I didn’t always appreciate my Mom. She was too fussy, she nagged us about so many things, warned us about the dangers of the world, and designated her white velvet couch in the living room as a “no sitting unless you are company” area. She was an Air Force wife, spending her life supporting my father’s career; packing up and moving every four years.
She put up with my brother and me and all the bickering between us and the back talk to her (trust me, it wasn’t much back talk.) She sewed all of my clothes even though I begged her to buy me the latest fashions. She even made my bridesmaid’s dresses for my wedding. She did a great job, but I didn’t appreciate it. She planned my wedding since I lived 14 hours away from the venue. It was her chance to have the wedding she didn’t get to have since she got married right after World War II.
She and my father were Depression survivors. They learned what being poor and hungry was really about. She had five sisters and her father was a mailman and then an insurance salesman. He was a stern German who wouldn’t pay for her appendix to be removed until it burst, and she nearly died. Therefore, she was absolutely fastidious about our home, our possessions, and our health. She held on to each penny as if it was her last, only buying items that were high quality and would last a long time. She remained that way her entire life.
She was a talented seamstress and crafty designer. She ventured into creating home decor like a big bunch of grapes and a lamp she made out of resin. The fumes from her work in the basement would get you high! She arranged flowers, designed Christmas ornaments and wreaths, and any other craft you can think of. I didn’t appreciate how talented she was.
There are so many other things she did. She wrote a book about her life. She saved every single greeting card and letter my brother and I sent her. Her pinto bean soup and Thanksgiving dinner was to die for. And her hair was always perfect, even into her 90’s. She would cover her head with scarves and sleep on satin pillowcases to keep her hairdo looking its best.
She predicted Trump would be President way back in 2014.
I could go on.
I’m sure you could tell me similar things about your Mom.
The best thing about my Mom was that she was a Mama Bear. I knew she was on my side no matter what. That didn’t mean she gave me blanket approval, far from it. She and my Father held my brother and me to a high standard, and if we didn’t meet it, we found out immediately. I always wanted to make them proud of me, even when I was a stupid teenager who thought I knew it all.
And she would fight for me and my brother in every way she knew how. She yelled at my brother’s teacher when he was young because the teacher was doing a crappy job of teaching him to read and was blaming it on him. She fought with the officials of a track competition when they broke the rules to allow someone else to place higher than I did. She never missed a teacher conference day and she didn’t let anyone hurt one of us, not for a second.
Between my Mom and Dad, I knew that they were the two people in the world who would put everything on the line for my brother and me. And my Mom, the one who fussed over her hair, make-up and velvet couch, would be the iron fist in the velvet glove. If she was alive now, she’d be furious at what is being done to children in our country.
I’ll bet many of you had Mama Bears too. Even if some of them weren’t your Mom. Maybe they were aunts, older sisters, grandmothers, friends.
Mama Bears have been around for a long time. We just didn’t know and appreciate it as much as we should. But now we see how important they are. Let’s keep supporting them, encouraging them, fighting with them. And those of us who are Mama Bears also, let them know that someday their kids will appreciate them, even if they don’t show it right now.
Happy Mother’s Day Mama Bears! Keep Fighting for OUR KIDS!