Mother’s Day was this past weekend. In honor of my mother, I thought it would be nice to reflect on how she has shaped the person that I am today. Below, not in any particular order, are some of the things my mom has taught me.
Make Others Feel Your Care and Concern
My mother still writes letters to people and sends out cards. My grandmother passed that down to her, but I grew up watching her do this my whole life. It’s a personal touch that gets lost in today’s world of electronic communication.
She also puts a lot of thought into finding a gift that a person will really love. She considers the person and what they like, what they talk about and what they seem to enjoy. I’ve never seen her select a gift without stressing over it. It taught me the importance of putting thought into a present and not just grabbing something last minute.
She’s made an art out of doing really small things just to make an ordinary day feel a little more special. Every time she went to the Dollar Store with her grand kids, she would give them $5 to spend as they wished. Both my daughter and my niece have fond memories of these outings.
She does things for people just because, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion. If she thinks it will brighten their day, she’ll do it. She would take someone out to eat if she felt they would appreciate getting out of the house for a while.
She is one of those people that calls to “check” on you.
Holidays are “Special” Occasions
My mom likes to have a house full of people on the holidays, and she always has these Norman Rockwell expectations about reading to the grand kids around a fire and it’s a very heartwarming scene… in her head.
We disappoint her every time. Not intentionally, but my family is not postcard perfect. Yet, she keeps trying.
She fusses and stresses over every detail of the meal, adorns her house with appropriate seasonal decorations, and comes up with games or goodies for the kids. Her efforts are very much appreciated. We should probably tell her that more often.
I didn’t get the need to have a house full of people, but I do like to make holidays special through activities and decorating.
Treating Elders with Respect
Both my parents have always had a special place in their hearts for the elderly. My mom likes to do things for those she feels are ignored or forgotten.
When they lived in Virginia, there was a specific lady that they pretty much adopted and would take out to lunch and constantly do things to make her feel special and appreciated. I grew up with tons of examples of how to treat the elderly with the utmost respect and to cherish them.
My grandfather (my mom’s dad) developed Alzheimer’s and I know it was very hard on her to watch her parent forget who she was. But they allowed him his independence as long as was safely possible, and went to great lengths to make him comfortable when he did have to move to a nursing home.
I believe right now, she has a personal ministry to take care of the widows in her church. To remember their birthdays and give them little gifts to make them feel loved.
I’ve had very close friendships with people who were much older than myself. I love how a person gets less guarded and more genuine as they age.
Memories should be cherished
One of the things I loved growing up,and I’m sad technology has made it almost obsolete, but I remember fairly regularly going through old photographs with my mom. She has several photo albums and boxes of pictures. We would look at the pictures and laugh, tell stories and sometimes even cry.
A Love of Reading and for Word Games
Mom blessed both my sister and I with a love for reading. We also like to play word games like Scrabble or Scattergories when we get together. It gets quite competitive.
We played the alphabet game quite a bit as well. We would take turns saying something from a particular category that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Our games went beyond animals or girl names though. We did crazy candle scents to show how creative we could be, or countries to show off how smart we were.
To Be Forgiving
My mom can get really upset and hurt by someone, but when they show even the slightest change in behavior, she is always ready to forgive. It taught me to always believe the best in people and that everyone screws up sometimes. I’m more accepting and patient with people, and not so quick to just write them off.
What about you? What are some things that your mother has taught you? Share them in the comments below.
Love you, Mom!