Unconditional love from Mom

Saying ‘I love you’ can be complicated. Sometimes you don’t have to.

BRATTLEBORO — As we move into December and along our journey into the holiday season, I think that one of the greatest joys to experience is unconditional love, especially from one's family.

Recently, I returned to Albuquerque for a birthday visit with my 89-year-old mother. When I arrived, there she was at the door, greeting me with a smile, a hug, and a kiss.

As the visit progressed, she kept me very busy with odds and ends of errands and projects. During this time, she mentioned to me how she and her weekly companion and helper, Michelle, had gassed up the car and brought in groceries in anticipation of my arrival so that I would not have to take care of “those things.”

The next morning, when I awoke, the coffeepot was all ready for me, along with my favorite mug, a plate for my English muffin, and even soft butter.

These are the things that moms do for us kids.

* * *

As I ate my breakfast, I began to think about my relationship with my mom.

Mom has loved me since that flutter of movement in her belly 66 years ago. In her own way, since I was born, she has continued to love me through all of life's challenges, hers and mine.

Family is the bedrock from which we operate, conduct ourselves and, to a large extent, develop our eyes on the world.

The love and peace and comfort that family should offer to us often gets lost, goes astray. Resentments and anger build over conflicts, and sometimes those close relationships disintegrate under the strain.

Saying “I love you” is complicated, because those words are often accompanied by so much baggage.

We can say “I love you” in so many ways: a radiant smile, a readied coffeepot and, yes, even soft butter for a toasted English muffin.

To other moms: so much love. And to all: best wishes for a festive and joyous holiday season.

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