Thanks so much for joining me today.
Caution: Today's blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with decorating but who cares! It's my blog and I can write about whatever I want. I love it! I hope you do too!
This is a post that I've been mulling over writing for the past year. You might know that my parents are very important people to me and that we are very close. It was very difficult for my husband Steve and I to make the decision to move away from my parents when we left Northern Virginia for the Raleigh, North Carolina area just a little over two years ago. After all, in Virginia we lived less than 10 miles from my parents and they were a big part of our lives and especially our children's lives. But, we felt that living in the slower paced, less congested area was right for our little family of 4. Imagine how thrilled we were last year when after a year of looking at homes near us for a year my parents bought a beautiful large home (their dream home really) in a lakeside neighborhood nearby. Imagine my surprise last summer when my parents had the movers booked, had spruced up their Virginia house in preparation for putting it on the market, and were getting ready to move when we learned that my mom had stage IV ovarian cancer. Well, needless to say, moving plans were put on hold to take care of my mom's health. If there is one thing that I continually seem to need to learn over and over and over is that we are not in control. We can make our plans but only God knows ultimately how it will all play out. Fast forward one year. It's been quite a year. Two surgeries and about 8 chemotherapy treatments later my mom's cancer is shrinking, her hair is growing back in, and her spirits (as well as ours) and strength are returning. Praise God! We still don't know if and when my parents will move into their beautiful home located 4 miles from our home but we do know that we are grateful for this time. Maybe this year of realizing how precious and limited time truly is is why I am feeling inspired to consider how special my mom is to me and to share it with the world and especially with her. Today I am especially grateful for my mom. Perhaps because I grew up in a military family living on three different continents I have always been especially close to my family and had to rely on them. Here's my love letter to my sweet momma.
What I Learned From My Mom
Disclaimer: Though I have 'learned' these things below that I am about to share from my mom. I have by no means 'learned' all of them. Maybe I should have titled this piece, "Things My Mom Tried To Teach Me" because anyone who knows me, knows that some of the characteristics below are not traits that I especially possess. Makes me wonder what my own children will reflect back on and say they learned from me! Definitely makes me think about what I model for my own kids. Yikes! What pressure!
1. Having a relationship with God: This is by far the greatest gift that both of my parents gave me. My wish is that I give this gift to my children as well. Having a relationship with God has meant to me that I am really never alone and I will always be okay. I am able to handle all things because of these two facts. Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for this gift. My mom always answered questions about God as honestly as she knew how and if she didn't know an answer she'd tell me. My parents always provided a church home for my brother and I as we grew up.
2. Love of reading: My mom read to me from as early as I can remember. Nursery rhymes, Beatrix Potter stories, library books, to Guidepost stories when I was a teenager. We always enjoyed reading together. Reading is a pastime that I treasure so dearly now. Our house is filled with books. My husband and I made the conscious decision not to have a television in our bedroom so that we can have the luxury of a quiet room to read in at night before we fall asleep. I am so grateful that I married a reader too. My children have literally hundreds of books and I have no guilt about that at all. Thanks mom for reading to me! I have continued the tradition and read to my children every night. Oh, the joy of reading!
3. Love of walking: I remember living in Germany in the late 1970s when I was in elementary school. About this time my mom started walking. She walked, walked, walked, and walked some more. Maybe it was to stay fit. Maybe it was to deal with the stress of raising my brother and I. I don't know why she walked but she walked. She would invite me on her walks through the neighborhood and sometimes I would accept. This was uninterrupted time when we could enjoy nature together and talk. My family would go the beach in South Carolina every summer for two weeks. My mom and I would walk, walk, and walk on the beach and through the beach neighborhood. Even today, when my mom has the strength, we take a walk together. I love being outside and walking so much. Probably just as much as I love reading.
4. Love of music: My mom always had music playing when I was growing up. She also encouraged me to take piano and voice lessons. We have enjoyed many concerts and musicals together. Music brings me much joy! This love of music has definitely been passed down to my daughter Bryce. As a toddler, we would have dance parties to disco music in her room and today she's blaring her Pandora station from her mini ipad dancing around the house.
5. Importance of family: My mom is the most selfless person I know. She was always thinking about how to support my dad, brother, and I. I am definitely not this selfless. I do try to let my family know how special they are to me: from 'Family Date Nights' to family dinner to family trips or even just time together in our backyard hammock talking. Time together to make memories.
6. Discipline: My mom is the most disciplined person that I know. In fact, I'm pretty sure my mom is the most disciplined person that anyone who knows her knows! Whether it is her dedication to her prayer/quiet time or working out (walking and lifting weights/stretching), she makes sure her routine gets done. She always gets it done! Not to mention healthy eating! My mom reads up a lot on nutrition and nutrional foods. She is very disciplined about eating right. This is one of those traits where I 'learned' the trait from her but I haven't really 'learned' it if you know what I mean.
Recent pictures of my beautiful mom, Deborah Law, and I:
Mother's Day weekend, my house, 2013, before we went to see the musical, The Drowsy Chaperone-
Mother's Day weekend, 2013, my house, before church-
July 2012, my parent's house in Virginia, celebrating my birthday-
Thanksgiving, 2013, my parent's house in Virginia:
Friends, I hope that my words touched in you the remembering of how special someone is that is close to you. May you find the time and the words to share those thoughts with them. I am so grateful that I am able to share these thoughts with my mom today. None of us know what tomorrow will bring which makes today even more precious and special.
Thanks again for joining me today. I hope you are well.
Blessings to you,