Much of my life, or 37 years of it I've listened to my mother always say the words
You have one mother
In my life I've been blessed to really have two women who have always been "mom"… my mother and my dear Aunt Lorraine…
But in my life I can say my aunt has also been my best friend, a sister, an aunt, a confidant all wrapped into one. Our bond and the love we have for one another has also held steadfast against the test of time, adolescence, growing pains and yes even coming out of the closet. My aunt was the first person I ever admitted being gay to and naturally she loved me no less and never blinked an eye.
On the flip side, through the years of my life, my mother and I have always had and up-and-down on and off relationship. Not that we didn't love each other, but I think more so because we were so much a like and both seemingly wanted to have the last word. I remember even as a small child in the most heated of arguments, when mommy got in the shower, little Brian would get out a piece of looseleaf paper and write a quick little apology note that I would stick in my mother's underwear drawer where I knew she would go to grab her nightgown when she got out of the shower and would be sure to see it. I'd be willing to venture and make a bet that my mom probably somewhere kept those notes and that they still exist somewhere in my parents house today.
In starting in 2008 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer tables begin to flip and I start to realize what it was like to become more of a parent where I took a leave from work to be sure to be by my mother's side every step of the way through her making the courageous decision to have a double mastectomy without choosing reconstruction, while another in the home commented their opinion that my mother was choosing to let doctors "take her womanhood away." I remember after seeing my mom in the recovery room after her surgery and all of us going home, I had to get back in my car and go back to the hospital and I sat with her that first night in her room for most of the night just to be with her so she wasn't alone and had some strength by her side.
In 2009, just two weeks after meeting my husband, my mom had surgery on her left carotid artery developing a post surgical blood clot that required emergency surgery yet again this time requiring her to be on a respirator in a drug-induced coma for about five days. And once again, I could not stomach leaving my mom by herself in a hospital at St. Francis in a coma on the respirator by herself. I slept at that hospital for five days straight with her right by her bedside on a cot. My friend TJ would bring me coffee in the morning, my friend Lisa and Doug came to keep me company and even my husband having known me only two weeks would stop over to stand and show me support through those trying days.
And even through my mothers hospitalizations this past winter in January and while she was in a nursing facility through mid April, I would often go back up to the hospital at 8 or 9 o'clock at night, and just sit with my mom. I think she must've been insisting on a sandwich with her dinner claiming that was for nighttime snack because each time I walk through that door that evening at night my mother had a tuna fish sandwich waiting for me insistent that I eat it. I think in an uncanny and unspoken way that was my mom's way of knowing i'd be back for that one on one time so that she fell asleep at night with someone at her bedside.
So yes as my mom spent years saying you only have one mother… it took me 37 years to truly know what my mother meant … WHICH MEANS
even if you bust your "f'in" a**, and life goes on around you, YOU FIND THE TIME not to "end your world to be someone's care giver", but you find time to make the woman that gave you life, that one mother, and MAKE HER YOUR WORLD!!!!"