I'm sure you've heard the expression, tears of joy, before. It's one of those things that catch you completely unawares and amazed and grateful.
For those of you that really know me, you're well aware that my mother is an amazingly upbeat, incredible woman, despite years of domestic abuse. And when I was 13 she shot and killed her abuser. She was set to go to trial, but chose a lesser plea of manslaughter for fear of never seeing her 3 kids again. She was released when I was 17 and still to this day she cries every time she sees me for the first time. Since she lives out of state it's usually just once a year, if that.
We were gone for two days this past weekend without me seeing my daughter and you can bet your ass I teared up like a pre-teen who just bought a lock of Justin Bieber's hair on eBay when I saw her toofless smile. (I call her toofless, because, well, I like saying toofless instead of toothless. Try it. It's way more fun, I promise.)
I was, in that moment, in complete awe at how much of my heart, my soul, was inhabited by this strawberry blonde wonder and before I knew it, I felt for the first time real tears of joy. Sure, when I watch movies sometimes I'll get all flusterfludged at sentimental moments, but nothing like how I was feeling when I locked eyes with my Lillie.
I never quite understood why Mom always cried. I thought I did at the time. But I really didn't. And even now, it's not quite the same.Because I've never gone a year(s) without seeing my baby, and as an adult now with a child of my own I feel remorse. Remorse for not being more attentive to my mother when she was so alone in the world and all she had were her kids. Remorse for being so selfish. Remorse for not being a better daughter. For not telling her how my day went even though all I did was go to school and come home. For rolling my eyes. For not being more grateful that she gave me life and loved me so openly.
Because besides God, who does that?
But you know what? Mom's do. Dad's do. Grandparent's do. People do. And I hate that it's taken me 25 years and a child to fully realize that. There are people like that. People that love like that.
And the fact that I can love like that is amazing.
Truly, truly fucking amazing.