It’s amazing how fast time goes by. Today is the seventeenth anniversary of my mother’s passing. Normally I would be commiserating about her death, finding her body, and the funeral. But, there is just something different about today. I have no need to think about all the bad things. My mother is dead and I can’t do anything (then or now) to change that fact. However, I can change how I honor her passing.

My mom was afraid of people. I seriously would have to get up every Saturday at 7 in the morning to go food shopping with her because she hated being around others.

Well, one day, I was friends with this one girl and (in normal teenage girl fashion) the next day I wasn’t friends with her. I was pretty hurt and my mom knew it. So that Saturday, after we went food shopping and put the groceries away, my mother had another place in mind to go. I was shocked when my mother asked me if I wanted to go to the mall. It was a Saturday and it would be filled with people. Also, my mother rarely shopped at the mall. She was more of a Caldor kind of gal.

My mother’s plan was to take me to the mall and buy us those best friend charms where she would have one half and I would have the other. I remember walking in the mall as a teenage girl and still holding my mother’s hand. I didn’t care what people thought or who saw me; this was my mother and she was proud to be seen in public with me.

I wore my best friend half for a few days and then I stopped wearing it. My mother assumed I was embarrassed to be her best friend and I never told her the truth. I was embarrassed that no one else thought I was worth being his or her best friend and if no one else wanted me, my mother shouldn’t want me either.

But now I am older and I understand my mother’s thoughts and intentions from that day. I was her child and to her, I meant a lot. It didn’t matter what the world thought of me; it mattered that I was her daughter and she loved my unconditionally.

I didn’t get to know my mother as an adult. I don’t know how to be a mother to my own adult children. However, I don’t know of either of those things really matter. Am I really missing something because I didn’t get to have adult conversations with my mom? I don’t think so. Many people don’t really know or understand their mother until they are an adult; I already loved and understood her before she passed. I don’t feel cheated. As far as not knowing how to be a mother to adult children, I ask again, does that really matter? At the end of the day, isn’t the one thing we want and need from our mother is unconditional love? If I can give my kids that feeling of unconditional love, do I really need anything else?