It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (NIV)
My mom is, in a word, amazing. Never in my life has she not given the holidays her all. It occurred to me this Easter that she has made baskets for my brother and I for the past 25 years. I remember being convinced that the Tooth Fairy was a real thing. And while I eventually learned the truth of it all, I cannot get over the time and energy my mom put into helping us clean off our gross and bloodied teeth, carefully packing each one into an envelope, sneaking in at night to replace each tooth with a crisp, one-dollar bill, covertly ironing the envelope shut so not to ruin the illusion of the magical fairy, and signing the envelope with the Tooth Fairy’s beautiful calling card design work. The designs ranged from the glittery oceanic horizon, when I lost my tooth on a family trip to St. Barth (our honeymoon destination), to Santa caps and Christmas trees outlined in sparkles around the holidays. “Because fairies can’t talk, like Tinker Bell. Right?” I’d ask. “That’s right,” my mom would assure me. And my happy little heart would skip a beat, in thinking about all the possibilities and wonder in the world.
The carrots we left out for Santa’s reindeer were always magically shredded with tooth marks, and I don’t think there’s ever been a Valentine’s Day without a surprise box of chocolates or a new pair of earrings as a thoughtful expression of love. Each holiday, without fail, I have always received a card from my parents, carrying sweet messages and reminding me of just how much I’m loved.
The bridal shower at my mom and dad’s house was no exception. My parents had spent months fixing up the house and on top of taking me to dress fittings and make-up trials, my mom, along with my fabulous aunt and much adored maid-of-honor, went to great lengths to create an entirely personal and unforgettably special day. The moment I walked in the door, I was moved to tears by how much these people really loved me, and how much I loved them. With special collages and readings about how my relationship with family and friends had blossomed and grown and an array of more thoughtful, creative and wonderfully personal gifts than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
Sitting in the living room I’d grown up in, surrounded by people I loved, I was overwhelmed with emotion, yet completely at ease. These people knew me. And I mean, really knew me. They’d seen me through my tantrums as an infant, through the silly little arguments that inevitably crop up with growth and change, through adventures abroad and through holidays at home. And everyone was happy. Just so happy, to be there, together, with me.
And sitting right by my side, as she always has been and always will be, was my mother. I knew how many hours and days and weeks she’d poured into getting everything just right, but despite all that she somehow seemed remarkably calm, and collected, and at peace with the world.
As I prepare to venture into this new stage of my life, I’m determined to remember. The foundation upon which our marriage has been built has been immersed in love. And I sincerely hope that as I move into my new role as wife, sister, aunt and daughter, and as I strive to be a better person for my future husband and those I hold so close to my heart, that I’ll grow into half the woman my mother is. It’s certainly something to aspire to, and one day, I hope I’ll get there.