(My mother, Betty McLean)
It is Mother’s Day.
I had planned on scripting something nice and something special for my 90-year-old beauty of a mom this morning.
I had planned on writing about her amazing love and how she shares it without hesitation or limitation.
I had planned on telling her how much she means to me and our entire family.
I had such big plans to come up with just the right words, at just the right time, to tell just the right story.
The best of intentions.
You will never know how many times I have started and stopped on this endeavor. More than I would like to admit. More than I can even attest.
All I can do is tell you that there are no words — not in my finger tips, any way — that can adequately describe to you how much my mother means to me.
I can’t detail how much she does for me, because I don’t even know myself — most of the time.
I can’t come remotely close to being able to describe her amazing love; her incredible grace; her ability to make the world go away in one moment and a better place to live in another.
So, I will try to let a couple of stories — true ones, at that — describe her to you.
Two or three days a week now, my 90-year-old mom gets in her car and drives to Louisville — which is about 90 minutes away from her home in Midway, KY. — to visit with her 91-year-old sister, who now lives in a nursing home. She gets on the Interstate. Heads off. Never worries about her own health. Never wanders or waivers.
Once she gets to her destination, my mom will sit on the other side of a window just to see her sister, who can’t even remember my mom’s name these days. Such is the horrendous impact of Alzheimer’s disease. Still, she sits. She understands. She loves. She never fails. She just visits. And, she will take a few snacks that she has prepared to leave behind.
It is just my mom.
A couple of days a week, my 90-year-old mom goes to her Church in Midway. She unlocks the door and heads to the food pantry, which she oversees and keeps as a tidy and clean as any grocery in the free world.
Once she gets to her destination, she will fix boxes of food products and get them ready for the needy and the hungry to come and pick up. She never judges why or whom. She just fixes them up, with cans of food that she knows every family desperately needs and counts on.
She stands and packages. She understands. She loves. She never fails. She just loads the boxes to the brim. And, she will make a few snacks that she has prepared, too, to leave behind.
It is just my mom.
A couple of days a week, my 90-year-old mom will go up to the nearby nursing home and deliver a couple of home-made pies or freshly baked bread that she has worked all week to prepare.
Once she gets to her destination, she will carry her goods into the rooms and will visit with some friends for a bit. They will remember this story or talk about that memory. She sits. She understands. She loves. She never fails. She just spends time with those that need spending time with. And, she will make a few snacks that she has prepared, just to leave behind.
It is just my mom.
I just know this:
I have no better friend.
I have no better role model.
I have never had anyone in my entire life to encourage, support, defend, push, or love me any more than this most incredible woman has or could.
And, every time I see her I am reminded how little I actually do and how much more I actually can do to make this world a better place. To help make my friends happier. To help give more love to my kids.
My mom gives that to me, too.
I just know this, too:
Whenever it is time for me — or any of us — to arrive at our final destination, I hope that I can do what she does each and every day in her life’s travels.
I hope I can take time to sit and visit.
I hope I can listen more than talk. I hope I can hear more than say. I hope I can understand the trials and tribulations of others. I hope I can help more and need less.
I hope that I can deliver food to those that are hungry; or give clothes to those that are in need of warmth and comfort; or give love to those that are in desperate need of a simple hug.
I hope, someday, that I can be more like my mom.
When I woke up today, I thought I had the perfect words to tell her how much she means to me. I thought I had the words to tell you how much she means to so many others. I thought I had all the right sentences. The right story to tell.
Never could find those elusive words, even though I searched.
But, as it turned out, though, I didn’t need them.
My mom’s own deeds — self-less acts of kindness that she just does every single day because she wants to — filled in the gaps and more than made up for my lack of talent.
I realized the story I was searching for wasn’t mine to tell.
She tells it every day, in her own way.
And, I realized, maybe for the first time ever, how truly blessed I am to have such a wonderful mom. A most amazing mom.
Love you, mom. More than you will ever know.