Today is Mother's Day and you are 5,000 miles away from me, taking care of your aging mother and father in rural Poland.
This alone is a true testament to the kind of person you truly are.
I can't verbally wish you a Happy Mother's Day. I can't physically hug you to tell you how much I love you.
But rest assured I know and appreciate what you have done for me.
I know that it must have been incredibly painful for you to clean houses during that first summer in America, while Kash and I were in daycare. I can't even imagine the feelings you felt that summer as you observed happy American children enjoying their mothers while you made their beds and scrubbed their bathrooms.
I know that you must have thought that I was an un-grateful American teenager when you lovingly packed smelly goose liver pate sandwiches for my high school lunch and realized that I threw them out. Oh. What I would do now for some smelly goose liver pate, smothered on top of rye bread.
I can't even imagine the strength it took to leave behind a familiar language, comfortable surroundings, and a loving family in your young twenties to move across an ocean for us. I. Just. Can't. Even. Imagine. A simple trip to the mall with three children makes me break out in sweat.
I can't even imagine what you must have thought when the vice-Principal of my high school called to let you know that I was "unaccounted for" and presumed "ditching school." You see... I was trying my best to fit into the American culture and celebrate "senior ditch day." I now understand how disappointed you must have felt not understanding how students could disrespect education. I am so sorry. For the reference, the Jerry Springer show did not delight.
I love how your reminded me, my entire life, that I was different from everyone else. Not in an elitist way, but in a loving way that reinforced why we came to this country. I might have given you a snotty look as a teenager when you said "We are the BlahblahSKI family and we are not average." It only took me 30 years to understand the true meaning behind your words. We are not your average family.
I love you. Even though, as a typical Polish family we might not hug enough and kiss in public and pronounce our undefeated love to one another. I just want you to know that I am becoming a little more American with each day. I am longing to hug and kiss you with obnoxious emotions. "COME HERE AND GIVE ME A HUG!!!!!" Sacrastically prounced with a thick Chicago accent.
I love you now, more than ever, as I am someone's "kochana mamusia." I can now, only begin to imagine, the feelings that you have wrestled with for 31 years.
Happy Mother's Day, Mamusia. Without you, I am not myself.