Not a conventional mom's name, but this is not one of those stories. This is a story of all mother figures. Because mothers come in so many ways to us. I did not even realize that I had a different mother figure until much later in my life. I always knew there was someone very important in my life. My sister was a decade older than me and I looked up to her and loved her and wanted to be like her in so many ways. But for many years we were just not that close.
I began to move around the country with job changes and I had children of my
own. I was a mom.
As I was exposed to new cultures and people I discovered that “mom” means so
many things. Grandma, a neighbor. An aunt steps in. So many people are
uprooted and have no family and even are fragmented that they reach out and
become a surrogate to a child or an adult that they have never known and have
no blood ties with. And to some their precious animals are all that they have in
this world and that is who they care for.
My “KK" took care of me for the first 5 years of my life and I did not find out until many years later while we were lounging by a pool one day in the summer sipping drinks. She told me the story. I had no idea. I always wondered why I felt this strong bond. My mom lost her brother the same day I was born and my sister said that my mom was just lost in her grief and she was so happy she had a little sister that she went from house to house announcing my birth and then just took over, changing, feeding and caring for me.
I imprinted on my sister. This explains why my feelings were so strong for her all of those years. I loved my mom so much, but always wanted to be so close to “K K” and she told me stories of how we used to share a room and go on little adventures together catching fireflies in the summer and we would pretend we were mice at night and go get cheese in the fridge. She taught me to read. She helped me get over my fear of thunderstorms.
I in no way am saying any of this to take away from the love and respect I have
for my mother, I love her as deeply as I have all of my life. She and I were so
close and shared the most amazing memories, travel, and faith. But this is for
those that go unmentioned, that is unspoken. My sister was. She was a mother
to me when my mom needed to recover from a great loss and my sister deserves
to be recognized for that. This is for all of you out there that do all those things for
all of us. You are seen and loved and recognized. You matter.
Happy Mother’s Day.