Monday, May 14, 2007

To the women who came before...

Mothers Day 2007 is nearly over. I was gifted with paper flowers and cards, and homemade corn bread muffins. I have been thinking for a week now about my mom and what I could do for her for mothers day. Unfortunately, my good intentions kept getting pushed aside as I changed diapers, washed diapers, rinsed diapers out in toilets, picked up toys, made peanut butter sandwiches, did dishes, washed laundry, had a fish flushed down the toilet (yes, sadly, after surviving the jam incident, otto succumbed after having the entire can of fish food dumped in his bowl), and planted a garden. I'm sure there are other things in there, but I'm too tired to recall.

My gift to my mother ended up being much more last-minute than I would have liked. I picked some roses from my rosebushes and tied them with a ribbon. Then I wrote the card...

In church, the lesson in young women's was on journal writing. The lesson was a bit on the short side, so, to fill in the rest of the time, we talked about various experiences we had with journal writing. I told about my father-in-law who keeps an incredible journal and emails it weekly to the family so that we all stay up to date with their lives. Then I told about one of my prized possessions.

For Christmas in 1991 I asked my grandmother to write down the stories that I grew up hearing her and my grandfather tell about their lives. There's the story of the time my grandmother and her cousin Francis tried to make fudge, and burned it, so they buried it in the back yard so that they wouldn't get in trouble for wasting so much sugar. Then there's the story of how my grandfather got sprayed by a skunk when he was head down in a skunk hole trying to catch skunks to earn money from the skins. There's the story of how my grandfather proposed when they were in the ninth grade after he fell in love with her when he saw her playing "catch" (catcher) on the school soft ball team. She said no, but when he asked again years later, she said yes.

I've always loved my mom, and have been grateful for all the things she did for me, but it has only been since I have become a mother that I have really understood the sacrifice she made for me. She sang me to sleep many many nights, she always gave me a hug when she sent me off to elementary school. She drove me to voice lessons, soccer games, and gymnastics. I'm sure she lost patience with me sometimes, but I have very few memories of those times. It is often hard for me to be patient with my children when they say "why" a million times a day, or when they whine because they are tired or hungry. It frustrates me when they don't listen, and I have to think a lot about how my mom acted in certain situations to help me deal with my own children.

So thank you mom, for making me the person I am, and teaching me how to be the mother I am learning to be. Thank you to my grandmothers for the things they taught me, and the things they taught my parents. My grandmother, the one who wrote her stories for me back in 1991, died a few years ago. After she died, I had an intense desire to know more about her parents. What were they like, how did they influence her to make her who she was? She influenced my father, and so on, now I influence my children by the kind of person that I am, and the cycle will continue. We all influence those who come after us, so to all the women who came before, on this mothers day, Thank you.

3 comments:

WP said...

I love your mother too! Thanks for the post and I did hear about the rose buds.

Natalie said...

This is so sweet! Thank you for sharing. And, by the way, I think you are a wonderful mother.

wordsfromhome said...

I could not have received a better Mother's Day present than your note and rosebuds. The note will go in my drawer of treasures. The flowers I will enjoy until they are gone and no longer smell sweet.

As for Otto the fish, that surely does shoot holes in the story about extreme fish growth, doesn't it. Will you use this as a training tool to show that deceased pets may not be easily replaced when the door is left ajar?