In honor of Mother’s Day coming up, I thought we’d devote today’s question to thinking about the lessons our mamas have taught us. Have a question? I’d love to hear it, so feel free to email me (mellow1422 [at] aol) or ask me on Facebook or Twitter, friends! Today’s question…
How has your mother shaped you?
We’re a matched set, my mother and me. Like vanilla and chocolate. Like bread and butter. Like Barry Manilow and cruise ships. We compliment in other in every way imaginable.
When I’ve seen the shadow of fear, she’s shoved the shadow aside and put on a “brave face.” She may have been shaking in her boots underneath that strong bravado, but she’d be darned if she was going to show the world that side. She has a knack for sitting still and taking deep breaths. In and out. In and out. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Coming from a woman who once did loads of laundry every day just so she “wouldn’t have to do them tomorrow,” she’s morphed into the Buddha.
When I was tired, she pushed on. For nearly two months, my mother drove 27 miles, in the deep, treacherous and dark winter, to visit my sister while she was in the hospital. It didn’t matter that she had been on her feet and working since 6 a.m. She went. Night after night. Some nights, she’d laugh with my sister. Other nights, she’d hold her as she cried.
But they were together, just as my mother had wanted.
When I was ready to give up, my mother, never complacent, refused to settle. She poured over books and resources looking for answers, both after I was born and after my father’s suicide. She refused to let doctors and counselors “put her in her place.” Minus the red hair, she’s the feistiest woman on earth.
Where I felt extremely isolated and lonely, she looked inward. For the first time, she’s found her individuality. The woman she is on her own. She’s been able to be a brilliant mother because she’s reconnected with her brilliant womanhood. She enjoys long walks alone and can usually be found at the YMCA most days by 3 p.m., swimming not just for fun, not just for exercise, but for herself. And herself alone. She’s only now finding out the joys of carving out her own “me” time – something she hasn’t done in 28 years. She’s been neglecting herself for far too long.
To my mother, life is meant to be won. It may not be an easy race. You may want to quit. You may feel like you’ll never see the red flag at that finish line. But keep running. Your tomorrow will come. My mother’s has. What else can you say to a woman who’s literally saved you and your sister’s life? Thank you, Mom. I love you
What about you, friends? How has your mother shaped you? Did she teach you about life? That it’s OK to cry? That the 10-second rule is perfectly acceptable? If you could tell her anything, what would it be? xoxo
Wow, my dear, your story blows me away! What a great inspiration you have by your side. God bless u all! My mum is also the strongest person I have ever known. Her love for her family, courage and strenght are endless…She tought me to be a good person and be patient. XOXO
( I posted a 'little' question on my blog, I would be thrilled to have your feedback…)
Jennifer of JennySue Makeup says
This post gave me massive chills and tears in my eyes (tears of JOY though!). What an awesome lady your mom sounds like – I mean the Barry M and cruise ship comparison is bad ass:-) And I'm sure she is honored and feels beyond blessed to have a daughter like you. From a mother to another mother, I wish your amazing mom a happy early Mother's Day!!
Sweet Posy Dreams says
What a wonderful tribute to your wonderful mother! Brought tears to my eyes. You're all lucky to have each other, I think.
What a lovely dedication, your mum sounds such a lovely, strong willed and passionate lady.
Melissa Blake says
I'll show her these sweet comments…she'll appreciate them! 🙂
Jack Napier says
Standing On The Side Of Love is a fantastic organization. I'm happy to see you supporting it. I'm the one who poured a drink in the lap of Jim Finnegan last January. Anyhoo, sounds like you have a strong mother. And a cutie pie of a sister. At least I think it's your sister coz she has the same jaw line as your mom. If I could tell my mom anything… Hmm, I said it two nights ago. I said if marriage is that much compromise and work, then it sounds like you married the wrong person. Peace!
Melissa Blake says
Jennifer — doesn't Barry M. rock? 🙂
Melissa Blake says
Hi Jack — Standing on the Side of Love is an organization so dear to my heart. That photo is actually from last summer when I went to stand on the courthouse lawn in support of the first gay couples as they received their civil unions. Such a proud day!
p.s. who is jim finnegan, by the way?
Twinkle Terrior says
I think your family is SO very inspiring! God bless you all always oxox
Your mother sounds awesome. P.S. You mean "complement" instead of "compliment". And "each" instead of "in."
Patricia Villamil says
Melissa, this is an amazing woman you have on your side. She's strong and she's not afraid to show it. Happy Mother's Day to her and thanks for sharing your story, so beautifully told.
my mom is my best friend and my partner in crime. she's taught me that accepting your adult responsibilities and being responsible doesn't mean you ever have to "grow up" on the inside. together we are the goofiest people ever and I can't even count the amount of times we've laughed until our stomachs hurt!
she's also the strongest woman I know and my role model 🙂