Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the moms and moms-to-be! I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my mom.
Here are just a few of the things she’s taught me over the years:
That even when life should break you, you can’t let it. In the span of eight months when she was only 25 years old, she had a baby, her husband left her, and her mother died after battling cancer. Any one of those things would be enough to completely overwhelm a person. She is amazingly strong. And she taught me that no matter what life hands you, you find the inner strength to keep going.
How to appreciate the finer things. She has good taste, my mother. From fine restaurants to nice clothes to travel, she taught me how to recognize quality and how sometimes it’s worth splurging for.
To be a woman of faith. And I don’t just mean because she asks if I went to church, although she does that, too. She raised me to understand that faith, however you define and practice it, can center you in a way that few other things can.
Value your girlfriends. Long before Sex and the City, my mom would have luncheons with her girlfriends where they would sit and talk and drink and laugh. And I usually got to sit there too. I understood from an early age that girlfriends are precious and that making time to nurture these relationships is crucial.
That being passionate about your job is more important than the paycheck. She taught Catholic elementary school for 17 years. She wasn’t in it for the money. But I still see her tear up around the first day of school. She loved her job and not because of prestige or money. Finding that kind of passion for what you do is rare and important.
You don’t need a man. Operative word being “need.” The point is that she taught me to be strong, independent, and able to take care of myself.
Sometimes love comes from the most unexpected of places. I never thought she’d end up with my stepdad. I’m not sure she did either. But they are a wonderful couple and an amazing example of what can happen when two people who have been hurt let down their guards and genuinely get to know one other. She taught me it’s important to look beyond the superficial “list.” Also that the person who finally treats you how you deserve to be treated is more often than not the right person for you.
Family will never fail you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter what you need, it doesn’t matter how long you wait to ask. Family will always be there for you.
I love you, Mom!