My hands are shaking. I want to write these things so terribly bad that I can’t wait. There are two people who have shaped me more than any others over the years. Two women, to be exact. The first one celebrates a birthday tomorrow, although her exact age is yet to be confirmed. I wrote a little snippet for her not too long ago and planned to share it on Mother’s Day but today seemed a better day in light of her being gone away on a vacation of sorts and likely in need of some love from home:
“I wanted to write this down. I needed to write this down before selfishness and pride overcame me once again. The trouble with moments like that are they become walls between that which we truly feel and that which we depict outwardly. Some things need to be said. Some things need to be heard.
I don’t know how else to say this truth except that my mother is truly the toughest person I know. The phrase, tough as nails, seems to fit best. You simply cannot pull the wool over her eyes and if by chance you happen to and she discovers as such, there will be hell to pay. My ability to bluntly cast off telephone solicitors and the like comes from her. Listening to her dictate phone conversations with our mobile phone company is like watching some brilliant artist paint a masterpiece. She knows what she wants and goes after what she wants, leaving any observers in awe of the frankness. Chalk it up to her British roots or type A personality but whatever the case, the woman can hold her own like nobody else I know. I think perhaps she’d tell you that bluntness is not so admirable a trait and as the lone recipient of this gene, maybe I should agree. But I don’t. In fact, I think it’s our finest trait. I truly believe that the ability to be honest and true, no matter the feelings involved is one which more people ought to have. We’ve gotten in to more trouble with our mouths than we’d care to admit and sometimes, backtracking and asking forgiveness is a must. We share a home with people who know how to speak with utmost grace; we just speak our minds. But she taught me to hold my own and walk with head held high.
I don’t say these things enough but some things need to be said. More importantly, some things need to be heard.”
Happy birthday to my beautiful mother who has been handed many a tough deal yet has remained strong and unbreakable.
Now, need you ask who the second woman is? Yesterday I was with Jesse and some friends and my sister and her friend were coming over. Someone made a joke to the lone single guy that a single girl was coming and I laughed for a moment before my eyes turned cold and my skin went clammy. I mentally threw double edged daggers towards his nether regions as I cordially breathed one word: No. I wanted to tell him if he looked at her wrong, I’d gouge his eyes out. I wanted to tell him that if he touched her, I’d kill him. I’m not a violent person. Truly, I’m not. Except when it comes to her. For my sister, I would take a life sentence for murdering the person who dared hurt her. I’ve made a pact with my boyfriend and my brother that when her suitors come-a-calling, they will be tested. If they don’t walk on water, they can just turn around and forget it. Because we’re not just talking about our baby sister, we’re talking about possibly the most kind, most generous, most pure, soul that walks this earth. She is the joy of my life. Where my mother has taught me to be strong and bold, my sister has taught me to be selfless and loving (not to say that my mother is not also those things!). When I am awful to her, she crinkles up her nose and giggles that Mollie giggle and says she loves me. I grew up to the sound of her laughing as she fell off stools, up staircases, and over her own feet. She’s smart too. Not just because it comes naturally but because she works harder than anyone I know. I haven’t even mentioned her beauty yet or the powerhouse that she is on the court. Like I said, we don’t call her the golden child for nothing. She finished her final high school courses on Friday and as her graduation day approaches, I discover my hands shaking at the thought of her moving on to university where I can’t be there to protect her. I guess I want to let it be known that there is no one I love more; no one that I will protect more fiercely. My life for hers, everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. There is no limit to the lengths I will go to keep her safe from everything that seeks to harm her. I think God knew this family would need more sunshine than most; He knew I would need my Mollie.
The Lord has been so good to bless me with two women who have helped me become the person I am becoming. I’m tough because my mother taught me how to be, whether she meant to or not. Yet I am being made softer and more gentle because I am loved unconditionally by a girl who has no idea how special she is. I feel such pride when I tell people how my mother came here to Canada for the love of her life all those years ago. I think I could write a novel about that one day, if she’d tell me the whole story. I wanted to write today because I’ve been realizing lately all of the things I never say. I’ve never told her I’m proud of her. I’m proud of you, Mum. You’re tough as nails. I’ve never told my sister how proud I am of her. Oh sure, I’ve probably said it but those remarks usually follow some snide comment about how she’s the privileged Golden Child with significantly less boundaries and rules to abide by. She should know that one of my deepest convictions is that this world would be a better place if everyone had a sister like her. We would all be a lot happier. There would be more sunshine. I’m proud of her, too. I would do anything for her.
The day is getting away from me but I am happy to have written these things which I have always felt but never said aloud. I’m sorry to make you weepy on your birthday, Mum. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say what should have been said long before today. Through thick and thin, come hell or high water, you and Mollie are the rocks that I cling to. I’d say we make a pretty good team.