Sadly, I am not with my mom to celebrate Mother’s Day with her this year and also sadly, I have no money to send her a nice gift she deserves. So, instead, for something different, I am sharing with all of you a piece of my Mom, a wonderful gift to those who are fortunate enough to have her in their lives.
My mother and I, along my with my dad and younger brother, were staying at my aunt and uncle’s home in North Carolina two years ago for Christmas. We had taken time to settle in and unpack. Afterwards, my mother came sneaking up to me, whispering into my ear, “I have a confession.” My eyes widened and lit up with fear and curiosity when I asked what it was. She “confessed” that she had taken the time to re-organize all the hangers in the closet of the room she was staying in by color, size and type. I was speechless with my mouth agape, eyes still wide and full of fear and amazement. I had done the same exact thing to the closet of the room I was staying in. I even thought to myself while I was doing it how crazy it was to take to the time to do this to someone else’s closet. It was so relieving to learn she had done the same thing, like there was an explanation for my semi-OCD behavior.
So much of me is my mother – outside the obvious of our identical looks – and was/is affected by her. This goes for you and your mother, too. What mothers eat and how they are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually during their pregnancy with you affect who we are. It is part of our condition, what we are born with, what we cannot change. Condition is determined by other factors like your father’s state and where and when you were conceived and born. Our constitution is what we have control over; it is our moment-to-moment lifestyle and diet decisions. As the expression goes, genes load the gun and diet and lifestyle pull the trigger.
My mother had ice cream basically everyday while she was pregnant with me and of course I had a sugar addiction that got really crazy in my early 20s. When I learned how she ate when she was pregnant with me, I finally understood that the inability to not eat sugar was not a reflection of the soul or will power; it was a reflection of genes. I was eating sugar from day one in the womb. I could have blamed her for my problem, but blame gives your power away and gets you nowhere. Blaming your parents or anyone for where you are at is a waste of time and will keep you stuck. You hold the power. With addictions it takes a lot of support, time and grace; it is a journey and the end goal is not perfection but connection.
When I was a teenager, I had strong ideas of how was I was going to be different than my mother when I grew up. As I grew up and actually learned more about my mother as a person, not just as Mom, many of those ideas changed. If I make a 180 from my mother in any way, I am still like my mother because she made a 180 from her parents. She grew up with fear and control. It is truly soap opera type stuff and I hurt for my Mom when I think about her upbringing. She dug herself out of a dark ditch and she gave my three siblings and me nothing but love and support. She showers us with love and gifts like no other. I realize that it would be a blessing to be anything like my mother, besides in just my looks, and throughout my days I keep finding little ways I am like her. I am usually stopped breathless with hands to my mouth thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’m Mom!” Sometimes I laugh about it and sometimes it stops me think.
Many of you know my mother or know of her (probably through Facebook). You see how kind-hearted, funny, loving, sweet, giving, open, wise and child-like she is. You see how much she loves her family. I joke and say she is 56 going on 16, but that is the heart I want to have, a free heart.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You shine so brightly and light up everyone’s world. Thank you for being you and all you do for the family. I hope to be just like you as you grow up.
Sending my mom and all the other mothers and mom-like figures out there so much love and gratitude!
“Who run the world? Girls!”