However, the trait of my mother's that I most admire now isn't one I necessarily recall from childhood, but a more recent acquisition.
My Mom is the bravest person I know.
She doesn't go around slaying giant spiders or flying fighter jets. Nope, she's brave because she gets up and lives every day. Despite the confusion and frustration she carries with her always, she gets up and does it anyway. Every. Single. Day.
Over two years ago my mom contracted viral encephalitis. Her brain swelled to a damaging degree. Viral encephalitis is often fatal, but my strong mom fought and fought, even though she was unaware of what she was fighting. She was hospitalized for a month and dealt with a treatment protocol that was daring and unconventional, but she lived. (And don't think I take that for granted for one minute. The fact that my mom is still here is nothing short of a miracle. Every time I see her or hear her voice on the phone, I breathe that in and out. She-is-a-living-miracle-and-I-am-grateful, she-is-a-living-miracle-and-I-am-grateful.)
For as difficult as the treatment and hospitalization was, the real challenges began when she went home and tried to learn to live again. Viral encephalitis affects all its patients differently, some suffer speech and comprehension loss, others lose motor skills, and others still recover with no trace of permanent effects. This cruel virus took my mother's memory.
Every. Single. Day.
I am humbled by her humility, greatly admire her diligence and fortitude, and can only sit in awe of her bravery.
Happy Mother's Day Mom! I'm glad I have your thick hair and blue eyes, but don't think I can ever attain your level of courage and bravery.