Today is Mother's Day and I feel overwhelmed. Yeah, that's right. I managed to make a day that is decidedly not about me, about me. But if there is one thing that my mother passed down to me, it's a thankful heart. I'm thankful to the point that I get stressed out when I can't properly divulge the great immensity of my thankfulness. It took us months to send out our wedding thank-you cards because I wanted to make sure to write something special and meaningful to each individual person, which meant my hand was always cramping and I was on the verge of tears for six months straight.
And so here I am on Mother's Day, miles away from my mom whom I love with such enormity that I can barely hold it in (ugh, tears already), with nothing to give her. Many people might give me a pass, seeing as how we just moved across the country and jumped head-first in the job search, but she's my momma. She deserves a Hallmark card or something.
I was talking with my sisters this week and asked them a simple question: what are some lessons you've learned from mom? True to personality, Lauren (the middle one) sent me a long list within 5 minutes. Rachel (the youngest one) sent me a halfway finished list a few days later. And they are both still texting me even as I type.
As mothers tend to be, my mom is my biggest fan. She's particularly fond of All the Delights, and so I'm using what I have, this tiny platform, to celebrate her today.
Mom, I wish it was more but if I'm honest, nothing I could give you would ever be enough. And so if you ever wondered what we say about you behind your back, here's a glimpse:
"She taught me that crying is okay. But crying while laughing is better."
"And also to open your eyes really big when you're trying not to cry. Even though tears are inevitable."
"How to do my taxes."
"Chocolate helps everything."
"Be strong and confident in who I am. No need to make excuses or try to be someone else."
"How to have a gentle and tender heart."
"That sometimes you fart when you run. And that's okay."
"How to support and take care of our husbands."
"That righteous anger isn't bad."
"If you're hungry before dinner, eat a salad. Or chips..."
"She gave us the freedom to be emotional and a safe place to express our feelings."
"She taught me to listen to my husband and God first."
"When you really love someone, you'll sacrifice anything for them. Even if it hurts like hell."
"That it's okay to be happy and sad at the same time."
"Sometimes the quiet people are the funniest people because they have the element of surprise."
"She's stronger than she realizes; she exudes strength."
"Selflessness is beautiful."
"It's much easier to do something that you don't want to do if you remember that it's for the benefit of someone else."
"You're never too old to learn something new or make a significant change in your life."
"To always eat your vegetables, even if all you can afford is a can of green beans."
"Mom taught me how to truly listen to people, and how that act can make a person feel genuinely cared for."
"It's okay to give in sometimes."
"Gentleness. How to be calm in the storm."
"She is the most encouraging person I've ever met. I always think of her and try to channel her ways when I'm encouraging my husband."
"Because of mom, I always believed that I could go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone I want to be."
And we've barely even scratched the surface.
We love you, mom. Thank you for teaching us so many things, the greatest of them love.
Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful, strong women out there. You deserve and endless stream of pedicures, flowers, and Saturday mornings with nothing to do.
And an especially happy day to Rhondda, Mimi, Grandma in Oklahoma, Grandma in Australia, and Nana: all the women who have been or have become a mother to me in some fashion along the way.