children, family, grief, humor, kids, kindergarten, loss of parent, motherhood, parenting

Mom’s Best Advice

I L-O-V-E this kid!Last week T.Puzzle’s teacher approached me for a conference.  The thing about conferences is that they usually doesn’t consist of the teacher listing all the ways your kid is truly outstanding.  As I entered the school building for the impending conference, I had a feeling she wouldn’t share anything with me that I didn’t on some level, already know.  Basically, he speeds through everything, oversimplifies and isn’t interested in expounding on anything, ever.  Pretty typical stuff for a kindergartener, but as his classmates are slowing down and answering questions in more detail, he is fine to zip through his schoolwork at a breakneck pace (Full Speed, Jr., anyone?). There’s not much to be done except encourage him to slow down as he does tasks at home and try to prompt more than one-word answers from him (Mad Dog, Jr., anyone?).

The hardest part of this conference day is that all I really wanted to do was call my Mom to talk about it.  She was always the perfect combination of empathic listener with a good dose of pragmatism.  She had a way of putting things in perspective while taking into consideration my extremely sensitive nature.

I miss that.

I miss her.

Of course she is on the forefront of my mind as Mother’s Day approaches.  All I can do is remember a conversation I had with her shortly before she passed.  She told me l knew her well enough that if I ever needed her advice when she was gone, I could imagine what she would tell me and I’d be exactly right.

So?  What would she tell me?  That T.Puzzle is brilliant, charming and handsome.  She’d tell me that he’s an extremely active boy who would rather play soccer than sit still, write sentences or answer questions.  She would tell me that I’m a great Mom and it’s only kindergarten.  She’d tell me to focus on the good stuff the teacher said like how T.Puzzle is respectful to his classmates and his teachers.  She’d tell me that when he’s CEO of a Fortune 500 company or president of the United States, that how he behaved in kindergarten won’t matter.  It matters only to his future first grade teacher and first grade is months away.  A lot can change over a summer and be patient.  It will all work out just fine.

Thanks, Mom.  I needed that.

grief, loss of parent, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

3 Years

This is the third anniversary of when my Mom passed away.  I would like to think that somehow losing a loved one gets easier.  It does not.  It only changes inside you.  The loss becomes a permanent part of your soul.  It never leaves you.

I miss having her in my world.  I miss having that reassurance that she would always be there and that more importantly, she would listen to me and truly care about what I had to say.

Isn’t that what anyone wants?  To be heard, to be seen and to be truly, truly loved.  Imagine if everyone in the world had access to that kind of love.  The bad days would be bearable, the sweet days would be more so and we’d all be a little bit kinder to ourselves and to each other.

Each day is a new opportunity to learn about ourselves.  I learned so very much from my own mother.  Some of the lessons were easy and beautiful.  Some of the lessons were not.

In the end the most important lesson I learned from my Mom is that it all comes down to forgiveness.

No one is ever going to be perfect and that’s okay.  Perfect doesn’t teach us a thing.  Real life, real love and real relationships do.

My Mom and I saw each other as we really are and still loved each other anyway.  That’s the real deal.

I miss you, Mom!

children, grief, kids, life in pictures, loss of parent, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Love & Birthdays

 

Happy 6th birthday, Full Speed!

 

I am having many mixed feelings about Full Speed’s sixth birthday today.  I am excited for him and happy his remarkable growth and change are being marked in such a celebratory way.  The challenge is not having my Mom here to help me celebrate or to share in all the wonderful milestones Full Speed has achieved in the past year.

It was hard enough that she wasn’t here to offer support and guidance when he started kindergarten.  Now, with each passing year, Full Speed is growing into who he is meant to be and she won’t be able to see it.   I wish she could because this kid is only getting better with age.

As the distance grows from the last point in which my Mom was in my life, it is ever more shocking to my system that she really isn’t coming back.

I’d also like to apologize to Mad Dog for my extra crazy, unpredictible moods as of late.  I am in the last stages of processing my Mom’s absence and while I will never fully let her go, I will move forward in a more even-handed manner.  I promise.

All I can do is my absolute best.  I will celebrate the good times in my present and honor the sadness as it floats up from my past.

I am grateful for the time that I had with my Mom.  I believe the joy I have managed to create in my own little corner of the world is possible through her choices and example.   I watched and I learned.  I made some different choices of my own.  Most importantly, I was loved.

Thanks, Mom.

life in pictures, loss of parent

The Best View

This vacation has been pretty spectacular. I think some of the best parts of it have been the unplanned parts. The cabin we are staying in has a huge theater room and we have had many ‘double features’. The kids will watch a movie first and then we will all pile in for a family movie. Of course by the time the grown-ups arrive in the theater room, it is completely littered with popcorn. It’s almost as if the ceiling has opened up and a popcorn rain-shower ensued.

One of the other best parts is the view. The smoky mountains are absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure if I like it so much for the beauty, or for the knowledge that my Mom would have loved this view, too. She always loved the mountains and we will always, always love her.

loss of parent, self-discovery

Along the Way

Today is a sad day. It is the one year anniversary of when my Mom died.

She was a kind and generous soul and had a smile that could light up the world.

Here is a picture of her when she was a senior in college. She was so unassumingly beautiful and quiet. I think this picture captures that perfectly.

I miss her a lot.

When I ‘talk’ to her now, I do know what she would say. I guess being lucky enough to have a wonderful Mom for 34 years, you learn a thing or two along the way.