there is this girl i know. she naturally emanates so many things on my "what i want to be when i grow up" list. she is crazy smart, fiercely loyal, speaks the truth, and rocks the casual-yet-hot look pretty much all the time. and she's younger than me, which frankly pisses me off a little.
one day about a year ago we were sitting on a bench outside the hospice house while her son hopped the rocks, talking about my dad. she looked at me with eyes that knew me well enough to realize there just wasn't anything left to be said - and smiled. after a few moments, she said, "getting old sucks."
of all the inspirational and memorable quotes ever spoken, that's one of the few that has stuck with me. it isn't eloquent, or noteworthy. but God, strike me down as i stand, if it isn't the absolute truth.
at the moment, i'm laying in a hotel bed with my laptop, iPhone, iPad, client files, notebooks, the room service menu and a near-empty bottle of wine. just to the other side of a tall lamp and alarm clock is another bed. my mom is sleeping in it. she's exhausted because she had surgery today.
you know how when you were a kid and tied a blanket around your neck and proclaimed to the world you were a superhero? well, my parents were my superheroes. my mom was this crazy smart, fiercely loyal, truth-speaking beautifully feminine woman respected by everyone who knew her. she could take your super-sized non-profit donation and leave you thinking it was your idea.
today she's sleeping in the hotel bed next to me, exhausted. she had surgery today. it wasn't ground-breaking, or death-defying, or tall-building leaping, but it was surgery. they scraped growths from the surface of her cornea. that cape on her superhero outfit is looking a little tattered tonight.
getting old sucks.
no one ever tells you that part of the deal with having a child includes teaching them to poop in a toilet bowl. and no one ever tells you that your superhero is going to need you to take care of them someday.
i love this woman. it doesn't feel appropriate to say that i love her more than anyone else, but i do love her differently. i don't love her because we have fun going shopping together (which, god bless our husbands, we most definitely do), and i don't love her because she taught me how to blot my lipstick and hide an extra $20 in my wallet in case my date was a jerk and i needed to hail a cab. i love her because as much as i've fought my entire life to distinguish myself apart from her, she is everything i hope to be some day. she is crazy smart, fiercely loyal, speaks God's honest truth, is beautifully feminine...and she is my mom.
god, please bless her and keep her on this earth for an extraordinarily long time.