Saturday, May 8, 2010
Things My Mother Taught Me
This was a piece I wrote in memory of my mom a while back. I know it has been read by many of you before....but try as I might...I have not been able to come up with words that say how my heart feels about my mother...better than this. So on this...my 7th Mother's Day without her....I share this once again.
She was beautiful in every way and she was wise...far wiser than she was ever given credit for. She always marched to her own beat and could be your best friend or your worst enemy....it just depended which side of her you were on. She was a flawed human just like the rest of us....but somehow those flaws made her more vulnerable, more approachable, more Mom. She was a force to be reckoned with and she more than once brought fear into the hearts of my friends....but most ended up loving her and those that didn't....they still had a healthy respect.
My mother taught me many things and today...on Mother's Day....I would like to share some memories and lessons from a woman gone too soon.
She taught me that children are a gift and no matter what....we must always love them. I learned this from personal experience as she always considered me a gift and loved me through good and bad.....and sometimes I was very bad.
She taught me that we are not owed anything in this life and to expect this will only cause us heartache and pain. It is when we work for things we are truly rewarded. This has proven to be true so many times in my life.
Her favorite saying no matter what horrid thing happened to us was...."offer it up." Translation: God offered up His only son for our sins....so we can offer up our pain and suffering to Him. If I skinned my knee....she would kiss it, bandage it, and then tell me to "offer it up." If I failed a test and was upset about it she would say...."offer it up." Even when I was older and I was hurt by things that a kiss and bandage would no longer fix....she would listen and then tell me...."offer it up." Mom always felt that if you must suffer (and we all must) that if you offered it up....your pain would not be in vain. Guess what my children now get to hear????
Mom taught me that you are never closer to God or your own thougths than when you work in the garden. There is a peace and serenity there that can't be matched anywhere else. That is unless you run into a copperhead snake....but that is a story for another time.
She taught me that I would never truly be able to love someone else if I couldn't love myself. If you can't love yourself....then how do you expect anyone else to love you? It took me a lot of years and an awful relationship...but finally I learned to love me....and everything else fell into place.
Mom taught me that faith is essential in life and that prayer moves mountains. I was taught from a very early age to pray not on my terms but on Gods. All prayers are answered....just not always in our time or our way. My little David is living proof.
I learned from Mom that if one is good....then five are better. This may not have been one of her better life lessons...but if sure has been a fun one....especially where shoes are concerned. I mean really can you have too many shoes? Mom had 150 pair when she died....and many still live on in my closet today. Thanks Mom. :)
Finally and more importantly....Mom taught me how to die. Mom had five primary cancers before she died, she went through the loss of a lung, 3 other surgeries, and both radiation and chemo and never once did I hear her complain. Every time anyone would ask how she was doing she would always say, "if it doesn't get any worse than this....then I'm doing pretty good." You can bet Mom was doing a lot of "offering up." She never lost faith that whatever happened next was "suppose" to happen and she used every second of her life to enjoy what time she could. And finally......when the end came....she showed us that she had lived life on her terms and that she would die on her terms. She left this world with more class and dignity than anyone I have ever known.
Mom taught me that life is for the living. Death is inevitable but not to be dwelled on. She made sure that she taught me to let go of the sadness and to only hold on to the good....to the lifetime of memories.....and so Mom...that is what I've done. Happy Mother's Day.