2. Faith~ The foundation for her life. Never preachy or judgemental. Just a steadfast belief that God was always with her...every step of the way. As I grew older and learned more about my mom's life and losses I was amazed that she survived with such grace and not a trace of bitterness. The reason? Her spirit is one with God. Church was (and still is) her second home. It became mine also.
3. Nurture your friendships with women~ As much as she loves my dad my mom also loves her girlfriends. Some of my earliest memories are of those ladies laughing, crafting, playing games, drinking coffee, and always talking. She values her friendships, and now at 80 years old, has seen too many of those women pass away. There is the sadness, but overshadowing all of that, is the happiness they shared. Friendship is so worth the risk and inevitable pain.
4. Keep it clean and tidy~ Well....let's be honest. She taught this, I try to live it, but she is a Ninja cleaner. I can only aspire to be like her someday in this respect. I loved having the cleanest and best-smelling home in the neighborhood. Bottom line is she taught me to take care of what God has blessed me with.
5. Different people show love in different ways~ My mom was not a speaker of "I love you" as I grew up. Actually my dad was the distributor of abundant affection and loving words. My mom, having never experienced that as a young girl, wasn't as comfortable. Yet, I never doubted her love or even noticed that she didn't say the words often. She showed it, with every fiber of her being, by lavishing her attention on all of us kids. She showed me that love is a verb. You "do" it...not just say it.
6. Give of yourself...no strings attached~ My mom's legacy is going to be one of giving. She is famous in our small town for always having the time to send a card, make a visit, cook a meal, dry some tears, or organize any kind of event. If I tried to describe what she gives in her daily life you would think I was exaggerating. Let me just say She. Is. Amazing.
7. Cook~ I know most of us think our moms are the best cooks in the world. Mine really is! :)
8. A few curls and a little lipstick never hurt anyone~ This line used to drive my up the wall! My mom always looks pretty and put together. I, on the other hand, am very comfortable running into the grocery store sans makeup sporting a ponytail. Even as an adult, when I see my mom she is likely to remark, "Oh honey, you look so pretty. I love it when you put a few curls in your hair." I think I've finally learned at 44 years of age, it isn't about the hair and lipstick. It's about the fact that I'm still her little girl and she wants to "doll me up". Once a mom, always a mom.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” quote from Winnie the Pooh
Pooh summed it up best. My mom tries to tell me this everyday in her own words. Through her inner strength she has shown me mine.
10. I am loved....just the way I am~ I wasn't the smartest kid in my class, or the most athletic, or Homecoming queen. I didn't win any scholarships, become famous, or earn a million dollars. Yet, my mom's eyes light up every time I step in the room. She makes me feel adored....and isn't that about the best thing a mother can make her child feel? Although she knows my faults, she focuses on my strengths. She makes me feel as if I'm more than enough. I am her blessing, and in that truth I feel blessed.
*I know this is lengthy, and sentimental, and probably filled with a million cliches. Yet, I needed to write this for myself....and maybe for my mom. At the age of 80 (almost 81) she deserves an entire book about how amazing she is. I condensed it for this post! :)