Tag Archives: Mothers

Miracles of Friendship

Livvi and Me                       Livvi

Before the days I knew you,

you were a best friend in the making.

And then you came into my life,

and that destiny came true.

Sharing our ears and hearts is a gift without measure,

For the best friend that’s a daughter,

Is this world’s dearest treasure.

 

Above is a picture of my daughter and me taken recently at her apartment. On the right is a picture of my best friend. You may notice that these photos are of the same person. That’s because I am one of the luckiest people in the world! My daughter is my best friend.

We enjoy many of the same things. One of our perfect hang out activities is going to the library and then getting ice cream. Or going to the book store and drinking coffee while perusing the books. Of course these activities are preceded and followed up with petting cats and dogs. A favorite special activity is the trip we take to the beach at Geneva State Park on Lake Erie every summer. This year we are doing it twice! Happy days! This day of swimming, lounging and picnicking always concludes with a trip the ice cream stand that has a specially made soft serve flavor of the week. Hmmm…do you see a trend here? We do like our ice cream. But it is the experiences we have together that are the most important part.

Actually, my daughter and I don’t even need an event or activity to spend time together and enjoy it. The time spent together is joy enough. Sitting on the porch, or couch, and talking away are times I wouldn’t want to live without. Of course we do this while petting dogs and cats. It’s part of who we are. We talk about things from nail polish to solving an assortment of the worlds problems. This girl will ask me for advice and carefully listen to what I have to say, then think through the best course of action. Or inaction if it’s appropriate. And sometimes I will ask her opinion on my issues too. She has good perspective and input that I sometimes don’t think of.

We make an excellent and formidable team. My wish for you, is that you may have such a stellar best friend. And if you are fortunate, she may also be your daughter.

 

My Three Mothers

Flowers

I have been fortunate to have the blessing of multiple good mothers. “Multiple mothers?”, you may wonder? Yes, there are three. They have overlapped in time so that most of my life I have had more than one at once. Lucky me!

First there was my biological mother. She passed on last week and that is what got me to thinking about the whole concept. She, obviously, gave birth to me and raised me. She was a good mother. Always looking out for my best interests and preparing me for life. I have many fond memories of her even though she had been ill for some years now.

Then came my second mother. She is a strong woman who does good things in her community. She loves all the furry creatures and on this we certainly connect. She started out as my mother-in-law, the mother of my first husband. He and I parted ways some years ago. But his mother, I kept. (Along with some of his other relatives.) We are still in contact and love to visit with each other and catch up. So, in my mind, after the divorce his mother “graduated” to become mother #2. You know the saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water? Applies here. The ex-husband goes but the family stays. I made out pretty well in that deal. I love them.

And then there is mother #3. I was fortunate enough to gain her as my mother when I married my current husband. What a wonderful lady. She is kind and caring and understanding. Not just with me but with the world in general. She also serves her community in many ways. I can learn a thing or two from her about forgiveness and tolerance. From my experiences in life I have learned a thing or two so she has already “graduated” from mother-in-law to mother in my life.

These mothers have all been a blessing. Some people do not have the benefit of knowing even one mother in their lives and I have been given three. My cup runneth over. They have all loved me and helped to guide the course of my life. The old mother-in-law stigma has not been true in my life. I have received positive experiences and acceptance. I look at the list of “Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World” hanging by my desk and realize that each of my mothers has been an example and helped me realize multiple insights on the list. Here is the list:

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World

1. Change Yourself

2. You Are in Control

3. Forgive and Let Go

4. Without Action You Aren’t Going Anywhere

5.Take Care of this Moment

6. Everyone is Human

7. Persist

8. See the Good in People & Help Them

9. Be Congruent, be Authentic, be your True Self

10. Continue to Grow & Evolve

If I were to write about the examples each woman gave me in regards to this list, the pages would be many. I would have enough material for a book. There are lessons to be learned from people all around us if we take the time to learn them. I hope to honor these women by the life I live.

What I Chose to Do the Day My Mother Died

Mom

My mother died this past Monday. It was a sad event but then again, it wasn’t . She suffered from a lengthy and ongoing illness. She is at peace now and with this comes a sense of relief. It is sad for me because it brings to mind the woman she once was. I miss that woman. I have missed her for a long time now. Her passing makes the memories fresh again.

We knew that her death was imminent but didn’t know exactly when it would happen. So I had plans already scheduled for the day she died. I thought about cancelling them, after all my mother just died. Everyone would certainly understand. But I  decided to honor my obligations. They would mean something to the ones I gave my word to. For you see, I had agreed to provide therapy dog visits at the nursing home.

I’m sure no one would hold it against me had I canceled. But I could stay at home and be sad or I could go make people happy. Always choose happiness!

Nikki

So I loaded up the dogs and we set out on  a mission of love. Now lest you think, oh what a selfless soul, I must confess that I get at least as much out of these visits as the residents do. If you read the studies you will find that participating in animal assisted therapy releases “feel good ” chemicals in the body. And I always feel great by the time I go home!

Phoebe, Shelby, and Friend

So as we go around, hopefully spreading joy, we are also receiving joy. It’s a two way street. And I get to hang out with people who want to hear me talk about my dogs. Pretty selfish really.  A couple of the people make sure to visit with us every time we are scheduled to come. They are now my friends. So although it may look like I am providing a service, I am really receiving a gift.

This visit becomes a tribute to my mother. For in her days on this world she taught us to live and love always. Make the most of each opportunity for it may be short.