Published: May 13th 2012May 13th 2012
Last Mother's Day, I found out that I had been accepted to come to Tanzania for 2 years. I was in Ottawa at a training course for this trip.
This year, I am in rain-drenched Dar es Salaam, experiencing things I never imagined.
Next Mother's Day, I will still be here (or so I think) and I will have shared more stories and pictures with you.
That is three Mother's Day in a row that I haven't been with mom on "her day"!
As most of you know, mom and I have an amazing relationship. She warned me, when I was a child and driving her crazy, that she would be my best friend when I grew up. She didn't lie.
My mom is something else. At her age (86), she stll drives her car, has coffee with "the ladies" at least twice a week, and is always up for a game of Scrabble or Cribbage. She is a go-getter who would rather be out seeing & doing things than sitting at home, watching the world go by. She is out in the world taking part in so many events.
I often tell her that
she has a better social life than I do. She laughs, but to be honest, it's true.
Some mothers meddle in their children's affairs. Mine doesn't. She may have an opinion but rarely voices it unless she is asked for it.
She has always been my "number one" supporter. Last year, when I told her that I got this posting, she couldn't have been happier for me. I explained to her that she would be the only reason why I wouldn't take it. She looked at me and said, "That sounds like you would be on a 'death watch' if you stayed and I have no intention of dying, so it would be a waste of time. You need to go to Africa and do what you can to help." Then she added, "I will make you a deal... You go and I will be waiting for you when you come home in two years."
When there was talk that I may stretch this posting to three years, she cheered me on. Never once did she try to tell me that I couldn't go, or I shouldn't think about an extension. She just sat quietly and told me that I had to do what was right for me. I have decided that coming home after 2 years is what is right for me.
Today, I honour my mother publicly. I am doing so because I think she deserves it. She has been there through and the good & bad with me. We have had some pretty good arguments over the years. Looking back, I don't remember her saying anything hurtful or untrue. She has been the voice of reason when I have the craziest plans. She stocks a mean cookie cupboard in case someone visits and needs "a little something" with their tea. There is always a can of Pringles potato chips on hand in case I drop by.
I could go on singing the praises of Rose Lawlor, but I won't. She knows how I feel and that is all that matters.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom... I miss you. I love you and I wish I could be there with you today.