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Today is my mom’s birthday and every year on her birthday, whether I show it or not, I am really drawn to her.

Her birthday has a way of reminding me who she is and that who she is - is more than just my mother.

As my mother though - is the way I know her best, maybe the only way I know her. It is hard at times to believe there is anything else. I know there is though, as there is with your moms and as there is with you - if you are a mom.

Still, to me she is a mother and this makes our relationship like no other on the planet. It's unique and wonderful and also challenging and complicated. It is like that with most mothers and daughters I think.....a pushing away and a pulling toward.

It seems almost predetermined really, this special and loving relationship that is also difficult and complex.

I can’t really speak from the mothers point of view because I’ve chosen not to be one, but I did get chosen to be a daughter and I know that I love my mother so much despite any tensions that have seeped in and out of our relationship. I know I love her every time I cry just with the thought that there could be a day when she isn’t on this earth. I’ve actually sobbed over this. Many times. When my friends or family members have lost their mothers, I’ve wondered how they have survived. How have you?

Our mothers are the glue that hold our families together. They’re sticky just like glue too, but still they hold us together. I wonder if I’ve told my mom these things, if she knows. I don’t think so, because even though daughters love their mothers, we try to move away from them too. I don’t know why we do that. It’s just that predetermined thing again I guess. Maybe we can try harder just to move toward them. Why not?

On her birthday, I just want to run to my mom and tell her that I really love her so much and that even though I may not always show it, especially as my own life takes on more of itself, I can’t imagine her not being here for a birthday.

Can’t. Even. Imagine.

She is that important.

As far as I know, my mother doesn’t know this, but then again - how could she not? Does she think I’ve forgotten my childhood? I was so very loved. I remember.

Does she think I’ve forgotten the prom dresses and sneakers and gas money and the times she showed up at my college dorm with hundreds of dollars in groceries?

Does she think I’ve forgotten the time my heart was broken into a million tiny pieces and I called her, could barely speak, and she showed up at my apartment within the hour, stayed there for two days and even slept in my bed with me, stroking my hair and telling me I would be OK? Does she think I’ve forgotten that?

At times the relationship with your mother is like a rope around your ankle; pulling and twisting and cutting into your skin. You are a rope around her ankle too.

At other times the relationship with your mother is like a soft scarf over your shoulders; warm, comforting and full of color. You are a scarf around her shoulders too.

At ALL times, the relationship with your mother is like breath in your lungs; constant, vital.....full.

You are breath in her lungs too.

If you still have your mom, I hope you let her know you love her so much. If you don’t have your mom, don’t worry that she didn’t know. She did, because she had a mother too.

I’ll be with my mother in a few hours. Maybe I’ll tell her all of this.

Maybe she already knows.

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