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For the mother who cared for her parents

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For the mother who cared for her parents,

Mother's Day has extra meaning for you, because you’ve mothered backwards. But you wouldn’t have it any other way.

You’ve driven them to doctors appointments and made countless phone calls to insurance companies.

Like you loaded your kids in and out of your car when they were young, you’ve done the same for your parents. Making sure they are comfortable, and gently buckling them in.

You’ve cut up meals into tiny bites and held a cup to their tired lips when they’ve been tired.

You’ve found just the right way to give them their medicine and tried your best to give them a schedule while still giving them independence.

You’ve taken them out for special occasions and taken them for drives just so they can see the Christmas lights one more time.

Just like she dealt with your 15 year old stubborn attitude, you’ve worked though her 80 year old stubbornness and ways.

And when he was afraid of dying, you reminded him of how wonderful heaven would be, just like he did when he tucked you in at night when you were a little girl.

You take such great care of the things that are important to her; the photos and her moms china, making sure her favorites clothes are hung up just right, just like she washed your favorite teddy bear when you spilled juice on it and ironed your new dress on Easter morning.

And when she called out in the middle of the night because she was afraid she was falling out of bed, you came beside her to remind her she was safe. Oh, how many nights she came to your bed and comforted you.

You were the first one to drive to wherever she was when you got that call. Something was wrong, your plans had to change, because your mom needed to be cared for. She needed her daughter.

And when the time came to say goodbye, you were right there. Holding her hand, reminding her of just how much she was loved and cherished. You knew she was ready to go, but you weren’t. You weren’t ready to say goodbye to your mom. You weren’t ready to stop mothering your mother.

And as they closed the casket one last time, you couldn’t bear to say goodbye to that face, those hands. That body who you loved, that body who cared for you, and who you cared for. The memories you have etched on your soul your entire life, and in these last years the soul you cared for with such mercy and tenderness.

Because no matter how much you mothered your own parent, that person was still your mother and father. And the years you spent loving them, the seasons of frustration and exhaustion.... you wouldn’t take a second of it back.

You have no regrets.

No regrets, only peace. Because what better way to say “I love you” than by mothering your parent.

*this post was originally posted on the author's Facebook page, From Blacktop to Dirt Road


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