My Momma was a working mom. She did this out of necessity and not any desire to be a career woman. All she ever really wanted to do was take care of her home and family. It just wasn't financially possible.
I remember very clearly one morning before school when I was maybe 10 or 11, feeling very emotional and wanting, no needing to spend the day with my Momma. I remember begging her to call in sick for both of us and while I know it must have been a big deal for her to miss that day of work, she did it. And I will never forget how relieved and happy and valued I felt that day. I can't remember exactly how we spent our time, although I'd give anything to be able to remember the details or to pick up the phone and call her and ask her about it, I do remember the feelings, cuddling and gratitude and that will have to be enough. Even now as I write this it brings tears to my eyes. But it is so important to remember, even the parts that hurt to remember because even the hurting is a gift.
When I was a freshman in high school we had moved to live with my Grandmother and for that one year, my mom didn't work outside of the home. It was the best year of my childhood. My brother had graduated and left home and took with him all the tension in our house. I remember walking up the hill to my Grandmother's house in the snow and opening the door and smelling freshly baked cookies. I remember the feelings of comfort, home and love all wrapped up together. There was a lot my mom didn't get right and there is a lot that she did. I took as much from one as the other and hope that I learned from both her mistakes and her successes although there is no doubt that I have gotten plenty wrong too.
Looking back I realize how very much these experiences shaped me into who and what I became and I am grateful for all of them. My childhood was not a storybook one. It was filled with hardship and insecurity but also a lot of love. And I learned from it which is why I appreciate every day of the life I've made for myself.
My Mom grew up in Northwestern Indiana outside of Chicago. She loved snow more than anyone I have ever met. It makes me so sad that she didn't get a chance to visit us here in our new home in this beautiful Village before she died. She would have fallen so in love. These pictures are for you Momma.