When I was born, my mother thought I was ugly. Loud, red and guilty of a most painful arrival – I deny nothing. Mother did see Elizabeth Taylor potential in my black hair and violet eyes, but I quickly broke that promise. My hair eventually lightened to brunette and my eyes turned to hazel, with yellow prowling throughout the iris, like a cat’s (which I came to prefer, but that is another story).
Nurses cooed over me, but mother did not understand the attention paid to the 9 pounds of noise lying next to her. She thought I was ugly.
It was the last time she would think that of me, this first meeting that took place over 50 years ago.
Since then, my mother’s pride in her daughter remained steadfast, even throughout decades when belief in my own self-worth differed and diverged in sometimes violent outbursts. It was an incomprehensible devotion – unblinking and unceasing – and though there were times when I claimed I didn’t believe it, oh, how I depended on it.
I depend on my mother. Without her humor, the delicate madness of her divine comedy, I would be sad. Without her joy in my accomplishments, I would be unskilled. Without our nightly phone calls, I would be silenced. If I couldn’t see my reflection in her loving eyes, I would be ugly.
My mother defines me.
I have so little to give in return, except for my steadfast pride and unblinking and unceasing devotion – too rarely expressed. But today, I will do so. I love you mother – Happy Mother’s Day.