In honor of Mother's Day coming up, I thought we'd devote today's question to thinking about the lessons our mamas have taught us. Have a question? I'd love to hear it, so feel free to email me (mellow1422 [at] aol) or ask me on Facebook or Twitter, friends! Today's question...
How has your mother shaped you?
We're a matched set, my mother and me. Like vanilla and chocolate. Like bread and butter. Like Barry Manilow and cruise ships. We compliment in other in every way imaginable.
When I've seen the shadow of fear, she's shoved the shadow aside and put on a "brave face." She may have been shaking in her boots underneath that strong bravado, but she'd be darned if she was going to show the world that side. She has a knack for sitting still and taking deep breaths. In and out. In and out. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Coming from a woman who once did loads of laundry every day just so she "wouldn't have to do them tomorrow," she's morphed into the Buddha.
When I was tired, she pushed on. For nearly two months, my mother drove 27 miles, in the deep, treacherous and dark winter, to visit my sister while she was in the hospital. It didn't matter that she had been on her feet and working since 6 a.m. She went. Night after night. Some nights, she'd laugh with my sister. Other nights, she'd hold her as she cried.
But they were together, just as my mother had wanted.
When I was ready to give up, my mother, never complacent, refused to settle. She poured over books and resources looking for answers, both after I was born and after my father's suicide. She refused to let doctors and counselors "put her in her place." Minus the red hair, she's the feistiest woman on earth.
Where I felt extremely isolated and lonely, she looked inward. For the first time, she's found her individuality. The woman she is on her own. She's been able to be a brilliant mother because she's reconnected with her brilliant womanhood. She enjoys long walks alone and can usually be found at the YMCA most days by 3 p.m., swimming not just for fun, not just for exercise, but for herself. And herself alone. She's only now finding out the joys of carving out her own "me" time - something she hasn't done in 28 years. She's been neglecting herself for far too long.
To my mother, life is meant to be won. It may not be an easy race. You may want to quit. You may feel like you'll never see the red flag at that finish line. But keep running. Your tomorrow will come. My mother's has. What else can you say to a woman who's literally saved you and your sister's life? Thank you, Mom. I love you
What about you, friends? How has your mother shaped you? Did she teach you about life? That it's OK to cry? That the 10-second rule is perfectly acceptable? If you could tell her anything, what would it be? xoxo