89: My Mom and My Mother

89: My Mom and My Mother

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

My Mom and My Mother

All that I am or ever hope to be,

I owe to my angel Mother.

~Abraham Lincoln

I never knew my mother. I don’t know what her laugh sounded like or if she was afraid of the dark or if she liked the beach. The Catholic adoption agency she surrendered me to didn’t know very much about her either.

But I know that she loved me enough to make sure I had a good home.

I grew up in a house full of laughter and hugs, with church on Sundays, a back yard with pink rosebushes, chocolate bunnies on Easter, and stockings to hang on Christmas Eve. I attended dance lessons, voice lessons, swim team, and softball, and we said grace as a family before every meal.

In the room I shared with my sister, I slept in the top bunk, and I had my own desk with my own plastic typewriter that I used to tap out lists of dreams. My mom took us to the library every week, volunteered as room mother for my class every year, and let me lick the spoon when she baked cookies. I remember her preparing me for my classmates’ taunts that she wasn’t my “real mother” and that it was “too bad my biological mother didn’t want me.” And when they came, I was ready for them. I fiercely defended a woman I had never met because my mom let me know how much that woman loved me.

I was raised to understand the sacrifice my mother made for me. I learned of her frequent visits to the foster home I was in before deciding on an official placement for me. She knew she could not provide a life for me, and as hard as it was, she decided to give me a chance at a real one. My mom discussed all this with me and helped me understand how much love it took to make the choice my mother did.

Every year on my birthday, my mom would tell me with a hug, “Say a prayer for your mother today. I know she is thinking of you.” And after she left, I would pray for the mother I didn’t know. I hoped she could somehow know that I was happy and healthy, loved and secure.

I have two amazing moms. One put herself last in order to give me a life full of love, experiences and security. And one wrapped her arms around me and never let me forget how much both of them loved me.

~Beth Rice

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