May 8, 2020 — I have family on my mind this morning for several reasons. Yesterday, May 7, my mother turned 85! It feels like only 5 minutes ago that we were celebrating her 80th with a big party and people and flowers and cake and all that good stuff. She lives in Raleigh with her crazy Chihuahua Rudy and my brother and sister-in-law who take amazing care of her. I am so grateful for them and all they do for her. I love that she lives with her 2 youngest grandchildren within arm’s reach. It’s beautiful. She is and has always been a fantastic mother and dedicated to her crafts. So much talent in this lady.
She’s an artist, a genealogist, an author, a speaker, and one of the most adaptive creatures I have ever met…all with enthusiastic joy on her face and in her heart. In 2004, (wow, over 15 years ago!) she suffered a stroke alone at home, but even that couldn’t keep her down for long. That stroke forever took the use of her left arm (darn it that she’s a lefty) and weakened her left leg but could not touch that iron resolve. Nor that willingness to get back on with daily life. With a sense of humor and tenacity to the core, she re-created her M.O. and just rolls with it, day in and day out. She is my hero and I hope to have half of that gumption and her force of “just going right on” in the face of such a huge life alteration.
I could go on and on about all the 1-handed gadgets we’ve found for her over the years, the progress she made with her physical therapy, and surprising us with her “party tricks” like squeezing a ball!! My hands-down favorite was and still is was when she progressed to the point of giving me a type of TWO-ARMED HUG again!! (Tissue time!) No doubt it’s still a pisser for her on the daily, having an arm that will only allow about 25% use, but selfishly, and OBVIOUSLY, we would so much rather have her here with us than otherwise which could have easily happened!! So incredibly grateful that it wasn’t her time back in 2004. There are no more words I can say on that.
The second reason to be pondering family today is that my first-born, my OG, my absolute heart is coming home on Sunday. He has been in Colorado in school this whole pandemic, where he was safe and functioning just fine, but not in MY nest. He is coming home for the summer on MOTHER’S DAY!!! In the Old Normal, he would have been preparing to go to Brazil for a super-cool study abroad program that correlated with his Environmental Studies degree, but alas, that’s a no-go. Canceled, of course, but Brazil’s loss is my gain! Let’s just say, we need that guy here with us. We are only 4/5ths without him. He is an important part of Team Lanier and I am grateful that he is able to fly home. What that means for the potential virus he may bring here remains uncertain. But we have to learn to live with this thing, so he will fly. We will do our best to disinfect him and his things. Whatever happens happens. My man-child is coming home:)
Family is special. Family is difficult. Family is FAMILY. And it’s yours.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” – Ha, one more Disney reference in this blog! Thank you, Lilo and Stitch.
Love on them, always, especially when it’s a challenge…
PS Thanks for reading, I deeply appreciate the time you shared with me.