Mother's Day is just a few days away and I can't help but think about my mom. That's okay, right? The issue is that I think about her almost every day. As a matter of fact, I admit that I've used way too much headspace focused on my mom. I consider my actions on a consistent basis and compare them to the way she used to act.
I worry that being anxious about something in my life is an indicator that I'm anxious like she was. I've even had well-meaning family members make comments towards me in uncomfortable moments that go like, "okay, Eva". Sometimes they've rolled their eyes at me, and lumped me right in there with her. I'm sure they had no idea that I walked away from that comment and toiled over it for days....maybe months.
My mom was an awesome lady. She took care of our family, cooked the best meals, kept the house spotless and did the laundry on a daily basis. She spent hours in the bathroom praying daily. Our house was small so that was her only place of privacy. Well, as private as you could get in a 900 square foot house with five family members and one bathroom. She would pray, speak in tongues, quote scriptures, cry, laugh, scream and pray some more. She spent so much of her life begging God to take away her anxiety, her fear and her depression. The sweet pentecostal lady friends she had would instruct her to pray more, read more, cry more, and pray more. So, she did. She did the best she could. There are so many stories I could share, but that's for a book I'm currently writing. Stand by.
I've spent most of my life trying to convince myself that I'm not my mother. I'm not going to pass out at Jordan's school event. I've never passed out. I'm not going to obsess over the possibilities of a stroke just because my head hurts a little. I've never had a stroke, and regardless of her fear of one, neither did she. The pain in my chest is probably just the heartburn from coffee, therefore I'm not going to assume my heart needs a bypass. I've never had a heart attack, and regardless of her fear, neither did she. I'm not going to imagine my house being yanked from the ground and tossed into the sky due to the common rainstorm coming my way. My house has never been tossed in a storm, and regardless of her fear, neither did hers. I'm not going to worry that my car will stall at the traffic light and that someone will surely hit us and cripple us for life. My car's never stalled at a traffic light causing someone to hit me, and regardless of her fear, no one ever hit her either. (At least not because of a stalling car.) I'm not going to assume that the balcony I'm walking across at the mall could possibly collapse and I'd fall into a heap of rubble on the bottom floor. I've never caused a balcony to collapse, and regardless of her fear that it could, neither did she. I won't be concerned that I'll slip on the tile floor and insist on walking on the carpet. I've slipped on the tile floor a few times, but not enough to make me afraid to walk on it. I won't be worried that I'll fall backwards on the escalator and choose to go the long way and take the elevator. On and on it goes. Spending time, energy and headspace, working so hard to convince myself of the truth, I'm not like her.
Again, let me assure you that my mom was as amazing as she could possibly be. She did so well with what life had done to her. She loved me as hard as she could love me. She kept her head as above water as she knew how. She would've loved to have pulled up her mental bootstraps, but she would say, "I can't find them." She tried. She overcame so much. I've recently had a memory of my mom surface over and over again. It's of her wearing a white sweater and red pants, and her head is thrown back, her mouth is wide open and she is laughing. There was NOTHING quite like her contagious laugh. She would get so tickled at something and just laugh until her false teeth would rattle. It makes me smile so big to remember those moments.
All my life, I've spent worrying that someone will call me Eva. And that when they do, it will insinuate that I'm all of those fears that she suffered through. That I'll be accused of being "dizzy headed", "crazy as a bessie bug", and many more of her favorite phrases. All along this journey, I've failed to focus on the strong, valiant, amazing things of my mom. Instead I've allowed the fear of comparison to steal those moments away from me. In addition, I've allowed it to steal away the amazing woman that God has created me to be. I have my own list of things to work on. But I no longer have need to borrow hers. You see, I'm not her. According to my amazing daughter, I'm nothing like her.
Mom, I love you, I forgive you and I honor you. I focus from this day forward on the amazing things that made you Eva: your smile, your laughter, your mean cooking skills, your teased hair, your precious heart for God, your Holy Spirit led prayer times, your Merle Norman foundation, your love for your relatives and gold jewelry.....on and on. And when I think about myself, I'm going to see myself through the eyes of my Savior, my daughter, my friends, and my coaching clients. You were you; and I'll be me.