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Victoria Wienke: Appreciation for Mom multiplies as we age

As we progress from a child to an adult, we go through many stages of association with the person we call Mom.

In our early years, Mom is the most important person to us. She is so loving, and we require that love to grow. Mom always seems to understand when we are in pain, or our feelings are hurt or we just need that little bit of extra loving. Mom is always there. She is the most important person to us.

When we get a little older, our relationship with Mom changes. She’s a bit more demanding of us, expects more from us and gives us a push to be a little more dependent – but not so much that we don’t need her.

Here’s where we start to manipulate this person, because Mom is a softie and we can usually persuade her to give us what we want with our little smile, grin or pleading eyes.

Next we turn into teenagers. All of a sudden, Mom isn’t so understanding. She doesn’t understand our needs and won’t give in just because all our friends have something or can do something, like staying out late.

Now we get: “Would you jump off a cliff if your friends were all doing it?” as a response instead of her giving in to us. There’s a rift between us and we don’t understand why she is punishing us, but we survive.

We go off to college or get our first job and then we find out what the real world is like. We begin to understand what Mom was preparing us for and protecting us from. No longer is she there to fight our battles and make things easy for us – we have to find our own way.

But boy does it feel good to come home and be pampered again and feel her loving arms around us. We savor those special meals Mom makes just for us. It makes us want to stay just a bit longer and enjoy all that pampering.

Then we are married, with children of our own. We remember the old saying: “I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up!” And we did. Now we know exactly what she meant. It’s not easy being a parent and being responsible for another life, making decisions of what is best for that person.

All of a sudden, Mom is the most responsible, intelligent person we ever knew. She is amazing. We pick up the phone to call her a little more often, asking for her advice.

Then one day Mom is gone. We never realized how much you could miss someone. It’s not that we necessarily talked every day, but when the kids did something special or something we worked on came out perfect, we wanted to tell her about it. Sadly, she’s no longer alive to listen.

Oh, how I miss Mom! Many times I’ve gone to the phone to call her and then stopped, raised my eyes to heaven and said, “Yep, Mom, you were right.”

I don’t know how it happened. I don’t feel like I went over the hill. But now I’m the older generation. My kids are all grown. I don’t move as fast as I used to and yes, Mom, you were right in that all of a sudden, the floor has gotten farther away if I have to bend down to get something.

Our kids call us for advice. It seems we’re smarter now than we used to be. But I still see Mom every time I look in the mirror. Thanks, Mom, for everything.