The last time I had written about my mother was almost two years ago to this date, the piece was titled "This Lady Though". My opening paragraph, just so you don't have to go back and search for the piece, read the following:
"Throughout my life, I've never been one to get caught up in labeling my mother as the best mother in the world and that's only because I think there's a law against attempting to place a label on an angel. Often times I look back on my life and wonder how in the world I was given such a loving individual whom I could call mom."
Alas, I am the person I am today because of my mother's spirit and fortitude, patience and grace! My mother is the one person within our family who is consistently happy, I think my brother is a close second and my father, well, he could receive honorable mention if he smiled more.
I've been around my mother, now, for close to forty one years and I cannot for the life of me recall ten to fifteen times when I've seen her visible upset about something. If the truth be told, I have seen her hopping mad (not my fault) but even that moment was pretty damn funny. Wait, is mom mad...? My mom is so happy that I often tell my friends that she has her head in the clouds and she's the one assisting God with making rainbows after a storm.
I'll fast forward this story a bit in order to bring me back to today. There have been moments within my life when I've done something out of the norm andI've even shocked myself that I was able to pull off said feat(s).
For years on end my mother has spoken about a family which treated her as if she were a daughter to them, during their time in Monrovia, Liberia. I think what most people do not understand is the simple fact that missionaries are typically sent to a region to help cleanse the area of activities which aren't deemed "Bible" (I hope that makes sense without having to go too much into detail). In most cases the missionaries would have help which would do their cleaning, cooking, and babysitting all the while never eating at the same table, metaphorically typing.
Again, being a child that retains so much random information, I can never recall a time as to which my mother had anything bad to say about the family which she lived with for a period of time. In fact, my mother often sits and says things such as, "They were such wonderful people, they loved me as if I were their own." This has always left an impression on me.
Life is always funny and the way we as a society operate, we can connect with someone in Indonesia while ordering an espresso at Dutch Brothers (I'm not a coffee guy). So I say this in order to explain that close to three years or so ago, I received a request to add someone who had a familiar last name and shared mutual friends/family members within my "social" circle.
I've found that I've become quite fickle with how I approach "social" media; I deactivated my Facebook account because the weight of it all was becoming a bit too much, I do not use Snapchat, I haven't the time to Periscope, and Instagram has left me looking for validation for my pictures and explanation of them.
The woman to the right of my mother, we'll call her Pam, isn't someone who says much of anything on my Instagram posts, shoot, I'm not sure if she likes all of my posts or not (no obligation). A few weeks ago she sent me a message in which she stated that she and her husband were going to embark on a cross-country trip which would end, for her, in Sacramento, California.
"I haven't seen your mother since 1971 and I would love to see her, she was like a big sister to me", she said and without hesitation, I replied, "Let's make it a surprise, she'll have zero clue what is taking place. Over the course of their travels, I kept tabs as to their whereabouts until low and behold, she and her husband ended up dropping anchor twenty minutes or so from my house. Really, I can't make this stuff up!
Long story made short, after some persuasion I was able to get my mother into my Prius for some mother and son hang out time. I'm sure my mum probably thought I was going to give her some bad news or something yet all I said was, "I'm going to take you somewhere". Once we arrived at the meeting point, which was a restaurant, I informed my mother that I had actually bought the restaurant with a couple of my business partners (drum roll please).
Remember how I stated my mum has her head in the clouds? "Son, you did what... You bought this, why?", she said with a confused look on her face. No sooner had she uttered those words, Pam and her husband came walking through the door and up to our table. "Mum, I'd like introduce you to my business partners."
Pam was holding an envelope of which was filled with old pictures, pamphlets, and memories; she handed a pamphlet to my mother and my mom read it quickly and looked at us all as if to say, "Okay, so you bought this restaurant with these people and now I'm reading something..." I know my mum and I also know that she doesn't pick up on things too quickly. I looked at mum and said, "Mum, let's try this again. What does that pamphlet read?" so she read it again and paused.
For years on end my mother has spoken about a family which held her close as if she was one of theirs and now she was sitting in front of a woman who was a child some forty six years prior... "Mum, this is Pam she's the child of..."
I cannot begin to tell you the level of excitement I received watching my mom's face move from that of confusion to that of understanding! There's something about my mother that's magical, perhaps it's her smile, perhaps it's her heart, perhaps it's the fact she's always giving and never asking for anything in return.
Today I watched my angel shed tears of joy for she was reunited with someone whom she held close many years ago. Time can be cruel, time can be gracious, however in the end time is what you make it... Always make time to attempt to make others feel loved.
Thank you Pam for reaching out, thank you for loving my mother, my angel on earth.