I read a blog post today where the host talked about his idea of the best Mother’s Day present- to share a special memory with your mom. That idea made me smile, for when I took the time to think about it, I am so blessed, as there are so many to choose from!
Would I talk about how cool it was to swim with the dolphins in Hawaii, or rave about how special it was the year we spent Mother’s Day flying over glaciers, or the day I taught her how to ski- when she was 60, or no, it would have to be when we went paragliding off a mountain top in New Zealand when she was 65! I still remember the smile on her face as she literally ran off that mountain! Maybe, it would be exploring the abandoned hotel/castle in Barbados when she was 70? Or, would it be the quiet times when she was always there to dry my tears, help me heal a broken heart or just listen? And what about all those times when I’ve visited, when we sit up and talk into the wee hours of the morning or the telephone conversations every few days where we share the things we’re grateful for in our lives? How do you pick a favorite when there are so many meaningful and fun times?
If you’d meet my mother, you’d see a gentle smile and an unassuming attitude typical of a grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of 5, but underneath that demure exterior there lives a gypsy that at almost 75 years of age will travel to the far reaches of the globe on a moment’s notice, ride her bike 40 miles on a weekend without thinking twice and still have enough energy to bake the world’s greatest zucchini bread, volunteer at her church, make dinner for my dad or donate a day a week at the local retirement home. This is a woman who still has lunch monthly with her friends from high school – from more than 50 years ago, and get this, they even have a pajama party once a year! How cool is that? I want to have her energy when I’m her age. Heck, some days I want to have her energy now!
She inspires me.
She inspires me to be a better person not only by her actions but also through her can-do attitude about life. She’s not one to sit on the sidelines and watch life pass her by. She is a very active participant and affects the lives of those around her everyday in many ways, always finding ways to give to other people. Now that she’s retired, she sometimes wonders how she ever found the time to work, as she’s so busy. I’d call her the Energizer bunny of giving.
And through all of this, she still manages to be there for me whenever I call to listen to whatever I need to talk about in the moment. I feel so blessed to have my mother in my life when I’m an adult and I can more fully appreciate her wisdom so much more than I did when I was 15. As the old saying goes, “My mom’s certainly gotten smarter through the years!”.
I just spoke with Jeff Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal, the co-author of the book, The Last Lecture, given by Carnegie Melon professor, Randy Pausch. In the book, Jeff talks about Randy’s struggle with pancreatic cancer and the impact of his last lecture to his students. The ongoing theme is to live each day to the fullest. In a more private way, Randy is concerned with his children age 1,3 and 6 growing up without a father. In reading his story it once again gave me a great appreciation for my parents and for the life that they helped me create, and the sacrifices that they so willing gave for their children. I can’t imagine not having my parents there for me through all of these years. I am writing this blog through teary eyes with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
To Randy, thank you for sharing your brilliance with us and giving us such a gentle reminder to cherish each day and those we love, just in case it is our last. To Jeff, thank you for sharing the story with all of us in such a real way. Your words touch my soul.
And to my mother, thank you for showing me how to live a rich and fulfilled life by example, for teaching me that attitude is more important than ability and for being the wonderful woman that you are. You have given me such great memories by sharing your light and your love with the world. You inspire me Mom.
Please share with us why your mom inspires you. I’m sure there are some amazing stories out there and I’d love to hear them. Please post them here. To all the moms, I hope your Mother’s Day is the best one ever. May it be filled with blessings, laughter and love.
Happy Mother’s Day!