With Gratitude To My Mother On Mother’s Day

My beautiful Mother.

Carol at 18

My Beautiful Mother

Carol at 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I AM WHO I AM, BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU ARE.”

I feel that it would be remiss of me not to disclose that I wrote almost all of this post for Mother’s Day 2016. I was about to write a Mother’s Day 2018 post, and I decided to look to the past, to see what I’d written. I stopped at this one, and I knew what I had to do. THIS POST STILL SAYS IT ALL. Moreover, consider it recycling. With so much ❤️, Lydia

No, I am not responsible for the above lyrics. They are from an iPhone/Sprint web commercial in honor of Mother’s Day. I am not much for commercials, but I am an admitted sap, and when I heard those words, well, my heart warmed with familiarity and love. The thing is that my mind churned over an upcoming post (this post) for my dear Mother. As of late, my life has been a flurry of stressful news, but on Thursday, I remembered that Sunday was Mother’s Day. I could not let the day go by without expressing my gratitude to my mother.

I am blessed, and I know it. I know countless members of my family and friends for whom the day brings nothing more than bittersweet memories because their mothers have passed. At the same time that I ache for their loss, I am infinitely grateful that my mother sits a mere three doors away enjoying one of her favorite television programs. Over the years, I’ve learned a great deal from my mother. Like most of us, I did not realize that when I was growing up. I thought that she had little to teach me. As I grew older, I began to realize the wisdom of her quiet teachings. The positive traits within me were gifts from my Mother, and for which I am deeply indebted. I treasure them as much as the woman who handed them down to me.

With that said, I introduce to you, the woman who I am proud to call my Mother:

  • A mother and child’s relationship begins from the womb. Studies show that even from the womb, babies can sense their mother’s emotions. I imagine my prenatal self, moved by my mother’s SELFLESSNESS when, even though she was 18 years old with a bright life ahead of her, she chose to give that up and have me.
  • She taught me STRENGTH and GRACE in the face of an obstacle  when my father abandoned us and left her with three small girls to raise. At the time, she was a stay-at-home mother with no outside employment. She wasn’t even left with any clothes for us.
  • Instead of bemoaning her fate, she jumped into ACTION to find a job to care for us. Her HUMILITY, FORTITUDEDETERMINATION, and DRIVE led her to a job cooking for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, a position where she remained for 42 years.
  • Throughout her life, she has sought to maintain her INDEPENDENCE so that she would never be forced to solely rely on anyone for her well-being.
  • Over the years, her TIRELESS WORK ETHIC has been epic. From as far back as I can remember, Mom worked up to three jobs to put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and to give us a private Catholic school education to prepare us for a better life. As we grew into adulthood, she continued to work multiple jobs. Hurricane Katrina forced her to slow down. Later, even after a stroke and a broken hip, she is usually washing and folding clothes, cooking delicious meals and cleaning, as best she can.
  • Even though we were poor, my mother stressed PRIDE in our appearance and decorum.
  • My mother’s past is replete with many tragic losses, including the loss of my dear baby brother. Through it all, she maintained her fervent FAITH, TRUST, and BELIEF in God.
  • After she had a stroke and lost much of her independence, she displayed a level of calm ACCEPTANCE that allowed her to forge a new path in life.
  • She has always chosen to LIVE IN THE MOMENT and eschews being bound by the past. Of all of her qualities, I envy this one most.
  • Although she doesn’t use these words, she lives by the edict that “IT IS, WHAT IT IS,” and refuses to let circumstances out of her control, control her.
  • She has COMPASSION and KINDNESS for all, including those with less than she. Her GENEROSITY led her to make plates of food for neighborhood people in need, and to offer ready help to those who needed it.
  • She is DEDICATED to and LOVES her family and many friends.
  • Her FEARLESSNESS led her to live for decades across from a housing project, which, for a while, was named the most dangerous in the country.
  • She personifies HONESTY.
  • Her LAUGHTER echoes throughout the house.

So on this special day set aside to honor our mothers, I say to mine, “Dear Beautiful Mother, I thank you and I love you most. Your decision to have me changed the direction of your life and for that, I owe you my life. As I grow older, in my eyes, you grow taller and taller. Little by little, the blinders that have obscured the whole of you, fall from my eyes and I recognize you in me, and that makes me smile. I think back to the time when I thought to myself that I never wanted to be like you and here I am relishing the fact, that the better parts of me are from you. You’ve been my cheerleader, benefactor, promoter, referee, banker, teacher, coach, doctor, savior, chef, counselor, shoulder to cry on, friend, offensive co-ordinator, warden, mentor and more. I am grateful for these roles that you’ve played. Yet, all pale in comparison to the Mother that you’ve been to me. I am blessed to know you and be your daughter. It is my hope that I have given my children a small fraction of the goodness that you’ve given me. I love you, love you, because you are, you are. With love and gratitude, your daughter, Lydia”

Happy Mother’s Day to Moms of every stripe and color, be you a step-Mom, GrandMom, Father/Grandfather in the role of Mom, Guardian, foster Mom, co-Moms or what have you!!! You are serving a vital role in our society and you deserve our gratitude every day, not only one day of the year.

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#happymothersday #theloveofamother #ilovemymother #endlesslove #tomymotherwithlove #mymothermyhero #crmagraff #iamwhoiambecauseyouareyouare #blessingstomymother

Note To Myself

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This is what it feels like to rest “in the moment.” I am sitting on the beach surrounded by laughing strangers, seagulls soar above searching for their next meal, innocently listening to snippets of conversation that ride the wind to my ears, caressed by a constant breeze that tempers the Texas heat, and watching my husband’s seemingly tiny head as it bobs to and fro far from shore on his boggie-board. I sit here without thoughts of cleaning, cooking, the mountain of clothes taunting me,  or the morning’s dishes that await washing.

All too often, just “being” is a luxury that we cannot afford. Our go-go-go existence urges us to stay busy doing one thing after another. Doing is our religion, and we kneel at its altar daily.

Our minds are inundated with thinking,  an anathema to just being and dwelling in the moment.  The groceries,  picking the kids up from school,  the upcoming school board meeting and tonight’s soccer game flood our minds. But, what if we make the conscious choice to embrace the art of being, the joy of being.

I intend to return home a changed woman. There is a stack of books beside my bed that has been there too long. I pass it each morning and night with barely a glance. I love to read but “doing” has taken a priority over such frivolousness. There is the bird feeder outside my bedroom window where the birds gather to eat and humor me with their antics. Watching them warms my heart,  but again the “doing” draws me away.

Today, I issue my manifesto: I shall spend as much time “being” as “doing. ” I will listen to the symphony played by the breeze as it swirls through the wind chimes.  I will revel in the sacred quiet of the early morning with my journal,  pen and a cup of hot coffee in hand.  Instead of the hustle and bustle of entertaining guests, I will sit with them, giving them the gift of my full attention as we truly connect. I will seek the mystery of the ordinary,  because in it I am apt to experience the extraordinary. I will listen to my inner voice that resides in the place of being.  All in all,  I vow to slow down to breathe in the fullness of the everyday moment.

When was the last time that you allowed relaxation to overtake you as a state of mind? When was the last time that you stopped and been carried away by the heart stopping beauty of the moment? Can you remember? You think that you shouldn’t but,  my dear,   that is exactly why you should. No one is stopping you, but you.

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With Gratitude To My Mother

My beautiful Mother.

Carol at 18

My Beautiful Mother

Carol at 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I AM WHO I AM, BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU ARE.”

No, I am not responsible for the above lyrics. They are from an iPhone/Sprint web commercial in honor of Mother’s Day. I am not much for commercials, but I am an admitted sap, and when I heard those words, well, my heart warmed with familiarity and love. The thing is that my mind churned over an upcoming post (this post) for my dear Mother. As of late, my life has been a flurry of stressful news, but on Thursday, I remembered that Sunday was Mother’s Day. I could not let the day go by without expressing my gratitude to my mother.

I am blessed, and I know it. I know countless members of my family and friends for whom the day brings nothing more than bittersweet memories because their mothers have passed. At the same time that I ache for their loss, I am infinitely grateful that my mother sits a mere three doors away enjoying one of her favorite television programs. Over the years, I’ve learned a great deal from my mother. Like most of us, I did not realize that when I was growing up. I thought that she had little to teach me. As I grew older, I began to realize the wisdom of her quiet teachings. The positive traits within me were gifts from my Mother, and for which I am deeply indebted. I treasure them as much as the woman who handed them down to me.

With that said, I introduce to you, the woman who I am proud to call my Mother:

  • A mother and child’s relationship begins from the womb. Studies show that even from the womb, babies can sense their mother’s emotions. I imagine my prenatal self, moved by my mother’s SELFLESSNESS when, even though she was 18 years old with a bright life ahead of her, she chose to give that up and have me.
  • She taught me STRENGTH and GRACE in the face of an obstacle  when my father abandoned us and left her with three small girls to raise. At the time, she was a stay-at-home mother with no outside employment. She wasn’t even left with any clothes for us.
  • Instead of bemoaning her fate, she jumped into ACTION to find a job to care for us. Her HUMILITY, FORTITUDEDETERMINATION, and DRIVE led her to a job cooking for the Archdiocese of New Orleans where she remained for 42 years.
  • Throughout her life, she has sought to maintain her INDEPENDENCE so that she would never be forced to solely rely on anyone for her well-being.
  • Over the years, her TIRELESS WORK ETHIC has been epic. From as far back as I can remember, Mom worked up to three jobs to put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and to give us a Catholic school education to prepare us for a better life than she. As we grew into adulthood, she continued to work multiple jobs. Hurricane Katrina forced her to slow down. Later, even after a stroke and a broken hip, she is usually washing and folding clothes, cooking delicious meals and cleaning, as best she can.
  • Even though we were poor, my mother stressed PRIDE in our appearance and decorum.
  • My mother has many tragic losses in her life, including the loss of my brother. Through it all, she maintained her fervent FAITH, TRUST, and BELIEF in God.
  • After she had a stroke and lost much of her independence, she displayed a level of calm ACCEPTANCE that allowed her to forge a new path in life.
  • She has always chosen to LIVE IN THE MOMENT and eschews being bound by the past. Of all of her qualities, I envy this one most.
  • Although she doesn’t use these words, she lives by the edict that “IT IS, WHAT IT IS,” and refuses to let circumstances out of her control, control her.
  • She has COMPASSION and KINDNESS for all, including those with less than she. Her GENEROSITY led her to make plates of food for neighborhood people in need and to offer ready help to those who needed it.
  • She is DEDICATED to and LOVES her family and many friends.
  • Her FEARLESSNESS led her to live for decades across from a housing project, which, for a while, was named the most dangerous in the country.
  • She personifies HONESTY.
  • Her LAUGHTER echoes throughout the house.

So on this special day set aside to honor our mothers, I say to mine, “Dear Beautiful Mother, I thank you and I love you most. Your decision to have me changed the direction of your life and for that, I owe you my life. As I grow older, in my eyes, you grow taller and taller. Little by little, the blinders that have obscured the whole of you, fall from my eyes and I recognize you in me, and that makes me smile. I think back to the time when I thought to myself that I never wanted to be like you and here I am relishing the fact, that the better parts of me are from you. You’ve been my cheerleader, benefactor, promoter, referee, banker, teacher, coach, doctor, savior, chef, counselor, shoulder to cry on, friend, offensive coordinator, warden, mentor and more. I am grateful for these roles that you’ve played. Yet, all pale in comparison to the Mother that you’ve been to me. I am blessed to know you and be your daughter. It is my hope that I have given my children a fraction of the goodness that you’ve given me. I love you, love you, because you are, you are. With love and gratitude, your daughter, Lydia”

Happy Mother’s Day to Moms of every stripe and color, be you a step-Mom, GrandMom, Father/Grandfather in the role of Mom, Guardian, foster Mom, co-Moms or what have you!!! You are serving a vital role in our society and you deserve our gratitude every day.

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Quote Tuesday

“Hope is the magic carpet
that transports us from
the present moment
into the realm of infinite possibilities.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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