I remember very few things from my early childhood, perhaps because so much time passed since then and no, I’m not implying that I’m old, but rather that there were not too many memorable moments.
Whether dusty or fresh memories there is one constant always there: my parents. Rushed mornings when we yelled at each other to get out of the bathroom, or evenings when we piled up in the kitchen for supper, my parents raised us using the bad cop, good cop strategy, most of the times. On occasion dad used the “‘Tu-ti ziderea ma-tii” which I encourage you NOT to try to translate it; there is no equivalent in the English vocabulary for it. Let’s just say it came along with pain delivered either by a belt, a stick or plain palms.
Mom was the queen of good cop. Always. We had a good relationship and very rarely disagreements, never fights. As I grew older and moved out of my parents’ house I developed an even better relationship with them; I no longer was a child but rather an equal adult they shared laughters and tears with.
Since I moved to the US seeing my parents has been imperative. Skype is a godsend gift I pray never disappears because it makes yearning that much easier. Weekends are usually the days we talk, sometimes for hours, sometimes for only a short, “Hi, how are you?”
I always was proud of my relationship with Mom, but it wasn’t until she came here last year in September to help with family matters when our relationship reached new peaks. Until the day she left beginning of March, Mom and I spent quite some time together, mostly talking our heads off. Sometimes we cried in silence, wondering if my nephew’s health will ever improve. Sometimes we cooked. Sometimes we went shopping. Sometimes we shared a cup of coffee out on the patio under the Arizonan sky, not saying a word but just enjoying being with each other. Sometimes we laughed so hard, my husband would come out to see if we were okay. Sometime I read to her Mihai Eminescu’s poems while she knitted scarves for everyone in the family. Sometimes I’d take her hand, caressing that little palm of hers, feeling not only the soft and warm skin, but also tremendous love, care, support courage, and strength filtering from her into my hand.
I know for a fact I became stronger because of those palms. I know for a fact she’d go to the end of the earth if we, her daughters ask that of her, not complaining, not questioning, just do it because it’s asked of her.
Today is my turn to give back. I’m far away from my mom physically, but not in spirit. Despite the distance I’m by her side, once again taking those hardworking hands in mine and saying:
Thank you, Mom, for everything. Happy birthday!