Never Any Doubt

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, which means there will probably be a (well-deserved) wave of posts honoring the women who brought us all into this world. I thought I would jump the gun a bit, mostly because if I don’t publish this now, I probably just won’t.

You see, I’m not a sappy, sentimental person. I always make sure to say what I mean and mean what I say, but when it comes to being openly emotive and mushy?

Not so much.

This is not a trait I inherited from my mom, as she openly proclaims her love for people and things at an almost disturbingly frequent rate, hugging people she just met and tearing up over a random card I might send in the mail.

I used to find this annoying, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s often hard to relate to a virtue in someone else that you can’t easily conceive of in yourself.

But as an adult I’ve learned to navigate these differences and approach our relationship differently. She’ll never change who she is—loving, but stubborn as hell—and accepting our differences instead of constantly fighting against them has really been key as the years have gone by.

Which brings me to my point.

I’ve written about my mom’s disability before and if you’re not familiar with what she’s been through, I suggest you click through at some point. Not because I want you to read more of my posts, but because you should know what I mean.

Even though things weren’t “normal” with my mom when I was a kid—surgeries, braces, body casts—she made sure that everything else I knew was. I was raised with the knowledge that I was special, I was smart, I was loved.


And obviously very well fed.

Things haven’t become easier as time has gone on. I still worry about her on a daily basis, and I know she still worries about me. We both have our reasons to worry.

But no matter what I might doubt in this world—myself, humanity, the validity of expiration dates on ChapStick—one thing I will never, ever doubt is the love that my mom has for me.

How she does it—how any parent does it—amazes me.

I would be a mess.

The thought of loving something that much, watching that little person leave my side or feel pain or hurt or sadness in any way, feeling so helpless as to how things might turn out—and doing most of this behind that “mom” mask of strength that so many moms seem to wear—all that would scare me to death.

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about my mom—every mom—who goes through these feelings of doubt that they’re doing things “right.”  Doubt that their children are happy and loved, that they know they’re happy and loved, that they’re protected enough but not overly so.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now or because I hear it from friends or read it on blogs, but I never fully grasped the scope and the depth of the sacrifice you all so willing make every day, most often with laughter and love. 

I thank you.

Because while I’ll never have kids of my own—my level of nurturing and dedication extends only to a (fake) houseplant—I respect the women who do, not just for what they do on a daily basis, but for who they are.

Women who worry. Women who sacrifice. Women who raise their children with the knowledge that they’re special, that they’re smart, that they’re loved and accepted—even if they’re not mushy.

I’m lucky.

I’ve never had any doubt.

Happy Mother’s Day out there!

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23 responses to “Never Any Doubt

  1. Lovely tribute – nice it’s now when people can read and appreciate (before mothers overload – incoming!)
    You were lucky. And she sound like a marvel.
    (moving on now before getting misty eyed….)
    Well done

  2. Dude, you just nailed it. Doubt, it’s what mother’s do best! It’s the only thing I’m truly fantasic at!!!

  3. this is beautiful, Abby.

    I have all kinds of profound thoughts lately (and not as many words to convey…), and some huge respect and love for my own mom, who has just been one of the biggest rocks for me these last 2 years. she so selflessly gives, always, and I am incredibly lucky to have her.

    I knew the post you linked to, and went over for another read anyway, because it is so beautiful. you do have a way with words.

  4. Sorry abs, but this is your best post ever. You showed me that supposed dark heart. You light up the computer screen even when you talk about your mom. I’m envious of that because I’m not aslucky as you. My mother in law does a great job covering for what my other mom doesn’t but reading something like this is wonderful.

    Happy Mother Day, Abs mom. Good luck to the Tigers.

    • Well, it evens out. I will not be writing a post like this for Father’s Day, whereas your girls would have every right to write about you as a dad ;) My post would have to be fiction.

  5. Just lovely…my future mother-in-law (I call her second mom) has been through a similar life. She fled Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, but came to America and got very very sick. She’s been through spinal surgeries, body casts, the whole thing. She, and your mom, should be inspirations to us all! Because throughout all this, they were always, and always will be, just ‘mom’ :)

  6. I’m always so touched when you write about your mom – her struggles, her love for you and your love for her. to be able to love so generously is a wonderful gift. you are truly lucky and blessed to have received it – I only wish all children were so lucky. Happy mothers day to your mom and to her mom (who i’m guessing taught her well). you all take care.

  7. that baby is really adorable.

  8. Awwww, what a nice post about your mom! I’m having the hardest time figuring out what to get my mom for mother’s day. Damnit. Can I steal this post? (Kidding, kidding)

  9. If your cat reads about your nurturing only extending to a fake house plant, she is going to be PISSED.


    • Considering she lives with me, the Ice Queen, I think she’s well aware of that by now. Then again, she DOES try and eat the fake tree, so perhaps she’s acting out?

  10. Such a beautiful post, Abby.

    You are most definitely smart and special and loved.

    Your mum sounds like a wonderful woman, give her a huge hug from me.

  11. Good Morning and thank you for sharing!

    I think only with time WE come to appreciation of bigger things then us (mothers,fathers, undying love and care…)
    Myself being a big sister(mom nr2), bonus mom (no I don`t use step not for me or the kids! yuck! ) and now very proactive doggy mom, has brightened my horizons of unconditional love. Oh! And as I found out more about my mom, how she has survived my dads tantrums whole their marriage still amazes me! I would have been like, pack my bags and CIAO!
    Apart from sweet mushy being :) I am tough love type,I believe in discipline and fun same time, for that I been loved and respected (I guess).
    To be a mother is a privilege and honor, its tons of responsibility and magical journey of creation. There is bunch of errors and trials as there is no manual for “do it right!” but its exciting and inspiring process.
    As I go to Shelter,I see dogs as my own kids,everybody with their own personality and need,but it always come down to one thing: How can I love you and care for you so you become best of you!? I get bruises, dirty all over, pinned down, hugged,licked all over etc Its pain and gain with these deserted animals. There is no way in hell,I will make a difference in everybodies life/behavior, but I know that I did my best to care.
    There is BEAUTY in loving unconditionally. Is it with 10 sugar coats or spank that ass and time-out!

  12. Is it just me or does your early childhood pix depicting you in a pointy red cap explain the whole garden gnome fascination thing????????????

  13. I used to think I, too, could only love a (fake) house plant, but now that I’m a mom, I realize that you just do it…every day. Some days you do it well and other days you find yourself yelling “no wire hangers”.

  14. This is beautiful. You got me all teary, dammit!

  15. Two women close to me recently had baby boys and, watching them go through it makes me want to: (a) giant bear hug them, (b) run. It’s so much work! I really can’t imagine having to take care of something so fragile and breakable and impressionable. I will be a mess! But for the women who do it with a sense of humor, dignity and honesty (and coordination) – bravo.

    • Exactly. It’s a mix of admiration and “thank god that’s not me” a lot of the time, but to each their own. Some people are meant to be moms, and some are meant to be spinsters ;)

  16. Oh, Abby! This was beautiful!

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