Just talked to my mom for something approaching four and a half hours. The relationship we have is complicated - bound to be, considering she's bipolar with occasional psychotic breaks, and I've got one hell of a temper. And we've both occasionally put each other through hell. Neither one of us is a perfect person.
And you know what? We don't have to be.
She gave me the kind of childhood most kids can only dream about. And even when she's lost her mind, she's always been there for me. I hope, after this conversation, that she understands that. I've never once had to wonder if my mother loved me. Wondered how she could love me a few times, mind, but never doubted she did. She's been my anchor. If everyone else in the world stopped loving me, she still would. That can't be minimized.
And I love her. Finally got a chance to really tell her how grateful I am to her for everything, how much I respect and appreciate her, admire her, and am constantly amazed by her.
We've had our rough patches. But so does everyone. Every family has its problems, every life has its regrets. There are things we wish had never happened, but like I told her: "We got lemons. Honey, grab some sugar, cuz we're gonna have ourselves some lemonade."
And she laughed. I don't know if she really understands it yet or not, but she and my dad are the ones who taught me what to do with the inevitable lemons. They're the ones who prepared me to handle just about anything life throws my way. Hell, maybe anything, although we can never know that until it happens.
My mother did the lion's share of the raising, which both me and my dad are profoundly grateful for. So that's why today's mother's day: got a chance to have one of those long, gorgeous, incredible conversations that gets to the heart of everything and leaves both of you glowing.
I love my mom. I'm proud of my mom. And that's something I want the world to know. When you look at me, you're looking at my parents, too: all their hard work and dedication and devotion as they attempted to shape a borderline psychopath (which, let's face facts, all small children are) into a decent human being.
Hope I'll always do them justice.