The Best Gifts A Mother Can Give

The night before my Mom flew back to the states at the end of her 2 week Christmas stay with us Macartneys, she was spending every second she could with her grandson.  Soaking up every ounce of his tiny essence possible, to store away in her heart and keep her going until their next visit together.  When it came to bedtime, she chose a book to read to Finn which he had received as a Christmas present from his Aunt and Uncle “Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You” by Nancy Tillman.  After she read the first line, I knew we were heading for trouble;

“I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.”

The tears started to flow from our eyes, and gentle sobs could be heard in-between pages.

“My love is so high, and so wide, and so deep, it’s always there, even when you’re asleep….If you’re still my small babe or you’re all the way grown, my promise to you is you’re never alone. You are my angel, my darling, my star … and my love will find you, wherever you are.”

She kissed his forehead goodbye and quickly departed from the room before the real tears took over.  I don’t know if you ever understand how much your Mother loves you, until you are one, and you feel the connection across generations.  The never-ending love she has for you, an idea of what she has done for you, and finally how much your offspring mean to her, simply because they came from you.

Mothering Sunday

It’s not Mother’s day in the States until May, so I have some time yet to place the order of flowers, and find the perfect present to send my mom to celebrate her awesomeness.  But this Mothering Sunday here in the UK, I am thinking of the two gifts my mother has given me.  Two gifts I will strive my whole life to ensure I give to my own child.

The First; I Never Doubted Her Love For One Minute

I am told by many that I was the worst baby there ever was.  Demanding, high-strung, and opinionated since the day I was born.  Yet, the words my mother read aloud to Finn that night before she had to leave us, could not ring more true.  There has never been a moment in this life where I doubted my mother’s love.  Her devotion has been a constant which I can fall back on when times are tough.  Her support has been the foundation in which I could ground my roots, and spread my branches up and up into the sky.

We all know allies are a significant source of strength for us all, and for me, my mother is a prime example of that.  From teaching me to tie my shoelaces, to encoruaging me to go to Vet School, even though it meant I would be an ocean away, she has made me a firm believer that it is with a helping hand that we can achieve anything.

My mother gave me this gift, and now I will try to give it to my own son, as well as all the other allies in my life.  To be a rock to others when they need it.  To have a set of good listening ears, an open heart,  and a pair of hands eager to help.

The Second; My Mom Is The Happiest Person I know

The woman never stops smiling.  The woman never stops laughing.  The woman never stops seeing the positive side.  This is not because my Mom has lived an easy life, in actuality she has had more than her fair share of hardships; raising three children on her own, often working two jobs, and helping her own mother battle cancer three times to name only a few.

Despite all of this she is happy.  Why?  Because she actively chooses to be.  Her famous quote is “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.”  I must have heard it a million times in my childhood, from when I fell and scraped a knee to when I got my heart broken for the first time.  She refuses to let the negative in her life grab hold of her and force her to spiral down.  She accepts what happens, the lessons it provides, and moves on.

Not only are happier people scientifically more attractive to others in their life, they make us want to be happier ourselves.  So I thank my mom for teaching me that happiness is a choice.

Now It’s My Turn

These gifts are better than flowers that will wilt, for they live on in my mind forever.  My mother has taught me to be a good ally and to choose happiness.  Now it’s my turn.  It’s my turn to teach my son the same two lessons, and to use these lessons to make the world a better place in any way I can.

Main photo by Clint Sharp.