05 May 2017. Mother's Day is an occasion to say thanks to your mom, but "mom" isn't always clear-cut. Maybe, instead of one mom, others have filled that role over the years. Teachers, neighbors, relatives, caregivers, mentors--people who have consistently shown care and support. People you know you can count on.
In my life, that's my great-aunt. She checks in regularly from Atlanta to say hi, and, even though we're at different life stages, we have lots to discuss. She tells me what it was like to grow up in rural Georgia in the '30s and about her career at the telephone company. She wasn't intent on getting married, but when she met my uncle in her thirties, she thought, "This might work." When she and my uncle got serious, they moved into the same building but kept separate apartments, traversing the floors throughout their courtship.
I update her on my life, we gossip about the family, and she teases me because I'm nearly always on-the-go while we're chatting. Our talks are regular doses of love and connection.
To me, my aunt is a mom. On May 14th, I'll wish her a happy Mother's Day, and I'll thank her for the connection she's nurtured for years until I was old enough to nurture it back.
What she and other mom-figures seem to know is that nurturing and feeding relationships is what it's all about. That slow, steady investment of love and check-ins can take decades to recoup, sure, but that process yields the good stuff of life.