I am one of the lucky ones. Although my mother no longer is here to answer my earthly phone calls, she is with me through eternity. I am sure some actuary table would concur that my mother’s mortal presence lasted more than half my expected lifespan. As Mother’s Day approaches, I remind myself of my good fortune.
The Stages of Appreciation
As a child, I revered my mother. Her grace extended beyond her physical agility as a ballerina. Her eyes were big and dark. They could envelope me with warmth….or serve as a stern reminder to behave properly. My mother was tender and kind. Her hugs fixed anything that medicine could not even address.
As a teenager, I challenged my mother. I resisted her attempts to keep me safe. To me, they seemed far more restrictive than the edicts imposed by other parents. I felt stifled. As a mother now, I realize it was fear that motivated her actions. Time teaches us so many lessons.
As an adult, I respected my mother. I realized how many tragedies and losses she suffered and still maintained her faith. She lived through a war and never spoke of it. She lost not one, but two daughters. For some, it appeared that my mother had an easy life. She was beautiful, talented and surrounded by affluence and adoration. She was extremely private. Few knew of the extent of her physical maladies.
As a grieving daughter, I will always feel my mother was taken too soon. She only saw the beginning of my children’s successes. She missed the marriage of my oldest. She is not physically here to worship her grandchildren. We have all been deprived of continued rounds of tenderness and wisdom.
A Mother’s Wisdom
I tend to think that my mother’s wisdom was instinctual. Some of her catch phrases have carried me through life. In tribute to her, I am happy to share some here:
• Family is forever. Never forget where you came from, or how it made you.
• If someone speaks poorly about someone to you, that person is doing the same to you.
• Keep confidences, including your own.
• Pursue your dreams, but always be able to support yourself.
• Criticize a child’s actions, rather than pasting a permanent label on their persona.
• Forgive, even when forgetting is not so easy.
There are so many more that I could add to this list. This one continues to make me giggle. “Don’t sing at the table. You’ll get a crazy husband.” I suppose I will keep silent on the accuracy of that prophecy.
My Mother’s Day
The circle of life continues. As Mother’s Day approaches, I will plant some flowers and say prayers by my mother’s grave. However, my day will not be overrun with melancholy feelings. As a mother for more than half my life, I have treasures myself. The kindness and warmth now comes from my offspring and sweet grandchildren. I continue to realize my good fortune and many blessings.