Today is my Mother’s birthday.
She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I live in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, USA. According to Mapquest it would take 33 hours and 25 minutes to drive to her house. She is 2058.21 miles away. It would cost four hundred and eighty-six dollars and two cents to drive there.
Once upon a time I lived in the same house as my mother. I woke up and walked down the hall past her bedroom and went into the kitchen and had a bowl of shredded wheat and half an orange for breakfast. She was there in the morning when I walked to high school, and she was there when I walked home from high school. She was there when I drove eight hours away to college, and she was there when I came home to visit. She was there when I married. She has been there for me through miscarriages, and babies and sadness and joy and rage and despair and rain and sunshine.
If my life is a circle, my mother is the center, the focus. I am safe to walk away from the center knowing that my mother loves me. It was easy for me to hitchhike through Israel, live on a Kibbutz and fly to Japan on a one way ticket to Bangkok. Well, not really easy, but I wasn’t scared to have an adventure. I knew I could come home again.
Now when I wake up in the morning I walk past the bedrooms of my children. I walk downstairs to the kitchen and eat a hard-boiled egg and half an orange for breakfast. I have my own home. I have a husband and children to take care of. I will be the center of a circle for my children, the focus. They can leave the house and have adventures, and I will be here for them when they come home. One day, I will see them every few years, and they will have their own circles. They will be the focus for their children.
Look at the moon tonight at 8:00 o’clock your time, and I will look at the moon at the same time. I will blow you a kiss, and sing Happy Birthday to you. Close your eyes and listen. You will hear me.
I love you.