Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Mother Lode

If you ask anyone what the greatest gift in life is, especially if that person you are asking has lived a good portion of their life and has come to realize the loneliness of a dollar, the high price of fame, or the worthlessness of their worldly possessions, they would more than likely say something about love.  Being in love, receiving love, giving love.

But love can come and go - with the exception of that hard to find unconditional love.  How many of us really don't put any conditions on love?  Most of us will love someone if they are good, successful, true, and meet our expectations.  Wedding vows are obsolete as evidenced by our high divorce rate.   I don't even know if they still use the ridiculous vow, "for better of worse" - I remember hearing Judge Judy during an interview. She said when she married it was for better or better.  I have to respect her honesty. Sickness or health?  I have seen a few relationships end because one partner was too sick for the other to deal with.  They didn't want to waste what time they might have here on earth being a nursemaid.  They didn't sign up for that. Love or no love.

Perhaps it is easier to attain unconditional love if we can love from a distance, without the everyday nitpicking and monotony that can whittle away little pieces of our once undeniable devotion.  We might love someone but not be able to live with them.  Sad but true, sometimes love can flourish in our hearts, just not if those two hearts reside in the same house. Love is and will probably always remain a mystery.  The great classical thinkers like Plato and Aristotle have had their theories, but that is all they are, theories.

But for me true unconditional love has been found in the love of a mother.  The love of my mother, the love of my daughter.  There are no conditions here.  A mothers love is like the suns love of the earth.  She gives and gives of herself, her life, and doesn't expect anything in return.  At least my mother.  And the way she has loved and taught me extends to my own daughter.  She can do anything.  I am blinded by love when it comes to her. There are no conditions. She owes me nothing. Brush aside any of our differences, our disappointments or concerns, and the foundation is solid love - all heart.

I didn't realize at the time, when I was growing up, that I had hit the mother lode.  That I was lucky enough to have one of the most "normal" families around.  Our family was perfect - a  bit Cleaverish, and with all of us being extremely strong willed, a little dash of Bunker.  Mom worked at home, raising four kids, Dad worked two jobs or whatever was needed to provide us with the good old American dream life.  We had love, discipline (a little), rules, and that much needed consistency. Dinner was at the same time every night, along with the anticipated and dreaded glass of spilled milk (everyone would momentarily hold their breath, suppressing their laughter).  There were always fresh chocolate chip cookies or some other home baked treat in the cookie jar (being the envy of the neighborhood I found out many years later).  We had an extremely clean house, clean clothes, parent's that were always home, a swimming pool in the back yard, we were living the dream.  And I thought everyone lived this way.  I thought all dads and moms were good.  I thought all parents loved their children the way my parents loved their children.  What a revelation to find out that it isn't always so.  To learn that what I had was rare, beautiful and what is sought after by every living person.  A family that loves you.  A mother that warms, nourishes, supports and cheers you on.  Every single step of the way.  How many people can say that their mother is their number one fan? I am raising my hand here.

So on this Mother's Day, I want to wish you a happy Mother's Day Mom.  You deserve so much more than a yearly thank you, a simple Hallmark card, some See's candy or a bouquet of flowers.  I would love to give you the world, but if I know you, and I believe I do, I think you would be happier with just my heart.  Well, you have my heart and I want to thank you for giving me yours.  We are one - we share the same heart.

I didn't write the poem below, it is from Hafiz, but he gave it to the world, and I in turn want to give it to my mom - thank you for being the light in my sky.  

Happy Mother's Day Mom - with all my unconditional love xo


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