You don’t have to be best friends with your mother while you are a teenager, but that changes as time goes by. She is your guardian angel, your inner power that gives you the wings to fly high, each time higher and higher.
She lifts you up; she gives you advice. She watched over you when you had a fever and when you had that stomach bug. You remember that fear of dentists that nearly froze your blood – you thought it stopped from running, but she was there. Letting you hold her hand, clawing your fingers in her soft skin because you are scared.
She helped you with your homework and read you bedtime stories. She used to sneak in the middle of the night to check up on you and cover you with a blanket, so you won’t be cold.
She spent her last dime to buy you those boots you wanted; she gave you the last piece of cake because you wanted it despite the fact that she made it and hasn’t tried it yet (or has tried it by scraping the leftovers from the pan), and she buys only the ice cream you like to eat and she cooks you the foods only you want to eat.
Even after you grow up, she is still your firmest support, your pillar, your shield. Maybe your sharpest critic, but also your voice of reason. She’s been through the same dilemmas and challenges, through the same girly problems, so she knows. Better than anyone.
As adults, you can talk about so much more and laugh over your silliness, how you fell off the bike that one time and you bumped your knee and started crying, you get to talk about the future and life choices; you talk about the first time you got drunk and how she was sleeping while you came in trying to be as quiet as possible, but ended up bumping into a chair.
You tell her about your first kiss and she already knew that was going on because she knows you too well. She knows all your mood swings; when you are upset, when you are angry or hurt, when you are happy or in love.
You started as mother-daughter, yes, but that relationship developed and progressed as you got older. You can talk about anything because you know she means your best, and she knows how to comfort you and calm you down.
Even when you get married or move out she is just one phone call away. You will never bore her, you will never tire her.
Friends can be a tremendous support, but they cannot be your mother. She has sacrificed so much; she suffered your puberty’s cruelty and quirkiness; she stopped living her life to help you live yours.
So be there for her while she is here. She is only getting older and she will not be around forever. Stand by her. Take her out to dinner.
Life is transient and the death of a parent feels like someone has chopped off a pound of flesh off of you. It feels like the whole world is stopping, ending.
You hear the clunky before-collapsing noises of departure; you hear the requiem of your soul: tragic and aching, and you know you have to learn how to live without your pillar, without your shield. You have to learn how to live with the ground shaking below your feet and it’s not easy.