Friday, May 9, 2008

Hi Mom!

It's what athletes say when you point the camera at them on the sidelines. Mom has been my biggest fan for as long as I can remember. Even when there hasn't been much to applaud.

I've never been an athlete. There were no games for her to attend, but Mom has driven thousands of miles over the years to see me play onstage. She has come to Kentucky and folded our laundry, done our grocery shopping, and embraced Mrs P like her own daughter. She even learned to love our cats which was a real stretch for her, trust me.

The people who love me have always had a rough road. For most of my life, I lived with an undiagnosed mental illness - a bipolar disorder that wasn't bad enough to keep me from functioning, but was severe enough to make me unpredictable, moody, and often irrational. I frequently lash out at those closest to me. Through all those years, Mom didn't know my condition had a name - she just knew it was the way I was and that was good enough for her. I was a lunatic, but I was her lunatic.

When my body got broken - flu, fractured bones, mono, knee surgery - Mom's was the cool, soft hand that felt my forehead, made me Jello and brought me books to read. When my heart was broken, Mom was the one who listened to the story, who wept with me, who always took my side.

We cut the apron strings many years ago, but the heart strings are strong as steel.

Mom isn't perfect but in spite of all the reasons I have given her over the years, Mom has never given up on me - and I have given up on myself many many times. She sees something in me that I can't see.

So this morning when I got the email that someone had pledged support for my part in the ADA StepOut on May 31, I didn't even really have to look to see who it was. She's still there in the audience - the crazy lady who buys tickets to every performance in the run and shows up for all of them. The one who puts the walnuts that my sister hates in the poppyseed cake because I'm coming home. The one who has taken grief and returned faithful love for almost 50 years.

Last night Mrs P volunteered to be my camera crew when I hoot my sponsors names at the Diabetes walk. You don't have to guess who will be getting the first hoot.

Hi Mom!

Happy Mother's Day.


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