I am my mother’s child, I’ll love you ‘till my breathing stops
No one can tell my mother and I apart on the phone. Sometimes I accidentally get pieces of secrets and gossip until I tell the caller that it is actually Kate, not Rachel. However, despite the constant confusion on the phone, it is really the only place people think we are similar. If you put us in a line-up, you would never be able to tell we’re related. While my mother has bright blonde hair and forever tan skin, I look like her ghost: red hair and fair. I think that’s how it always is: my mother is bright and bold while I am her shadow.
My mother is everyone’s favorite person. People come up to me in the grocery store and gush about her. My friends whisper how lucky I am to have a mother like her. And, to their credit, they are right. My mother is the center of everyone’s gravity — the very center of my universe. She is ever-present, ever-strong, and ever-wise. My mother’s gravitational pull is so strong that it almost goes unnoticed. Everyone flocks to her so naturally that it all seems inevitable. She doesn’t even try. Maybe that is her true power: how easy it all is. She proves that every person is special in their own way and their own light. I don’t know if she just sees it right away or cares enough to get to know a person and find it out, but my mom knows what makes people tick. She sees the deepest part of a person and loves them despite it all, maybe even because of it all.
Speaking of love, my mother is filled to the brim. It oozes on to her dinner plate at family supper. She chokes on it when she gets emotional over tv commercials. It’s all she has ever known and it is all she will ever know. She accredits it to her mother. Her mother, my grandmother, loved without restraint. Without apology. She loved and loved and loved with no expectation of anything in return. My mom still speaks of her and her love reverentially. I don’t think she realizes that is exactly how I feel about her. How I talk about her.
The hardest goodbye of my life was the day my mom dropped me off for college. I wasn’t even going far — on a good traffic day she could be there in less than an hour. But I felt the ache. The distance seemed incomparable. She was alway right there. She was the person I told everything to first. I didn’t think a phone call was sufficient. But, like everything, we got used to it. A phone call in the morning and then one at night became the norm. Sometimes I would even forget. I would instead send simple texts or forget to tell her something. Then, almost like clockwork, I would wake up in the middle of the night and long for her. I would wake up and wish she was a bedroom away. When I came home for the first time, I slept through the whole night. After all, there she was.
Sometimes I wonder if I could ever love like she can. If I could ever love everyone around me just for the sake of love. But I know that I love her like she loves everyone. When I doubt everything around me, I never doubt how much I love her. It is as ever present as the blood in my veins or her tan skin. I begin to feel my love ooze onto the diner table; I choke on it when I get emotional over tv commercials. Her love is all I have ever known. It is all I will ever know.
Title credit: Writer in the Dark by Lorde.