We were sitting across from eachother at the Dimmick Inn & Steakhouse, picking at nachos on my lunch hour. I had just finished telling her that I knew that Tom and I weren't going anywhere - That I wasn't sure he'd ever want to marry me, that he didn't make me feel good anymore, he made me feel weak and like I was always vying for his attention. "I don't know why you're still with him. Someone should be grateful to have you, not stringing you along. I just want you to be loved like I love you. I know I'm your mother, but God, Laurie, you are so special. You are so wonderful. You are like a drop of water in the desert. "
We were in my bathroom at well past midnight on a Thursday. She was patting my tear-stained face with a cool towel, telling me everything would be okay. "But, Mom, I just don't understand," I cried. My words came out wet and slurred, a product of about ten-too-many tequila shots that night. Earlier that day, my mom and I had attended the funeral of our good friend, Roland. My boyfriend had refused to accompany me to the service, advising me that he was "too busy to just drop everything" when I needed him. Roland's death was unexpected and far from timely. For two weeks, we drove back and forth between the our houses and the VA hospitals to which my mom's best friend had been admitted. We watched him progress from good to bad to worse to awful, and there was nothing we could do. Less than a month from the time he went to the doctor for tests, he had passed away. I cried during the service, marveling at the enormity of the man I knew being in a small box at the altar. I cried at his grave, saying my last goodbye and wactching other people whose significant others thought enough of them to come. I didn't want to be alone that night, so I headed to a local bar with friends in an effort to just forget about it. But my desire for amnesia lead to too many glasses of wine and too many shots on an empty stomach. I found the numbness I'd sought, but it terrified me. I called my mom from the floor of my bathroom. "I'm so drunk," I whispered. "I need help." I was terrified. Just as she had promised me through the reciever, she was right there. Sadness and confusion spilled out of me. I was sad about Roland's death. I was angry that Tom deserted me when I needed him. My heart was broken, and I felt utterly lonely. But my mom was there, soaking up my tears and wrapping me in her arms...Even though her despair was much deeper than mine, I'm sure. "It's okay, sweetie. I understand."
I was at my friend's house after her son's baptism. My eyes were puffy and red from crying. I could hardly sees the keys as I dialed my mom's number. "Well," I told her, "that's it. It's over. He broke up with me."
"About three hours ago."
"Yeah, he came with me to Adrian's baptism but got upset because he couldn't sit with us - I mean, we were the parents and godparents, so we had to sit up at the front. He couldn't sit with us. But he got upset. And he left. He left me there, Mom. But he came back just as the baptism was over. He slithered into the back and waited for me. When I asked him if he was coming to the reception, he just said 'I'm going home. I have better things to do with my time. I already wasted a half of a fucking afternoon here.' So I said 'Well, just come to the reception and then we'll go home.' He told me that he wasn't going. He said he was 'sick of her shit,' whatever that's supposed to mean. And then I started to cry. I couldn't help it. And he said, 'Oh, great. Just cry. That's perfect.' Mom, he was so mean. So I told him to at least sit with me for a minute so we could talk about it. And he reluctantly agreed. By the time we got into my car, he told me that this was my thing, not his. I said, 'no, it's their thing...I'm here becuase I'm the godmother. Not because I wanted him to be baptized...' I didn't understand where he was going. He made a sweeping motion with his hand that encompassed the church and the families spilling out of it, the strollers, the wedding bands, the white baptismal clothes. 'No, this is your thing - The family, the kids, the baptism, the marriage. That's your thing. It's not mine. I can't do it, Laurie. It hit me while I was in there. I don't want to get married and I don't want kids." That was it. It was over. I had a boyfriend in the church, and I was single when I walked out of it. I had to go to the reception alone, and everyone said 'Where's Tom? Where's Tom?' What was I supposed to tell them, that he just broke up with me? That he dumped me right in front of St. Vincents? That, after three and half years he finally grew the balls to tell me he'd been lying to me every time he said he'd want to get married?"
"Honey, I am so sorry. You shouldn't have to hurt like this. You deserve so much more. You deserve someone who is going to treat you right. Tom's a great guy, but you deserve better. You're amazing. You're smart and beautiful, you have a wonderful heart. You deserve the best. He was lucky to have you as long as he did. I know you're heartbroken. I know you're hurt. But this really is for the best. Now somebody who deserves you can find you."
She's always been strong for me; When I'm on the verge of broken, she holds my peices together and reminds me there's always something better. She reminds me of my worth, that I deserve the best, that I shouldn't settle. Her love is awe-inspiring. She's helped heal my biggest heartbreaks. She's been the salve to almost every wound I've endured. I'm grateful for her love, for her selflessness, for her amazing heart. I don't know what I would do, what kind of person I'd be now, without her; She's like a drop of water in the desert.