In Honor Of My Mother, Who Is Also My Best Friend

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By Alicia Cook

I observe Mother’s Day every day of the year. There is not one day that goes by where I don’t at least say to myself, “I love my mom,” or “I miss my mom,” or “I should text my mom.” Of course I would celebrate, even quietly, the woman who is the reason I even exist in this world (yes, I know you share the credit too, Dad.)

I know I will never be as good of a person as my mother. I will never be as selfless as my mother. I will never be as kind, thoughtful, or considerate as my mother. This is not to say that I am not inherently good in my own way, but if all these years watching my mother operate has taught me anything, it is that she is a rare breed of a human. I am lucky to know her; to share her likeness and to be in her world.

It is not often someone truly dedicates all of their life to take care of the people around them. In her twenties, my mother took care of her sick mother, leading up to the very end. Then, while my father worked three jobs, my mother raised three children (my siblings and I were born within four years of one another) with no babysitters or grandmothers to help.

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She drove us to school, cooked us our meals, brought us to our extracurricular activities, volunteered at almost every school function, brushed our hair, made our beds, washed our clothes. While we were still young, my mother took on caring for her own grandmother, which was like having another child to feed and clean.

Any pets we “had to have” became her responsibility. She was the Bake Sale Queen and Forgotten School Project Savior. She never stopped. Not even when she had the flu.

I find myself exasperated when one thing isn’t going my way. And yet, I never once heard her complain. I never once heard her say she wished she had a different life. I never once questioned if she loved me more than anything on this planet.

When we moved as a family when I was sixteen years old, my mother essentially became my only friend. I was at a new high school, in a new town, and we bonded further because of this. We went shopping and to the movies. We began to play cards and word games.

As I grew older, I found myself having to make notes on her gifts like, “Do not spend this on us,” or, “Do not use this gift card to buy anything for anyone but yourself.”

I can talk for days on everything my mother taught me (ranging from how to play chess, cook, or apply eyeliner) but I want to focus on what I learned from her. On the surface, what she taught me and what I learned from her can be confused as one and the same, but they are vastly different.

I learned so much from my mother, but not through lessons or how-to’s. I learned just by watching her; how she spoke to people, how she gave her all to her family, how she treated the people she cared about. I learned more about what it takes to be a good person by watching my mother walk around the hallways of our home than I ever could by reading books on character and relationship building.

My mother has saved my life on so many occasions. By this, I do not mean she ever jumped in front of a bullet or speeding car for me (I have no doubt that she would though.) When I say my mother has saved my life, I mean she has kept me going during times of hardships, let downs, and heartbreaks just by simply existing.

She is also my reality check. She is the most honest person I know and will tell me if she thinks I am making a poor decision or bad outfit choice.

Because of all this, not only is she my mother, but she has been my best friend since I was old enough to truly appreciate everything she encompasses.

On her birthday last September, I asked her what she hopes. She replied: “I like to think I have made a difference in some lives.” Well, Mom, you have.

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On April 28th, my parents were by my side to watch me make my 30th consecutive birthday wish. As far back as I could remember, my mother has written in my birthday cards, “The best is yet to come.” She didn’t write it on this year’s card. It probably wasn’t an intentional omission, but I like to think it was left out because she knows the best time of both of our lives is finally here.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you.

Tell Us: What do you love about your mom?

Alicia is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. Find out how you can apply to be a Contributing Writer HERE.

{featured & content images via Alicia Cook}

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