As we just celebrated Mother’s Day, Ally and I thought it would be appropriate (and nice) to think about what my mother’s (and her grandmother’s) have taught each of us. My mom…Del, and my “other mother”…Stella (Brian’s mom), both died within the past two years.
Both of them were a big deal in our lives.
And , both of them taught us a lot.
I was incredibly lucky to have these two very dynamic mothers in my life. Both women taught me more by example than through any form of lecture or instruction. Neither was the type of woman who demanded or directed, but instead encouraged me, held my hand in good times and in bad, and helped guide me toward becoming the woman I am today.
(So if you don’t like me…blame them)
Ahhh…but it’s not that easy… Damn it.
I know I have to take responsibility for who am I (which is one of the things they both taught me).
But they also taught me all kinds of other things, like…
It’s important to become an independent woman:
My mom taught me that independence was about developing your own opinions and being able to stand on your own two feet and take care of yourself, even though (ironically), she was happiest in her dependence on my dad.
Stella taught me to embrace my independent spirit, and yet, don’t be afraid to lean on those who love and care about you.
Be fearless when choosing a career:
My mom didn’t worked outside the home while I was growing up, but was tireless in her encouragement of me to find a career that would challenge my mind and tap into my personal skills. She taught me that there were many paths I could take, as long as they led in a direction that would allow me to learn and grow along the way.
Stella taught me that no matter how old you are, you can make a contribution to others through work or volunteering. Shortly after Brian and I were married, Stella went back to work (full time) at the age of 60 in a job that required her to learn a whole new technology (automatic typewriters were just coming into vogue back then). She was never so vibrant or as happy as she was in that job. It helped her gain a whole new level of self confidence…and opened up a whole new group of friends that would be with her the rest of her life.
You’ve got to ENJOY your children:
My mom taught me to be a disciplinarian (good manners were a must!) but not to forget to have fun with my kids. She believed that humor built the strongest ties (with your children…or anyone for that matter). And spending any time with her…meant a time filled with stories and laughter…and fun.
Stella was also a stickler for good manners, but taught me that there was always time to play a game, work on a project or sing a song with your kids, and if it didn’t seem like you had the time…it was up to you to figure out a way to find it.
Love completes you:
My mom loved her family more than life itself…but she had only one true romantic love. My dad. She taught me that love completes you, but be cautious and judicious about who you love.
Stella taught me to be open to love people of all ages, and from every walk of life. She truly loved her friends and family, and more often than not…her friends became her family.
I know that a day doesn’t go by without some life lesson becoming apparent that I learned from one of these two mothers.
They added so much to life and I miss them more than anyone could know.
And luckily, I now have another mother in my life who offers me all of the love and encouragement I could ever hope for (thank you Mary!). And…I continue to learn from her as well.
What a lucky woman I am to have such wonderful mothers in my life to offer me such wisdom.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom – Del, to Stella and to Mary.
Thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me.
Mom told me this post is supposed to be about my grandmothers, so I won’t really write about her, because I always usually listen to her.
BUT, I can’t write a Mother’s Day post without saying that she’s amazing. So, a quick poem:
C is for caring, because she cares about me (and you) a lot.
I is for intelligence, because she’s smarter than your average robot.
N is for not normal, because normal she is not.
D is for dashing, because she’s beautiful and hot.
Y is for y-awesome, because that’s all that I’ve got!
AND NOW, what I learned from my Grammy and Grandma:
Never act your age.
Stand for something.
Wear your seat belt.
Lift your hands up when you’re choking.
Grammar is *really* important.
Candy has no expiration date. (Just because it hurts your teeth to eat that jelly bean or licorice whip, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.)
Watch old movies.
Say please and thank you.
Send birthday cards.
Take risks in your life.
Make jokes about things that usually make you cry.
Do crossword puzzles.
Sleep is over-rated.
Baking is also over-rated. (Why bake when you can buy perfectly good brownies in a box?)
(But some people deserve to be hated.)
I miss my grandmothers.
But I’m so thankful that they taught me all of these lessons (and many more that I can’t list here).
(Like seriously, the choking one? Totally useful.)
Happy Mom’s Day!
(PS: Mom, I was going to put “young” for the “Y”, but I couldn’t make it work. I want full credit, though.)