My mom inherited what we call German strength from my grandfather. She doesn't know she has it. She can carry the weight of the world and a week's worth of groceries in her arms without batting an eyelash. She helps. I don't know why she puts up with me and my constant bitchiness. People say we argue so much because we are so alike. I can't understand that because I could never be the person she is. She does for everyone. There is never a time when my mom isn't giving a little bit of herself away.
When we were young, both my parents were on the local first aid squad. It was a volunteer squad, but you wouldn't know it by the amount of time and energy everyone involved put into it. The pagers would go off at all hours causing constantly changing plans...who would be driving me to basketball or what time would we be eating dinner or don't worry, I'll just wait here until you get back.
Sometimes hours later or maybe minutes things would fall back into place, but it still pissed me off as the selfish kid I was. I wanted my mommy and daddy to put me first. Not those other people who needed them. ME.
But that changed one day when I was with my mom in the Foodtown parking lot. We were about to go in for groceries which wasn't a chore for me. I enjoyed going with my mom to the food store, because she was always so adventurous with her cooking. She would see something on the shelf and want to try it for dinner that night. She would ask me what I thought would be a good side dish and actually listen to my reply while she placed ingredients into the cart. She would let me pick my favorite cereal. Fruity Pebbles. I would chuckle embarrassed as she sang along with the muzak version of Superstitious they played throughout the store.
But as we sat in the parking lot that day unbuckling our seatbelts, that blasted pager blared out that a call had come in. My mom started the car again and clicked back on her seatbelt awaiting the destination of the call so she could quickly drop me back at home before heading to the ambulance. She could see I was upset, but didn't change her course of action.
Only this time, the call was very close. It was actually in the same parking lot we were currently sitting in.
My heart started racing as I looked out at the sea of cars to find one that was on fire or crashed into a pole or worse. I looked over at my mom who was sweeping the parking lot as well, but she was calm. She was collected. She saw a policeman walking towards a car and told me to stay put while she checked it out.
The car was close enough I could hear what was happening. Thankfully there were no fires or crashes. Someone was having chest pains. My mom called to me in the same voice she used to tell me dinner was ready. "Hey, Cin, can you please bring me my kit?"
I brought her kit to her and stared in awe of my mom. Total and complete awe. The way she swiftly opened the kit and got all the things she needed. The way she talked in a voice I had heard in my sleep - probably when she was standing in my doorway worried about a fever or sniffles I had before bed. She took vitals. She instructed the police officer. She talked with the patient.
She was saving a person's life right in front of me.
Once the ambulance arrived with other members of the first aid squad and the patient was loaded onto the stretcher, my mom walked back over to me and said "We can go grocery shopping now."
It was right then and there that all that resentment - all that hatred for that lost time I felt the first aid squad took from me just floated away. I realized that this was my mom. She did this every day, sometimes multiple times a day. She's a giver. She was put here for more than just me and my family. She was given the ability to save lives.
I am so grateful for my mom and all she does for me. But I feel even more blessed for the lessons she teaches me every day about giving of yourself and helping those who can't help themselves.
I just felt like sharing that today.