Here come the holidays and you may not be feeling too festive. Well, here are my thoughts that I hope may be helpful.
If there is one word to describe the importance of a mom’s role it would be consistency. Sure, love is necessary, but isn’t love unconditional?
One year ago, my mom was laid to rest. We’ve all heard before that you never know the pain of a loss until you experience it yourself. Unfortunately, I now know that pain. It’s a deep hurt in the middle of your chest that you can’t really escape. It is an imprint, if you will, of a memory, a feeling, a kindness that leads you to wanting more. With her contact information still in my phone, I reach out wishing she would just answer. Just one more conversation, one more reassurance that I am doing the best that I can, and she is proud of me; but all I hear is the ringing and her voicemail, yet I know she is here, everywhere. I believe that to be true and at the end of the day isn’t that what matters what we believe ourselves? When I walk into the different rooms of my home, I find her. It may be a picture, a collectible, something we bought together or something she left behind. I still talk to her every day and often she appears as a cardinal.
You see, my mom taught me to be strong and resilient. To always believe in myself and to never burn bridges because it’s a small world and people will always need other people. She taught me to cook and to clean. She taught me to try and to try again. She taught me to be a mom. She taught me that holidays are about family and not about the gifts we received because, after all, isn’t life itself our true gift? She admired all the friends that I always had, and I admired how she only needed her children and sisters as her friend. My mom was consistent, so consistent that all of her five children and seven grandchildren believed they were her favorite, because she treated each of us with the same consistent love. I knew where to find her, and I never feared her not loving me. She often said that I told her too much, but I think in the end she appreciated the trust I had in her.
Being a great mother isn’t about giving gifts and outshining anyone else, it’s about being consistent and being present when you are needed – always. It’s about loving unconditionally and stepping aside to watch your children fail and succeed on their own as adults while knowing you are always just a phone call away.
At 44, I went through a divorce, and I think it worried my mom to exhaustion. Worrying about your children is somewhat traumatizing, believe me, I know this to be true. Even with that worry, she always supported me. She always believed I would make something great out of my situation and always assured me that my children would be okay. She said, “after all, you are their mother”, and now, I see her wisdom, because after all, she is my mother.
Doing what I do every day, I know you may be a mom approaching the holidays going through a life transition, wondering if you are loved by your children. So, I write this to you, hoping you find comfort in knowing that if you are consistently there for your children, you will never have to worry about their love for you, whether they show it now, or not. I too, am struggling a bit this year, but I know my mom will forever be in my life. I will celebrate her and carry on with the values she instilled in me. I am forever grateful for her consistency. My holiday wish for you all, is to be thankful, believe in yourself, and don’t just love, be consistent. It is a priceless gift to give that will last a lifetime.
With love and consistency,