Today I am thankful for my mom. Over the past nine months I have realized how much I truly relied on her in my day-to-day life. When I couldn’t find the recipe to chicken supreme last week, I wanted to pick up the phone and call mom for it – fortunately, I was able to call my grandmother to get it. But mom didn’t just give me my favorite recipes on demand; I used mom as my own personal google too. When I need to know how to get a new stain out of clothing, or get burnt off food off the bottom of a pan, mom always had some good tips – did you know that the granular Cascade dishwasher detergent can get almost any stain out of anything? I didn’t until mom suggested I use that to get grease out of a shirt. I am thankful that mom would always be there, any hour of the day, to answer the most ridiculous and obscure questions I might have.
Mom was more than my own personal google too; she was the woman who taught me how to be an independent woman. She taught me to hold my head high, to feel secure as a female in a male dominated field and to stand up for myself. She taught me to be respectful, to listen and not speak out, to learn and to love. She taught me that it was OK to not be perfect but also taught me to strive for perfection. She taught me to never give up and to always fight for myself, my loved ones and my beliefs. She taught me that family is important.
I am thankful that I celebrated her birthday with her last year. Two years ago, we celebrated Mom’s 60th at Gramercy Tavern in NYC with most of her family. She wanted a smaller brunch in the Rainbow Room, but we weren’t able to get reservations, but thanks to a suggestion from an aunt, we found an even better place that could handle a larger crowd too! I cannot speak highly enough of the people at Gramercy Tavern for the service we got that day. While we rang in her 60th in style, it is actually her 61st birthday that left a bigger impact on me. Last year I was unemployed when her birthday came around; while it was the end of my unemployment and I knew I would be starting a new job soon, I didn’t have much money to spend on going out for mom’s birthday. Tom and I invited her over for dinner, but she told me she didn’t feel comfortable driving home from our house in the dark, so instead we went to her. What she didn’t tell me was that she wasn’t feeling well and that was the real reason she didn’t want to drive to our house, on roads she’s uncomfortable with, where she didn’t know where she could stop on her way home. So we had her birthday dinner at her house a couple weeks early (eating our beloved chicken supreme), but at that time I didn’t know she wasn’t feeling well. A few days after the early birthday dinner, my Mom texted my sister and I to let us know that her sister and her mother (and possibly my cousin) were going to the Botanical Gardens for the Holiday Train Show and then out for dinner. I called my mom to talk about it, I wasn’t opposed to going, but didn’t think I could afford to go (and to be honest, wasn’t super excited to go) – I was on a tight budget, the holidays were coming up and I still had a number of presents to purchase, I didn’t have money in the budget to go out for a nice dinner, pay for parking, pay for admission, etc. Mom told me that since she was a member, she had guest passes, I didn’t have to pay to go to the gardens, and she’d cover my dinner, she didn’t want me to miss it. Even though I didn’t have a strong desire to go, I agreed and met my mom, aunt, grandma and cousin there on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to go see the train show. I am very thankful that my mom told me how much it meant to her that I come and be there, because if I’m being honest, that is the only reason I was going. I really enjoyed the train show – so much so that Tom and I are headed back there today, on what would have been Mom’s 62nd birthday to celebrate her!
After the train show. We went out for dinner in City Island. It was after dinner, while we waited for dessert, when Mom finally told me she wasn’t feeling well. We didn’t know at that time what exactly was the problem, but we would soon find out. In hindsight, I see how important it was that I went to celebrate her birthday that day. I am thankful I gave in and that she was persistent that I come. I am thankful that I had that day of fun with her. I am thankful I was there on her last big outing. I am thankful she enjoyed her birthday.
Every day I hope that I am making her proud. I hope that I am using the lessons she taught me. I am forever thankful for the time I spent with her, even if it was not nearly enough time to do everything we wanted to do.