Friday, October 8, 2010

You Never Stop Being A Mom

As we all slug through the minutia that makes up our daily existence, we seem to lose focus of the "big picture" a little, I think. Though my kids' needs change from year to year, (who am I kidding? Day to day!) there are, and always will be, needs. On top of that, whether they are 5, 10 or 15 years old, I've come to accept that they'll always be my babies and I'll always be their Mom.

When I ponder the future, it's almost unfathomable to me that at some point, they won't live with me. That at some space in time, I won't know what they are doing every second of the day. That, like me with my own Mom, I may not talk to them every day. Ugh. Just writing that made my heart do a little tightening.

Last night, I was surfing the 'net with the TV news on behind me. I wasn't really paying attention except with that "side ear" that we as Moms have developed. I heard a story come on, and excuse me for not really knowing the details. The gist I grabbed from it was that there was some sort of controversy about a Mom (living) wanting to be buried WITH her son(soldier, killed in the line of duty) when she eventually passed. Here's the controversial part-he is buried, on her decision, in a veterans cemetery with other heroes that have fallen. She felt it was right for him to be honoured in that way.

The problem is, she isn't allowed to be buried there with him. Spouses and dependent children can be, but not parents. The Mom's argument is that, at 21 years old, her son had no children and wasn't married. She raised him as a single mother and for most of his life (and consequently hers) it was "just the two of them." She stated that she "didn't want him to be alone."

Of course, there are a hundred arguments regarding this case. She could have him moved to another cemetery that allows her to be buried with him. She can fight the clause since he has no dependents. To me, that wasn't what struck me about this case and made me pause to listen further.

She said one line that struck me to the core. As the camera panned over her tear stained face, she said one line in a choked and trembling voice. She said(and I'm paraphrasing here), "To you he may be a man, a fallen hero. But to me, he'll always be my baby."

I got it. I just really, got it.

We, as parents, devote so much of our time and energy into teaching, protecting, loving, essentially pouring all of ourselves into our children. Whether they get bigger in size or not, or need us less or not; they remain, in our eyes, the infant we snuggled in our arms or the toddler whose fever we nervously kept ourselves awake over nights on end.

To some, her request may seem ridiculous. There are, like I said, points and arguments on each and every side. But at the core of it is a Mother that is missing her son and lamenting her loss. More poignantly, it's a Mother wanting to protect her son, even in death.

I got it. I just really....Got it.

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