Sunday, May 8, 2011

On mother's day

My mom died when I was twenty-two. She'd had a long battle with breast cancer. I was holding her hand when she breathed her last breath, and minutes before that I gently spoke in her ear, before my voice would fail me, "I love you, Mom. And I know you love me."

I would graduate college without her. I would have my heart broken many times and cry in a heap by myself. I would do things so unexpected because, well, no one expected it out of me. I'd meet the man who would be my husband. And I would have a home, have children, lose a child, and try to make sense of this life, without her.

The years between then and now were filled in with other women whose examples I would study, deciding what to keep, what to leave behind. Life's hard knocks keep swinging. I still encounter those who hold grudges, condemn, don't forgive, gossip, criticize, ignore and wound ... intentionally.

But I am grateful for women, other mothers and daughters, who inspire and encourage me today. Through them, I've learned how: to cook, to comfort, to be creative, to nurture, to be a good friend, to live life joyfully, to encourage, to persevere, to forgive, to be vulnerable, to be positive, to be gentle, to be prayerful, to serve, and so much more. I've learned of and seen generosity, compassion, closeness, loyalty, tenderness, support, and how to walk with strength and dignity during extreme trials of addiction, death of a loved one, divorce or disease. Some of them taught me how to be a better mother, and many of them taught me how to be a better friend. (I'm still learning.)

I honor these women today. And I wonder how many other lives their quiet and caring examples have touched ...


Anonymous said...

I can see Lanie in that picture of you and your Mom. It's uncanny, the resemblance.


Courtney said...

LOL. I don't see it. Everyone tells me she looks like Shane.