Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why We Loved Mom

I know, almost everyone loves their mom. But I think our mom was different. After Mom died, my brother sent out a few emails to the other 3 of us asking that we answer some questions about Mom. Not informational questions but why we felt about her the way we did. I would like to take the next few days to honor my mother by posting those responses here. This is Breast Cancer Awareness month and, rightly so, there is a great deal of emphasis on survivors. But our mom didn't survive and I wanted to show the legacy of love, admiration, and respect that she left behind. So I will post some of those emails every day. I hope you agree that this is the way children are supposed to feel about their mothers. I will post one question each day and the responses we each gave. So here are the five questions he asked:

1. What are the most important lessons that Mom taught you? ie spiritual, practical, parenting etc.
2. What did you appreciate most about her?
3. Describe the person she was as if I were a stranger.
4. What is the single greatest legacy she left you with?
5. If Mom could have waived her magic wand(or rolled her magic bones and burned her magic hair) what one gift would she have given you?

Today I will start with question 1 - What are the most important lessons that Mom taught you?

Tere - Mom taught me to have a positive outlook, that we get what we expect, to have confidence in myself, to do good things because both the good and bad things you do come back to you, that just because you wouldn't do it that way it doesn't mean it's the wrong way, and I could go on and on. But I think the most important thing she taught me was not to expect perfection in people, that people are constantly evolving, changing, and growing and that as long as we see them moving in a positive direction, we should support that growth. I think that applies to every aspect of day to day life, including parenting and spirituality. You love people for who they are, even when they are not where you want them to be.

Chip -
Patience. I can only remember twice in my life that I thought she was really bothered about something. Once was when Andie was 11 or 12 and had run away, they were on the phone with me telling me about it and I was very mean and told Dad that "the common denominator in his children's f***ed up lives was him". He cried and hung up on me and she told me that was the meanest thing that anyone had ever said to him and she couldn't believe I could be that cruel. Point being, she had every right to be upset. The other time was when Mammaw Cunningham was very taxing and Dad wouldn't take care of her, Mom was,for the first time I had ever seen, frustrated on an ongoing basis. I don't think her body liked it. My picture of Mom is one of patience, acceptance and lovingness, regardless of what the circumstances were. I truly believe that she saw every "circumstance" as simply part of God's divine plan.

Mickey - To treat everyone equally – love them all, patience, reach out to the unloved, encourage others that they can…

Andie - Patience, inner-strength and unconditional love.