As you may know, Mother’s Day has passed, and it is fitting to pay respect to mothers around the world for the enormous responsibility and sacrifices they’ve had to endure to raise a child or children. My mother checked out this site for the first time the other day and “whined” that I haven’t made a post about her. So here’s my post about my mother.

Her name is Deborah, but I always call her Mom. She prefers that I call her Aunt Deborah in public, though, so noone think she’s old. My Dad wanted to name me Billy Bob, but thankfully Mom told him to “grow up” and named me Matthew John Burris. In the early years of my life, she doted on me and took care of me as well as any mother can. Eventually I came down with a severe fever, and it was discovered that I lost part of my hearing in both ears, and I had a skin condition that was rare. This didn’t deter Mom, she took care of me as best as she could. My earliest memories are of her taking me to the beach, having my own record player, a pillowcase with a fantasy land embroidered on it, and sticking crayons in the holes on the back of the T.V.

Some fond memories she has related to me was when I took a bottle of baby powder and doused a whole room with it. Mom saw smoke billowing out from under the door, and freaked out, thinking I was in room caught on fire. She once set me down on the counter next to the stove to get something, and turned to see me reaching over to put my hand on a hot burner and scalding my palm. As I grew, she had to go through a lot of near heart-attacks when I’d come home with scrapes, cuts, bruises, black eyes, bloody noses, and broken bones, as I was an active boy like any other.

My Mom had to make some painful sacrifices to ensure I had a good quality of life numerous times. When my Dad and Mom divorced, she decided that she didn’t have the funds to give me a good quality of life, but Dad did. She let him have custody of me, one of the hardest decisions any mother can make, and she moved to New Jersey back where her family was. When my Dad married another woman, this woman made it a priority to get me to see my Mom in NJ. I was lucky enough to have a good stepmother too, who made sure I had time to spend with my mother no matter what.

When Dad divorced, I went to live with Mom and her new husband. For a couple of years, I was happy and made straight A’s and B’s for the first time in my life while going to middle school (was B’s and C’s in elementary.) Mom did everything, she cooked, cleaned, made sure I had clean clothes, helped me when I did do my homework (which was rarely), and let me be a kid. When she divorced her husband, I went to live with Dad during my high school years, who wasn’t married but had a girlfriend. That relationship didn’t last very long. I stayed with him up to the 11th grade. I did horribly in school while living with him, and I eventually ran away because I couldn’t handle living with him anymore. I ended up living with my mom, with her then boyfriend (they’re married now.) I ended up dropping out of high school, and stayed with them for a couple of years. I ended up back with Dad when things didn’t go well at one point, but ran away again with his then girlfriend (I had to break the pattern somehow.)

To this day, I’m in a really good relationship with Mom. I love her very dearly, and I think the world of her. I’m lucky enough to have both a mother and a friend in her. My brothers and sister also feel the same way. I can confide in her anything, no matter how bad it is, or how difficult. When I did drugs, she knew about it. When I was having sex for the first time and didn’t know what to do, she didn’t reprimand me. When I dropped out of high school, she didn’t force me to go back. If I didn’t want to eat the green bean casserole, she didn’t make me eat it. Her ultimate goal is to make sure I’m happy and in good health. Not spoiled rotten, mind you, but not strict or repressive. She always insist that I do what I want, and to live my life the way I want to. She doesn’t try to interfere or force me in another direction. When I watch a movie, and an emotional scene is on between a mother and her son, I don’t cry or get wistful, because I have no reason to be envious. I have a wonderful mother, and I’m glad.

[Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (4:25)]