Sunday, May 10, 2009

Everything I am I owe to My Mother....

Every thing I am I owe to my Mother. That is a pretty intense statement to make. I have thought a lot about this during the week and realized how true it is. The way I walk and talk, the way I look at the world, my name, all from my Mother. Lucky for me I happen to have a super Mom.

I would love to share, this day of honoring our Mother's, a little of my Mother with you. She was born in North Carolina but grew up in central Florida. The only child to two adoring parents. Talented as the day is long. She sang, acted, modeled, she was in all the school plays and was genuinely just a nice, thoughtful person. She was the apple of grandmother's eye. My mother was going to be and do all the things she hadn't been able to do.

Fortunately for all of us this was an easy task for my Mother. She was in the right place at the right time. Her true goodness shines through. Not only is my mother one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet she is beautiful through and through. I have never heard her say an ugly thing about anyone - ever. She is the first to give a person a second chance. I grew up with the mantra that until you walk in some one's shoes you really don't understand or know them. She taught me that every person carries a burden or two. You might not see their burdens, but they are there. So treat each person with respect, be kind, listen. Sometimes someone just needs another person to listen.

I have seen my Mother make a friend with everyone she meets. I do mean everyone. I have watched as she learns their life stories, then watched her go home and be sick with worry about something they have told her. Her kindness has been unending. The other night as I stopped by the liquor store for empty boxes I met an older gentleman who was collecting boxes. He asked me if I was moving. I asked him if he was, he then began his story... lived here 44 years, wife sick in nursing home in New York State, moving to be closer to daughter, hating to leave the beach, hating that his wife is sick...then he looked at me and said you really don't want to hear this, and I said "yes I do" and on he went. An hour later I was home. All night I thought of him hoping that he found some comfort in telling me his story and how much his story affected me. The next morning I realized - I am my Mother. I thought of how many times in my life I have seen my Mother take that extra bit of time to listen to some one else.

So, today I thank my Mother for her grace. Her ability to empathize, to understand, and see other people as they are. I thank her for her honesty and high moral ground. "Take the high road" you will never be sorry. A mantra I have lived with and practiced, thanks to my Mother, all my life. The best part is that she is right. When I take the high road I never have any regrets.

One of the things I have heard all my life is " Your Mother is sooo beautiful." One of my friends asked me if this was ever a problem. I was not really sure how to respond to that. Then, I thought the only problem was when I wanted to dress my teenage bell bottom way. Actually, having a Mother with style was pretty awesome. She always new all the latest cause she was modeling it. I remember the really cool clothes she had - and if I was lucky I could wear some of them. Even to this day one of the things we like to do together is clothes shop. My Mother can outfit you up in no time.

The other thing we like to do together - and with my dad - is antique. I will say my love of things with history came from my Mother. She is brilliant smart - uses ink to do the New York Times Crossword - and reads like no one's business. Growing up we were exposed to Museums, culture, plays, musicals, travel , etc. Going here and there we would stop at antique stores along the way. My brother chose to be unhappy about it. I chose to enjoy. I received quite a few history lessons from the store owners. I watched my parents fill their home with treasures and when it came time to have my own home I started in antique stores and flea markets.

Today I sit back and realize how big a part my Grandmother was of my Mother, my Mother is a huge part of who I am, and will I be a huge part of my boys? Unanswered questions... I do know that I am proud to be my Mother's Daughter. That she taught me well. The lessons life have taught me I have answered with honesty and grace that I learned from her. My love of art, history and life I have learned from her. My devotion to my family I learned from her love and the love she shares with my father. Thank you Mom.


Lizzi said...

This is a beautiful tribute. It is interesting to see how much our mothers and grandmothers are a part of us, and how that is manifested. Your mother was gorgeous. She reminds me of Rosalind Russell in the photo with flower in her hair.

Diane said...

Oh Elizabeth...this is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful tributes I have seen. The tears were really rolling down my face. Your childhood sounds wonderful. You are a lucky girl & I can see a lot of those qualities you described in your mother coming through in your personality.
I have to say also that your mom is absolutely gorgeous! The young pictures & the more recent one are all equally beautiful. I hope you both have a blessed day!
Hugs, Diane

Joan said...

What a super, beautiful woman your mother is! It sounds as though she taught you so many life lessons. And made a warm, loving home.
I, too, had a wonderful mother who always made home the best place to be. My mother has been gone now for 13 years, but I have so many fond childhood memories. Aren't we both lucky!!

Beverley Baird said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. It touched me deeply.
You are right - she is a beautiful woman, both inside and out. What a great collage as well.
I hope you both had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Dianne said...

what a lovely tribute to your mom...and if you are like her then it confirms what we all know about you, too! kind, sweet, thoughtful, generous! thank you for sharing your memories and positive thoughts...