Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving and I'm doing what I do many holidays - sitting in a (mostly) empty office covering the phones so others can enjoy their holiday with their families. Many of you may think that is strange because I have a family and I should be enjoying my day off with them. However one of the things with which I am blessed is a spouse with a strong work ethic who understands when I want to cover six hours in a quiet office to get two free comp days in compensation.

I've been having some problems today. You see, as I was growing up my mom raised me to be fairly independent. Over the years we stayed in contact but it could easily be months between phone calls. I generally tried to call on the holidays, like today, but if I was a day or two late it was no big deal. Until this year.

You see I got a call late last week from mom's husband that in a recent physical they found a mass in her lung and given some of the other things going on with her health, they are certain it is malignant. Due to other health complications, mom isn't strong enough to survive either surgery or chemotherapy. They give her between three and six months to live.

So I thought today might be a good time to reflect on the things I'm thankful for about my mother:

  • I am thankful for that independence she gave me. I have friends for whom the feeling of familial obligation is an absolutely crushing load. I, on the other hand, was able to break free of that fairly early in my adulthood.
  • I am thankful for the sensitivity my mother recognized in me and especially thankful for her teaching that it is OK to be a male and to be sensitive and sympathetic while still being "manly."
  • I am thankful for the long talks we had as I was growing up. For much of my childhood she was practically bed-ridden with migraine headaches and depression and I would spend hours talking with her or listening to music. We would talk about everything from books and TV to sex and drugs.
  • I am thankful for the empathy I learned, watching someone I love being in so much physical and emotional pain constantly.
  • I am thankful for the critical thinking my mother taught me. Through those long talks mom taught me how to read a book and analyze what it was saying. She taught me to read newspaper and magazine articles and find the slant. She taught me to listen to others and hear what was behind the words.
  • But mostly, I am thankful for having a mother that loved me and supported me and always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do in life.
I hope I can do half as well as a parent to my son as she did with me.

1 comment:

russtaitai said...

Blessings to you and your mom...she did a wonderful job with you. Sorry to hear the sad news of her health.