A Mother's Day letter for my Mother-Sister
If you've read "A letter for my Mother", you probably realize that Mother's Day is a hard one for me. Not hard, as in difficult, but more like awkward. My family lost my mother before I was old enough to make gifts at school or make her breakfast in bed, so I spent those years making Mother's Day cards for my father before that was a thing and when teachers would still say that your family of your black father raising two small kids was not a family. My father would accept his cards filled with puns based around him being the best "mother-father" in the world with half a smile on his face and keep on going. But we went through.
As I came into my own womanhood and had children on my own, I was blessed with a older sibling that stood in to help me find my way into grownupness. Although circumstances might have dictated that we not be friends, her mother had taught her to hold ALL siblings close. She'd taught her that when your parents pass on to the beyond, your sisters of all ilk will be all you have to stand with you through life's trials and your own children's triumphs, or just be there for you when you want to knock the little knuckleheads on their behinds.
My sister taught me how to be a mommy and a friend. She taught me how to be a grown woman. She is my closest female friend, and "Grammy" to my children. She taught me that even though I might want to do something else on Mother's Day, accept all homemade cards with a smile, and enjoy all burnt toast even though there are no carbs other than vegetables on my diet. My sister taught me how to recognize who in your life is worthy of your gifts and whom I should walk away from. The most important lesson I learned from my sister was that the kind of woman you are teaches the young people, not just the girls, in your life what kind of people they should be.
Mother's Day is based on the idea that we get one day to show our mothers how much we care and appreciate what they do for us. And that's good, because sometimes we forget to say thank you. We forget that we get mothering not just from our biological mothers, no matter how long we are blessed to have them, but we certainly forget that we also receive those gifts from siblings and from friends.
My text box was filled with all kinds of well wishes when I woke up this morning, not just from my sisters, but from friends all over the country, their children, and even from people as far away as Peru. I accept all of those well wishes with a happy heart, and I thank my sister (and her mother) for the gifts they gave me.