Mama Saint

Mama Saint and I

Oldie but goodie, Thanksgiving a few years ago.

I call my mom “Mama Saint.” I don’t remember exactly when this nickname for my mom started, I just remember it was a long time ago and that my twin sister and I dubbed her to be Mama Saint. It caught on quickly, likely because it suits her so well.

If I grow up to have even half of the upstanding qualities that my mom showcases every day, I will be more than proud of the life I live. I consider myself to be truly blessed to have two parents who I am proud to call my friends, though I tend to get more sentimental and sappy with my mom (if you spend 10 minutes with her you’ll understand that I get it from her.)

Mama Saint is compassionate. She’s never too shy to help someone in need or offer a kind word to someone who looks like they’re having a bad day, whether she knows them or not. She has become a mother-like figure to my closest friends and will always be my biggest cheerleader.

Mama Saint is selfless. When I was in high school I wanted to go to Italy. My school was planning a 14-day trip to visit the country from top to bottom. Some of my best friends were going, I had taken the language since 5th grade and I had never traveled outside of the U.S. But it was expensive. My mom didn’t allow money to be a troublesome factor. To this day, I still don’t know how she sent me to Italy on such short notice. Sure, I did a little fundraising, but it accounted for the amount of maybe two meals. Times have always been tough in my family and I know without a doubt that the money could have been better spent elsewhere. But she sent me on my way, made sure I had cute outfits to wear, a little extra money in my pocket, and a birthday cake to blow out the candles on when I turned 17 while I was away from home. She’s a gem of a woman.

Mama Saint is candid. My mom is the spectator in the stands of my school’s basketball game who shouts, “BEAUTIFUL!” every time a player makes a basket. If they’re on the rival team my mom will respond to crude looks from fans by saying, “What? It was a really nice shot!”  You can recognize her laugh (one of many that she has) from a mile away. She never hesitates to go, “Oh my goshhhh, look!” and slow down to half of the speed limit when she sees a deer (or any other animal) off to the side of the room. She’s adorable.

Mama Saint is genuine. When I would be sick with the flu back when I lived at home, I would walk down the stairs to the kitchen looking like a hot mess. Wild hair, flushed cheeks and on the verge of tossing my cookies. My mom would look up at me and say, “you are so beautiful.” I laughed in her face. But what’s funny now is that I know she really meant it. She sees a certain beauty in people that others are quick to glance over, a trait that I believe is too scarce these days.

These qualities about my mom used to embarrass me when I was younger. I’ll be the first to admit I was a little brat when I was a kid. I’m not embarrassed anymore, and I wish I would have realized what a little shit I was much sooner. Not only am I blessed to have such a caring woman as my mother, but I get to have her as my friend, too. She frequently says to me, “Kate, God hand-picked you to be my daughter.” As far as I’m concerned, she was hand-picked to be my mother, and I thank God every day for the positive impact she has on my life.

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