mother’s day, 2014

Jeanne here.

I wrote this a few years ago now. But I was looking through old files, cleaning up the mess that is my computer, and stumbled upon it. And since it’s Mother’s Day, it just seems appropriate to share it because …

Well …

Because like most people, I love my mom. And I don’t mind bragging about her 🙂

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If you’ve met my mom, you are probably already aware that she’s one of the most loyal, passionate, compassionate, fearless, resourceful, bend-over-backwards-to-help-anyone-women you know. And that’s if you’ve spent five minutes with her.

If you are in her circle of friends or family she will stand by you, support you, defend you, love you and honor you until her own heart breaks.

And on top of that, she’s actually funny … laughs from the depths of her soul and knows how to enjoy the moment she’s in. She may hold onto hurt, but she lets go of pain (which is not a contradiction if you think about it for just one moment). And for as long as I’ve known her, she’s been an example of what’s good in the world.

So you can probably also imagine that, having this woman as a mother, it’s a bit challenging to come up with just one special memory … and the list of things she’s done to make a difference in my life is pretty much endless.

I could tell you about the road trips she and my grandmother made to visit me in Washington, DC … hours upon hours on the road, only to be relegated to eating over-cooked penne with store-bought sauce, drinking red wine with my girlfriends on the floor of a basement studio apartment … three of us later sleeping on a full-size futon … and then being willing to trek around the corner in her pajamas to my favorite local coffee shop. I didn’t have a coffee maker and for some reason would NOT let them get dressed before we had coffee and they were both game to make the walk … I wish I had a picture of this … kick myself daily for not capturing our slumber parties on film.)

Or I could tell you about the Christmas we spent at a condo in Hilton Head. No Christmas tree in sight, so my mom whips out a 3-inch butter knife adorned with a mini evergreen and we spend the next three days taking pictures holding the “tree.” (Somehow I don’t have any of the photos, but I promise, this happened and if you were there you might have laughed)

I could also tell you about how, raising seven kids on the income of a nurse and a mailman, she was miraculously able to create a world in which we had no idea how hard they had to struggle to make ends meet. We had a beautiful home that was meticulously clean and equally welcoming. Good food in our bellies. Magical Christmas mornings and very few cares in the world.

That’s one good mom, in my estimation.

But the moment that just blew me away was five minutes after my daughter was born.

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I thought MY life was flipped upside down by her birth. I was pretty scared. My job was on the line. My future was up in the air. And to be honest, my whole perspective just took a 180 degree shift.

And my mom was a rock.

She was amazing.

Actually, she completely blew my mind.

She changed everything.

She somehow convinced her boss to switch around her work schedule and got in the car at the crack of dawn (or earlier) every Monday morning and drove two plus hours in horrible traffic from Indio to Los Angeles so she and and my retired-step dad could spend four days a week living in a small guest room caring for our little girl.  She fed, bathed, played with and loved my daughter like no one else. I never had to worry about what it would be like to leave her with a stranger.

She gave me the courage to face each day with a smile. She laughed at me when I got too “new mom crazy.” And she gave me the confidence to take a step back and make changes in my own life for the sake of my daughter … the way she made changes for me.

It was her example that gave me  “permission” to change my life for my daughter’s.

It was her passion and compassion that inspired me to quit the 14-hr-a-day job so I could spend time with my daughter, even though it meant giving up some of my precious independence to do it.

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My Mom has always lived by example. She puts the people she love higher on the priority list than “stuff” and her heart is where my heart resides.

I have a phenomenal mother.

And I am thankful.

 
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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  I love you!!

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