When I got home from work on Monday there was a package at the door.  This isn’t unusual because my husband gets a lot of packages delivered to the house for work.  However, this time it was for me and it was from my Mom.   I opened the box and it made me cry. This is what was inside.  She has this set of bowls and when she brought something to my house in one of them I told her I liked it. So being the thoughtful person she is, she went out and got me a set and sent them.  The bowls didn’t make me cry though, her note did.   “Life is going way too fast for me. I wish we could spend more time together. Reading your blog has made me feel closer to you. You are very talented. You are in my prayers every day.”
 
Her letter made me cry because I am 47 years old and my mother still worries about me and takes her concerns to the heavens every night. I cried because I miss her too.  I know people who live a lot further than an hour away from their loved ones so I shouldn’t complain, but sometimes that distance feels enormous. I cried because I am touched she is reading my blog and that it makes her feel closer to me. I cried because my whole life I have always wanted to make her happy and have her approval.  I know that I’ve done a lot of things over the years that broke her heart.  I have wandered away from the beliefs that are still very much a part of her life. I don’t visit as much as I should. I don’t call as often as I need to. I am not the world’s best daughter.
 
 I am however a very lucky daughter. My mother showed me by example how to be a survivor.  She taught me that life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you handle it. She told me that when something bad happens to us the only choice we have is to pick ourselves up and go on. That advice has gotten me through some heart breaking experiences of my own.  I can’t say how many times I’ve opened my mouth and her words come tumbling out. I guess one day my children will do the same.
 
Mine wasn’t an easy childhood. I think my mother still suffers guilt for the things we went without. I wish she wouldn’t.  The intangible things she did give us far outweigh anything material that we didn’t have. I grew up singing a hymn in chuch that goes:
 
There is beauty all around
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in ev’ry sound
When there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on ev’ry side.
Time doth softly, sweetly glide
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide
When there’s love at home
 
My mother took every word of this song seriously.  She did not tolerate meanness or teasing among us kids.  We were to love one another whether we liked it or not. Her insistance on family harmony has resulted in adult siblings who love each other deeply and are there for each other no matter what.  That is an accomplisment to be proud of.
 
I’ve been saying since I started writing this blog that I was doing it for my grandchildren.  I figured telling my stories and sharing my sometimes odd outlook on life would be something that could carry me in to the future.  What I didn’t take in to account was how sharing these stories would also take me back. Back to my childhood, back to the people and places that formed me. And when I look back, the one constant, the rock of my life has been my sweet mother.
 
Thank you for always being there Mom. Thank you for your example, for the lessons, for the prayers and for the bowls. 
 
I love them.