gift ideas this year, Hallmark has put together a beautiful Mother’s Day Gift Guide for that person in your life – for whoever she may be, other than just your mother. I know that I would give my mom the world if I could, but in the meantime, I’m just going to continue to make her feel like she deserves it.
I love you, mama!
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Catherine Sugrue, CNP
Photos by Catherine Sugrue
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