Your granddaughter posted a photo on social media today. It was a picture from last year of her towering over me as I stood in my cap and gown, freshly graduated with a masters degree. You wouldn’t believe how tall that little baby we brought home grew to be. She was only one when you passed, she is 24 now. Anyway – above the photo were three simple statements:
Make your own luck.
Finish what you start.
Kill them with kindness.
You see, today is mother’s day. She posted this as a tribute to me and “just a few” lessons I taught her. I was confused when I first saw them. I did not really understand my reaction. I thought it was because it did not have the “happy mother’s day” stamp on it. But then I realized what was really going on inside my head and my heart and I suddenly saw you in the photo, standing between us, embracing us. Beaming at my accomplishment – raising such a wonderful young woman. I quickly moved from the post so as not to succumb to the pain of loss on this day of celebrating motherhood.
So, then I spent the day at the pool with my other daughter, Rachel. You never got to meet her. She is funny – she has our wit (and modesty). She makes me laugh and gives the greatest hugs. She said to me…out of the blue…you never really talk about your mom. Such an innocent observation by such a bright young lady. I felt ashamed at first – like I had dropped the ball. My eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with love – embarrassed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. I mean, I think about you every day. I talk to you all the time. You are a daily presence. I felt like I was letting you down, like you had been dishonored by this statement. I felt like I was letting down my children by holding on to my memories and keeping them to myself as I still struggle with your loss after all of these years.
Then, I thought of Yaya’s post. Oh yea – Yaya is the nickname that Michael gave to Alexis when he was 2 because he could not say her name. It was adorable. You never got to meet him, either. He reminds me so much of Boo Boo, handsome, bright, and hugely tender-hearted. Anyway – as I thought of that post again I realized that they do all know you – even if they don’t know that they know you.
They know you because they know me. They know you because I teach them the very lessons that you taught me about living your life with purpose, working hard, and giving everything of yourself.
Make your own luck – you taught me to go for the things that I want in life and not to just sit around and wait for things to happen. Be proactive – not reactive. Thank you.
Finish what you start – you taught me integrity and faithfulness. Determination and commitment. You taught me to never give up. Thank you.
Kill them with kindness – wow – this one hit the hardest today. No matter how much someone hurts you, no matter how much you do not understand them – Kill them with your kindness. Someone needs to. Chances are, no one ever has. How you balanced this lesson with also teaching me not to be a doormat is really something that someone needs to put in a manual, or something. Mom, I am as kind to people as I know how to be – I promise.
I miss you. You always made me believe in God’s plan – to have faith that you were never given more than you can handle. I remember – sometimes you would look to the heavens and say “you gave me a mountain this time, Lord” when things were really hard. Well, Mom, It feels like that mountain range is now between us.
My heart is heavy on this Mother’s Day. I promise to persevere because that is who you taught me to be. I promise to love my children because that is what you taught me to do. I will continue to teach them about their grandmother. And I promise to keep the faith that we will be together again one day. This is God’s plan.
I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.
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