I am glad I really learned to appreciate my mother before she passed. Actually I learned this quite early as a rambunctious teenager, a rebel by most measures of a kid growing up in Nutley, NJ. My rebelious nature led me to Manhattan where I moved to the Lower East Side when I was about 17. I hung out at places like A7, The Park Inn, Max's Kansas City, CBGB's and the Mudd Club, to name a few.
This was not in line with the plan my parents had for me, especially my mother, who thought I should go to Dartmouth on a Ski Scholarship and eventually become a lawyer. Instead I was singing in a punk rock band in one of the seediest neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan.
I grew out of this phase of my life and pursued a spiritual path which Mom equally did not understand. Before I knew it, I had two beautiful little children and since they were vegetarian, my mother could not make them spaghetti and meatballs on Sunday. Ahhh, she never understood the whole vegetarian thing or the fact that I woke up at 4am to go to "Temple". Lol. But I do remember very clearly the day my mom called me up to yell at me saying, "You can do what you want with your life, but I love my grandson(my daughter was not born yet) and we want to see him more!" I got off the phone with her and did some thinking. She was right. Up to that point I was overly protective of my son but love knows no boundaries and my parents were entitled to be the Grandparents they wanted, deserved to be and love their grandchildren in their way.
From that day on my relationship had shifted with my mother. I really understood that she loved me and, even though we had diametrically opposed views about life, love was the bridge that connected us all. I am glad I had that breakthrough because when my mother passed away from this world, I had no regrets and she had a completely fulfilling relationship with her Grandchildren and they got to know and love their wonderful Grandmother.
I love you Mom, Happy Mother's Day.