It is an atypical, gloomy Mother’s Day in my part of the world in Denver today, but I’m feeling content and peaceful.
I am a mother; I have a precious child that I have been given to help walk through life to the best of my ability. However, today, like any other Mother’s Day, I am also thinking about my mom, who, more than any other person in my life, has left the biggest imprint on my heart.
Mom was one of the most giving and selfless persons I have ever known – perhaps to her detriment. She was in ill health for almost the entire sixteen years I had with her. Despite not feeling well most of the time, she gave and gave.
Her creative talent was sewing and decorating; every Halloween, my siblings and I would have the best costumes in the neighborhood that were created from scratch by Mom. We always had good food, warm clothes, and a cozy bed to sleep in; she took excellent care of us when we were sick, laying at our bedsides and making sure we were as comfortable as possible.
She baked girl scout cookies, helped us with school projects, made an effort to be involved in our lives as much as possible. She made our home a beautiful place that in every corner demonstrated without any doubt her fabulous, creative side. She was also a wonderful wife.
However, despite all the above, what I remember the most was how she suffered, and as a result, at times, was not the most loving mother. As I became an independent and very curious young adult, I could not understand Mom’s suffering and bad behavior. However, now, as a mother myself, I have come to realize how difficult life must have been for her.
Mom’s life ended while I was in high school one evening after collapsing two weeks earlier from a stroke-induced coma. She had not learned to love herself and take physical, emotional, and mental care for herself first so she could best love others. She carried everyone else’s burdens in her body and mind. It caught up to her eventually, as it does with everyone, and her life came to an abrupt halt when I least expected it. Mom taught me that life is precious, that every moment counts. Every day counts. Every thought and action counts and will spur on love or fear and destruction. It is really that simple.
Today, as a mom, I am living simply. I gave my daughter a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and fixed her hair in a French braid. It is the first time I ever did all this at the same time for her, and other than the time it is taking me to write and post this blog, we are spending the rest of the day together with no distractions – no TV, internet, I-pods, or any other twenty-first century time-consumers.
She was delighted and especially loved spending time with her mom! I probably enjoyed it more than she did, because I remember how much I longed for my mother to spend this kind of time with me. As a working mom now, I know how difficult it can be to find time to spend with our children, and my mom did her best with what she knew. We all do what we know to do, and that is all we can do. What is important is implementing new ideas and strategies when we learn them and focusing on what is most important – time with our children.
So, I’ve learned many lessons from my mom. I suppose the most important one being the love for a child is beyond anything I can explain, and the limited time we have with our children together is priceless. I am going to make each moment I have with my gift count. It is time to spread the love and wisdom Mom bestowed upon me to my daughter.