May 8, 2011

Mother, Ma, Moeder, Mama, Madre, Muter - MOM!

No matter how you say it, there's no replacement for Mom! Today we celebrate motherhood. Those of us who have had the privilege of being a mother know its joys and sorrows, of which there are many. Motherhood makes you a better woman, a stronger person, and a life coach for the most important people in the world - your own. With motherhood comes the biggest responsibility one can ever know. We learn as we go, and if we are very lucky, we have another mother to help us - our own. I was one of those lucky mothers whose children heard the word Grandmother and jumped for joy. I knew what they were feeling . . . that was the woman who gave me life, nurtured and adored me, played with me, read to me, shaped me into a caring person, and yes, disciplined me when I needed it. She loved life, she found the good in every bad, she taught me how to be fair, compassionate, and giving. They weren't lessons she taught by lecture or even words; by her example and how she treated others, I saw and I learned and I listened. If I could be half the Mother that she was, I would still feel very fortunate. She taught me so many things, but the most important lessons were those of how to be a good mother. She taught me to love old things and took me to antique shows as a teenager and craft shows as a young mother. My love of antiques and my unending pursuit of artistic endeavors are attributable to her nurturing those seeds in me. I am not, and never will be, as good as she was but I have the knowledge to draw upon when I need it most. She lost her own mother when she was just a teenager, and an only child. She lost her son when he was just a teenager, leaving me to be an only child. She knew the ultimate grief of losing a child - that to me is unimaginable!

My Mom, Norma Van Nuys
Three years ago, I lost her. She left behind a lasting legacy of love and sweetness. I feel it every day, as do my children. I have never felt a greater loss, a bigger hole in my heart, nor a fiercer longing for someone. I have regrets, as do most people when they lose a loved one; we think "why didn't we spend more time together" or "when was the last time I told her that I loved her?" or "what could I have done to make her life better?"  I do wish I hadn't been so busy and had made more time to spend with my Mom. I am happy that I kissed her and told her I loved her every time I saw her - it was hard not to! Everyone loved my mother, and they tell me that to this day. It's a rare thing to have and I cherish it. I miss you, Mom.

So today, go spend some time with your mother if you can. Make sure she knows that you appreciate what she's done for you. If you are not on good terms with your mother, take a step to make it right again. Cards and flowers, and jewelry are nice, but the best gift any mother can receive from her child is one of love. Just let her know you love her - trust me - that's enough!

She is my first, great love. She was a wonderful, rare woman - you do not know; as strong, and steadfast, and generous as the sun. She could be as swift as a white whiplash, and as kind and gentle as warm rain, and as steadfast as the irreducible earth beneath us.
~ D.H. Lawrence

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