There she is, my mother with my father as they were leaving for their honeymoon, with a world full of promise and a belief in a bright future. This is my favorite photo of that day, and I'm pretty sure I've gotten my hands on all of them over the years, being the romantic that I am. I begged my relatives for all their copies and have gotten most of them for my collection. But, this one is the best.
My parents divorced years ago, and we are one of those extended families now, where everyone remains friends and the steps might very well be at a family event with both my parents laughing and having a good time together. I could look at this image and focus on hopes and dreams that were lost. Instead, I see that life doesn't always go as you expect, and still it comes out okay, perhaps even richer in the end.
On Mother's Day, of all days, I find myself feeling lucky because I have a Mom who is my biggest supporter. I know that many don't have Moms like mine, and so I try not to take it for granted. Sometimes, I do. I'm human. We get on each other's nerves. We fight sometimes. Yet, she still thinks I am the greatest thing to come along ever. Her belief in me is truly astounding.
Let me give you an example. Upon my graduation from Goddard with my masters in Interdisciplinary Arts with a focus on Environmental Studies, my mother began to ask about my future plans. On the drive home from Vermont, she announced with all seriousness that she had gotten Al Gore's address and mailing information, so that I could write to him. She expected me to share with him my ideas on how to use art to teach people about climate change. She said this with such sincerity that I knew she honestly believed Al would be grateful to hear from me. Surely, he would make me his new right hand girl in charge of something.
When I informed her that I wanted to be a writer, and that the one person I would love to learn from the most would be Barbara Kingsolver, my mother made damn sure I met Barbara in person and was able to have a long chat with her about writing fiction. To this day, she is awaiting my Kingsolveresque novel of quiet brilliance to be published. She believes in me that much. Without question. Without end. So, thanks Mom for your belief. It lifts me up, and I love you for it!