Sunday, 8 May 2016

I Love My Mom

It's Mother's Day today, that day in the western world, approximately, where we spend billions of dollars, send fields full of flowers and crates of chocolate, all in honour of our Mothers. Yet I know, from personal experience, that the greatest gift you can give your Mom on Mother's Day is the gift of time, a moment in your schedule where you call your Mom and tell her you love her.

No amount of commercialization can ever replace that single, powerful sentiment; I love you, Mom. Nothing you will ever say or do will have as much power as telling your Mom that her contribution to your life was the only one that really mattered, because if it wasn't for her, you wouldn't be here. For some of us, that expression of love is easier. Some of us have strong, powerful relationships with our Mothers. For others, it's more difficult; their relationships with their Mothers are somewhat more troubled, more difficult.

When I was diagnosed with ALS, I committed to calling my Mom every single day of my remaining life. I call my kids on a semi-regular basis. I call my brothers periodically; the same with my friends. But my Mom is special, incredibly special. She has earned this daily call, this constant contact with her son. I'm not perfect. There are days when I forget. There are also days when I phone twice, having forgotten the first call or been interrupted in our conversation. But my goal remains. I want to tell my Mom I love her right up until I can speak no more. And then I will send that same message by text, or through the voice of a machine.

I love my Mother. I appreciate all she has done for me in my life, all she gave, and gave up, so that I could have more, a better life. I love my Mother. I value the lessons she has taught me, the lessons of love, of forgiveness, of discipline, of caring, of compassion, of kindness. I love my Mother. I fear that the end of my life will come too soon, too soon for either of us.

It is the unkindness of ALS that she is compelled to see me go through this. If I could give her one gift, one single thing on this Mother's Day, it would be hope for a cure, or even some form of treatment, so that she would not have to go through the anguish of losing her son to ALS. But I can't do that. All I can do is tell her I love her.

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