So if you are following along you know that each day for seven days I am sharing one thing that I would tell my mom if she was still here. This is day two. This is thing two. If you aren’t following along let me bring you up to speed. Seven years ago, yesterday, I “lost” my mom. And by lost I mean she had the good fortune to move on from this place to another place. What other place you ask? Well, that’s another post for another day. So in honor of her and the seven years that have passed I have decided to post seven things that I would say to her if she were here. If she had not yet moved on to that “other” place. So here we are. Day two. Thing two.
#2 I want to pay your bills. Yes, you heard me right. Mom, I want to pay your bills. All of them. The strange thing here is that just a few nights ago, maybe a week ago, I had a dream that I was with you in the small house that I spent years 12 through 19 of my life. Seven years. We walked up the gravel driveway together as I told you that I wanted to buy the house. That I could afford to buy the house. That I would fix it up for you. I would have the driveway paved, the yard landscaped, and whatever else you wanted. I would do it. All of the sudden from there, we were in the basement. Everything was in the same spot. The washer and the dryer. The moving boxes that held clothes or memories or whatever had not been unpacked. The lights were on, burning bright from the exposed bulbs. And as we looked around I explained how we could finish the basement. We could add at least two bedrooms and a bathroom. I assured you that it wasn’t a problem at all. I could do it. I wanted to do it. I could afford it. And then I woke. I know you were there. It was one of those dreams. Where I knew I met you somewhere on another level. I could smell the smell of the basement. The damp, mildew smell overpowered by bleach from the laundry. The piles of clothes that needed to be washed. I could see it and I could smell it. I was there. You were there. And in my wakened state, I had the thought…if you were here I would pay your bills. I would buy you a house. I would buy you a car. I would take you shopping. Whatever you wanted or needed. What’s mine is yours, Mom. What’s mine is yours.
You see, my mom was not very good with money – or maybe she just never had the opportunity to be, I don’t know. We lived paycheck to paycheck for sure, probably with bumps in between. There were times between the years of 12 and 19 that we didn’t have groceries in the house. Perhaps enough to get by, but not more than that. And there were times when those groceries were bought with food stamps, the good ole fashion paper kind. I remember asking her if we could grocery shop outside of the town we lived in, a very small town, so no one would know that we were “poor.” So what did she do? She drove 20 minutes to another town where it was less likely we would be noticed with our food stamps even though she probably didn’t have the extra money for the gas to do so. She always put us and our feelings first. She would go without to make sure that we never felt less than. And I get that. Boy, do I get that. I never want my boys (if you missed yesterday…the five-year old Tasmanian Devil and the eleven-year old pre-pubescent ticking time bomb) to know those feelings of insecurity and worry. No way. That’s probably why my pantry and fridge and freezer at home today are completely stocked.all.the.time. But she would do things, like not pay bills to make sure that we had the “right” shoes or the “right” clothes. She never wanted us to feel less than. Some might think that is wrong. That she awarded us material possessions when she had so little to start with, but I think that’s love – of the deepest, truest kind. She was willing to give us whatever she had so we didn’t have to feel not good enough. She was the first to show me, to teach me – what’s mine is yours. I didn’t see it then. But, I see it now.
This life is temporary and these things are temporary. What’s mine is yours. They say money cannot buy happiness, but have you ever seen someone who has nothing receive something? Even if you think you have nothing – you have more than someone else. I learned that from her first. Even if I didn’t realize it until many years later, one year ago actually. I am glad to know it now. What’s mine is yours. For what it’s worth.