Monday, May 25, 2015

A Lesson from My Mother





I learned many lessons from my mom...really important stuff like rolling up dad's damp handkerchiefs and putting them in the fridge before ironing.  I learned that nothing compares with the smell of sheets dried on a clothesline. When dad was out of town, I could eat anything I wanted for dinner...as long as I prepared it...Cheerios was my most favorite!  I carried this tradition on with my children, except we had pancakes!  I learned that good friends are just as important as family...in some cases, more important, especially if there were problems with family!

My mother's actions taught me so very much, but her words are the lessons I remember most. The following is a story I wrote about a few of my mother's words.  I previously posted this story, but feel that it should be shared again. 

When I was in high school, my mom and I argued with each other…a lot!  I saw it as the Battle of Hormones….me just getting some and hers…well…just raging!  Eventually, we both settled down and became great friends.  She would listen to me whine for hours and then give me a hug, telling me I would “figure it out.” 

I was a lifelong dieter, always looking for that “perfect” diet that would make me thin and beautiful…and only take 24 hours! I remember sitting across the kitchen table from mom with tears rolling down my cheeks.  I asked her “why can’t I stop eating?” She just looked at me and began to cry.  She didn’t tell me that she was bulimic. With her silence, she saved me from that destructive disease. She did, however, hold me and tell me I would be okay.

After the birth of my first child, by c-section, hers was the first face I saw when I woke up.  She smiled and told me “He’s perfect!” Then she leaned in a little closer and said softly, “you can do anything!  I smiled at her and then fell back asleep.


These four words were immediately etched upon my heart.  They spoke to me during Tommy’s all-night feedings; and when he discovered that he couldn’t walk on water…in a Jacuzzi; or, when his bike decided to kiss the sidewalk as he rounded the corner. I got used to less sleep.  I found the energy and stamina to hold it all together during the ER visits. I found the words needed to comfort him. I found I could do what had to be done, because of my mom’s words.   

I heard the words again, seconds after the thump and delayed screams of Matt, when he opened up the back of his head on the fireplace after a very creative dismount from the ottoman.  By now, I now had a reserved parking spot at the ER. I watched in horror as they tried to subdue him so they could stitch him up.  He kicked and screamed, and refused to stay still long enough to for them to have any success. They even put him in a pediatric straight jacket; he got out!  He finally passed out from exhaustion, which gave the doctors time to do their thing, and me a few minutes to regroup and focus.  “I can do this” said that little voice inside of me. 

And the time that Edie wandered off from the beach blanket because she saw better snacks somewhere else.  That was the longest 15 minutes of my life!  My first words were, “God, please help me find her!” I put my trust in God, and the hunting party of dad and her brothers as we scoured the sea of blankets and umbrellas.  A force drew me to a large family enjoying their lunch. There she was! They had DONUTS! We didn’t have donuts! I wanted to squeeze the life out of her and scold her for leaving but the words that came from my lips were loving and full of joy at seeing her again.  As we walked away, I thanked God, my mom and her new adopted family.
   
Kara was so sensitive that she would cry at the change of weather.  One day, out of the blue, she began to sob uncontrollably. I said to myself, “Help me out here, Mom.” My mind flew back to my acting days when I had to sing for a test in voice class.  As I sang “Pretty Little Horses” and gently rocked her, she calmed down…so much…that I had to check her pulse!  When she was 20 and we were 2,000 miles from home, she began sobbing yet again, desperately trying to hold it in.  She told me that she had chest pains and her left arm hurt. Having heart disease in the family, I wasted no time. I found the strength to get her to the nearest ER (where I had to fight for a parking spot). It wasn’t her heart; it wasn’t gastro; it wasn’t her lungs; it wasn’t imaginary!  She was still in pain.  I thought of Shirley MacLaine in “Terms of Endearment” when she was screaming for meds for her daughter…MY DAUGHTER IS IN PAIN! JUST GIVE HER SOMETHING FOR HER PAIN!!!  A firm hand from above covered my mouth and my words were kind, and to the point. I will never forget the look of euphoria on her face when the morphine kicked in.  I thanked God for taking away her pain, and my mom for holding me together. 
   
The words, “You Can Do Anything” never had deeper meaning than on the day I found my mom unresponsive at home. You see, it was only three months after she had first spoken the words to me.  My life as a mother had just begun. 

“Not now, please God, not now” I sobbed as the tears began to flow. I felt a stirring deep inside of my soul which took control and guided me through the next few days. My mom’s words gave me the courage to be strong for my dad, my brothers and a very long list of friends.  Over the years, her friends reached out to me with motherly advice (probably her doing), and her sister, Alice, became “Grandma” to each of my four children giving them the very best ever “Grandma” memories. 
 
My mother’s words have helped me achieve goals in my life that I never thought were possible. After a lifetime of being a food addict, I discovered the way out; I found that I had a passion for writing and I delight in how it makes me feel; I learned that I can actually let go of “things and people” and live to tell about it; but most importantly, I found a way to change how I see the world. Now, I laugh, I dance and I hug total strangers!  I reach out to others and pass along these four magical words, “you CAN do anything!” 

Tag…You’re It! 


Thank you for stopping by today.  My post is brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please click here to visit her page where you will be find writings of some very talented people that will delight you!   


1 comment:

Patti said...

Thank you for your honest, from the heart writing!