Since my mother isn't around to show appreciation in person, I like to honor her by taking time to remember as well as further understand her beautiful life.
As I slow down to consider all that my mother gave me, I realize that her example of taking time for herself was invaluable. She took time to nourish her heart, mind, and soul. Reaching out to my father, family, and friends was something I witnessed her doing continually. She would give gifts, write letters, make phone calls, organize family parties, take people in, sew, sing, and play her piano. My mother gave to all around her, and in her giving she received what she needed. She needed to see how she was making a difference in life and to feel loved in return. I know this thing about my mother because I feel the same needs. I do some of the same things without even thinking or trying. It is as if those habits and talents are embedded in me, and my heart swells in gratitude to her for being the gardener of such goodness. I have long understood that I owe her so much.
What I didn't realize was how all that she did made her a happier and, therefore, better mother. I wonder if she felt driven to do what she did in order to have more to give—or if she did it without conscious purpose. Either way, she made life good for us despite her faults and failings. She seemed to always know what to say or do to make life better even under the harshest of circumstances. She genuinely made life better for everyone around her.
To apply these thoughts to my own life, I ponder what more I might do to consciously nourish my heart, mind, and soul so as to have more to offer as a mother. I need to reach out in purposeful ways that induce happiness, that cultivate joyfulness, that create a sense of fulfillment, so I will be glad to give more than seems possible on some days. Truth be told, some days ask too much. Some days I don't know how I will make it. And on some days my heart is so broken because I can't see far enough ahead of me to know if I'm on the right track.
My goal this year to become more joyful has included cultivating friendships and love and making memories, and so far so good. In taking time to honor my mother, I can see with better understanding how a more joyful me helps me become a better mother. My heart is full of love for her and for all that I am because of her example.
Years gone by:
Mother's Day 2014
Thoughts on grief
Mother's Day 2013
A silly poem I wrote for my mother while she was alive
Mother's Day 2012
My children and I escaped to a hotel for Mother's Day weekend, and I wrote this poem after seeing them all contented and asleep.
Mother's Day 2011
A poem honoring my mother