And Mother Of The Year Goes To …

Yes, YOU! And me too! All of us.

Mother of the Year goes to every mother who:

  • has loved their child(ren) so much but has never questioned if the well of love would ever run out
  • has given every ounce of her energy, but still finds more to bake 25 dozen cupcakes at 11pm because no one else volunteered
  • drives to the same place multiple times a day and never complains to her children
  • wipes noses with her shirt and doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with it
  • waits until her child is inside before she starts crying that first time she drops off for school/sleepover/camp
  • says “NO“, because she loves her child
  • has full conversations through bathroom doors and doesn’t find it abnormal
  • watches her sleeping child, just because she can
  • wakes up her sleeping child so she won’t be up at 2am when that child is wide awake
  • texts her teenager “I Love You” instead of saying it in front of their child’s friends
  • says “I Love You” to their child in front of their child’s friends
  • wonder if there is something wrong with her because she loves her child so much
  • sobs uncontrollably because she doesn’t know if there’s something wrong with her because she doesn’t want to hold her baby
  • nursed for days, weeks, months, years
  • used formula by choice or begrudgingly
  • went to bed early because you knew your child was in capable hands and you were exhausted
  • danced around in excitement, much to the dismay of your children, when they made it onto the team/play/group
  • sang silly songs with your child (and when you were alone in the car)
  • watched the same Disney movie 8,432,912 times and explained it every single time
  • spent your last dollar on a treat for the kids
  • dug around in your purse for change so the kids can buy something from the machine/street vendor
  • cried when you had to go back to work
  • danced excitedly when you went back to work
  • admitted to your child you have no idea how to help them do their homework
  • learned math/science/grammar/music/etc. just so you can help your child do their homework
  • wished they could take away the pain or sadness
  • told their child to brush their teeth …. again
  • has sent their child to their room
  • ate ice cream for dinner
  • insisted on “one more bite”
  • told their child “I believe in you
  • begrudgingly shared the last bite of cookie with their child
  • told their child “just a minute” … even though that minute turned into an hour
  • stopped everything because their child needed them
  • kissed their child a million times a day
  • cried because their child had to be with their dad and you couldn’t kiss them
  • and all the million other things that makes us our child’s Best. Mom. Ever!

Mother’s Day is just one day each year. But every day we are moms despite all the other demands on our time and emotions. And every day there is a child that looks up at us and ultimately thinks we are the most amazing person in the world.

Happy Mother’s Day! Not just today, but every day.


Happy 67th Birthday, Mom

My Mom photo(pardon the poor scan quality)

Today would have been my mother’s 67th birthday. She was born at a time of war, to parents who were children of the depression. My mom embraced her gap generation, looking to her parent’s generation for values and ethics but also trying to fit in with the baby boomer generation.

My mom was a phenomenal woman who became my best friend. For a very short period of time I can truly say that she was my friend and not just my mom. Which made her death even more bitter for me.

I have very little left that belonged to my mother. Most of her stuff is with my brother, if he still has it. I took a few pieces of jewelry, most which she never wore. I have her earrings. Well, I should say, I have her earring. One was lost at the hospital when she was put on life support. I had a copy made so I could have a pair, but it’s not the same.

I have very few photos of my mom. She never liked having her picture taken, so the few that I have are from my college  graduation. My grandma has more of when my mom was younger, as well as Super-8 movies so I can see my mom as a child.

I have one audio cassette. Actually, my grandmother has it in her safe. I’ve never listened to it, but it’s labeled as a conversation with her father. I don’t know what it’s about, when it was recorded, or if the quality is good enough. My grandfather told me about it shortly before he died, but asked me not to listen to it until after my grandmother passed away. That makes me think there is something on there my grandmother should not hear. It’s quite possible she’s listened to it, because my grandma is a rebel like that!

On days like today I’m filled with such bittersweet emotions. I’m overflowing with the love my mother gave me. Her dedication to raising me and my brother to have a better life than she did, despite setbacks. Her love for helping others is deeply embedded within my soul. Her caring ways and desire to lift others up are constantly part of me. It brings a smile to my lips. And tears. Lots of tears.

I miss my mom like crazy! Some days I am so angry at her for leaving me. For going off to a place where she has no pain. Yet leaving me here to fend for myself. As if I am an adventurist ready to find a way to survive even the harshest conditions. I’m soft, she should have known that and not left!

There are days I’m so mad at her for not being here. On my darkest days I’ve yelled for her as loud as I can, hoping this is all some kind of horrible, terrible dream. That I’ll wake up and find her standing next to me telling me it’s not real. Sometimes I can see her. And one smell can bring my mom back to me. I know she’s there. I know she was there when my daughter was hurt, I want to believe that. But then I’m so angry that she didn’t stop it.

I heard her voice as I took an oath promising to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I saw her smile. The smile that said I’m proud of you. A thin smile with sparkly eyes. I could see in her eyes she knew our day in court would not be for naught. But she wasn’t really there. When I needed her most, she was gone.

Yet in her 47 years she had so much. My mom was truly happy. She embodied passionate living and even though she drove over some very rough roads, she kept on driving. She knew to keep going. She laughed a lot. She had deep conversations with her father about all kinds of topics. Her brother was her best friend. She saw the Pope when she visited Italy as a young woman. She stood on both sides of the Berlin wall, and stayed up all night long watching the coverage of that same wall come down.

My mother had an eclectic love of music, which explains mine. She was adventurous and always ready for a new experience. She sailed to Europe when her father was stationed in Germany, never again getting on a boat after such intense motion sickness. She took her first plane flight when she was in her 20s, coming back to the United States.

She lived her life without regret. And today I honor her for leaving me with legacy.

Happy Birthday, MOM! I hope to be as good a mom as you were.



Memories And The Power Of A Single Scent

Gardenia photo

My Mother’s favorite flower was gardenia. When I bought my house one of the first things I did was plant a gardenia bush in the front. I didn’t realize there was anything special that needed to be don for them, and for the most part all I do is water it. What I also didn’t know was that Phoenix is considered too hot for the average person to maintain gardenias.

For the past 17 years as spring has rolled around I secretly hoped my gardenia bush would get at least one flower. Most years I’ll get buds which then burn and shrivel up. My hopes to smell that sweet floral smell of gardenia dashed. My wanting to once again smell a scent that reminds me of my mother. My childhood. Special occasions.

This year my gardenia plant is blooming with, at last count, 6 beautiful blooms like the one in the photo. Yes, that is from my gardenia plant and yes, I took the photo. See, I’m getting better at this photography thing!

I stood at the plant, hoping I could capture their beauty. Wishing I could photography the scent too. I can’t but I hope you can imagine that amazing, unique, sweet, and intensely floral gardenia. To me it says “Mom”. It will always make me think of her.

If I find someone wearing a gardenia fragrance, it makes me want to be near them. Good thing they tend to be older. And understanding. Almost 20 years ago she left this world. But one flower alone brings her back.

Experts say scents help to keep memories with us. This is a good memory I’m holding on to.

Do you have certain scents that take you back? Do you ever think about the legacy you might leave with a certain scent?