Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: A mother’s love |

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: A mother’s love

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos

Some may call it irony.

A busted knee.

A handicap pass to help with the aforementioned bad knee, but no place to park because everyone seemingly has the same passes and are using them.

Two-hour waits to get into any restaurant I’m trying to get into.

Having the only condo in a 14-story high rise without electricity.

Some may call it irony.

I call it bad luck.

And excluding the bum knee, I also call the events listed above my first night back in San Diego.

As I sat in my car, frustrated at my bad luck, I contemplated running over numerous pedestrians, putting my car in a complete stop and giving up in the middle of traffic.

Why do I live here?

Or, more important, why do other people live here?

This is my world, I lamented.

That is, until my mother put it in perspective.

“Calm down, missy,” she said as tears streamed down my face on to the steering wheel. “Everything will be fine. Stop overacting.”

Calm down.

These were the two words my mother used frequently during her recent stay in San Diego, because everything seems so overwhelming to me with this knee injury.

She came with the intention of sunny skies and long walks on the beach.

She left with sympathy knee pains, a headache and a cold – all the symptoms of a mother’s love.

A love I wanted to share with my friends. It was an honor to introduce my mother to my friends in San Diego.

The bond I have with her makes sense to them now. She taught me everything I know.

This is the reason I can deep clean a house in two hours, cook a gourmet meal for five without recipes and entertain a room for hours with stories.

Reading Good Housekeeping magazine or watching the Food Network 24/7 will not teach you these skills.

But your mother will.

Even when she is annoying or overinvolved in your life, her wisdom will continue to teach you.

Last week, she took me – a college student off living on her own – to school everyday.

Before we left home, I was questioned and reminded as if I was going to Sunset Elementary again, not University of San Diego.

“Honey did you get your books?”

“Do you have money for lunch?”

“Make sure you lock the house.”

But I didn’t mind because I needed this attention. I wasn’t as independent as I used to be.

And this injury has given me new insight: I will never be independent of my mother or my family because of this love.

I have always questioned the logic behind letting go, the idea that when a child turns age 18 he or she is on his or her own.

But, you cannot cut off love for a child.

Or, for me, vice versa.

I dropped my mom off at the airport on Sunday morning, and it felt like a part of me was leaving. Kind of like I was being cut off for a while.

But I knew in four hours she would call or write, because that is a mother’s love.

As I write this column I notice that the pink and purple-clouded sunset is inching down the skyline, and this beauty captivates me.

So, I’m going to stop writing and take advantage of where I live, something we don’t do enough.

So, seize the moment and appreciate it because you never know when you will be cut off.

And, calm down.

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