My Mother’s Footprint

Today I started a Tribute to my dad (who is now passed) for Father’s Day. I thought about his voice, his laugh and how much I would give to hear him just ONE more time.  To look into his eyes while I told him how much I loved him. Then it dawned on me ………. How many people do I have in my life right now, alive and ready to hear those beautiful words?

It brought tears to my eyes as I imagined my mother and all the words I would say in her tribute. Words I wasn’t sure I had ever spoken to her.

With that, I decided to do something unconventional for this week and do a Mother’s Tribute.

For My Mother Cecelia

Mom

I think back to what life must have been like for you, a young-single-pregnant woman in the 60’s. Pressure from society, judgment from random people (how the world is so different today)…… How you were going to give me up for adoption, to a family that would be “Whole” with a mother and a father, to a family that might have more stability, to a family that could give me a better life.

Oh the pressure you must have been under!

Feeling life grow inside you, those little baby kicks, the heartbeat. Falling in love with this tiny person you’ve never met. The dread of saying good-bye, then spending a life time wondering “what ever happened to my baby”.

How brave you were to take a stand and follow your heart – to keep me. Knowing people would judge and criticize you. Knowing that life would sometimes be a struggle.

You made the right choice Mom……..

We struggled for many things (sometimes it was for food and sometimes a place to live) and I know there were probably hundreds of times when you felt you made the wrong choice in keeping me. The guilt of taking me from the life I “could” have lived.

But God had a plan!!

I want you to know that I wouldn’t change ANY of my life with you. When I think about the struggles we faced during my childhood, I think about how resilient I am today, how strong I am, how compassionate I am. Every moment we shared together left a mark on my heart, my soul, my life. Today, I am the woman God created me to be, because you made a choice.

When I look at childhood photos, I look at all the cute dresses you stitched with your loving hand because we couldn’t afford to buy new stuff. You taught me that people can be givers even when there is nothing to give (because you can always give your time, yourself, your love).

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I LOVED this dress – And my hair!!!

When I think of my most favorite memories, I remember all the times we got to go to Disneyland because you were on a square dance team. !! How many kids wouldn’t love to go there JUST once! I remember one time when I was doing my homework and you came in, “wanna go to Disneyland today?” !! Such amazing times…

When I smell a home filled with the aroma of homemade bread, I think of the endless loaves you made, and I wonder how come my bread never smells as good. When I eat bread & butter pickles or apple butter, I remember all the canning you used to do when dad brought home bags and bags of fresh food. You made the BEST apple butter!!!

Because of you, I love spending time in the kitchen, being creative and using up all the left overs in my frig. I have made some of the most awesome casseroles (out of the most random things)!

Because we struggled with money, I am thrifty and creative. My friends tell me how impressed they are at my ability to turn nothing into something. I recycle and up-cycle. I don’t let anything go to waste. My footprint on this beautiful earth is minimal. You taught me that!

Because I saw you cry when I was a little girl, I have compassion. I want to fix people, love people, help people. My life’s work caring for seniors was born out of experiences from my childhood. In 20 years of loving seniors, can you imagine how many lives I’ve touched? God put me through the struggles with you so that He could create in me a heart to serve.

Because we moved around a lot, I am resilient. I can go anywhere in this world and find my place, find a church, find a way to make it feel like home. No matter where I am in life, that is where I am supposed to be. I don’t dwell on where I “used to be” or where I “think I should be”. I am content where ever God places me.

So ………. if ever you feel guilt for anything you’ve done as a parent, please remember this. I LOVE the person God has created in me and I wouldn’t be “me” if I had not been with YOU.

Remember when “Guy” moved in next door to us in Oregon. My sister came home and told us that GOD had moved in next door!!! You were like a mama bear, running over there “HOW dare you tell my children you are God?!!!!” You protected your babies 🙂

Remember that time when I was a teen and I slapped you because I was so angry, or that time when I ran away from home for a week and you didn’t know where I was? How about the time I smoked pot for the first time or told you that I hated you?

My heart breaks for those moments, those stupid, stupid moments!!!

I fear when you are no longer on this earth, those memories will come and haunt me. They will play in my head over and over and I will regret not telling you how sorry I was for hurting you. I will think about all the things I wish I would have ever said to you.

“You taught me how to have strength – not by your words, but by your actions. Thank you.”

“You taught me to love life, animals, people ……. not money or things or having the best material stuff. Thank you.”

“I’m sorry I hurt you Mom, you didn’t deserve the way I treated you sometimes.”

“I love you Mom, you are the BEST mom I could have ever had.”

“I love your smile (it’s just like mine).”

“I think you are beautiful inside and out. When people tell me I look just like my mom, I feel pretty.”

“I don’t know how I will ever live without you.”

“I need you, your support, your encouragement, your words of wisdom, your ear when I just need to vent, your unconditional love.”

“I love you forever Mom!”

Those are the things I will wish I would have spoken to her – those are the things I need to say now! While I still have a chance, while she still has breath, while I can still call her on the phone and listen to her voice (her lovely voice).

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My beautiful Mother

Who are the people in your life that need to hear how much you love them, how much you appreciate their presence in your life?

Mothers photo

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment below and tell me about someone who YOU love and why. Rene’

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40 thoughts on “My Mother’s Footprint

  1. Pingback: The Beauty of His Handiwork

  2. What a beautiful tribute! Thank you for sharing this personal post with us! Thanks so much for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party, I hope you will party with us again next week!

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  3. Rene, This is so beautiful; I have tears flowing while reading this. I still have both my parents and talked with them on the phone, yesterday. It was so good to hear their voices, since it had been awhile. Thank you for sharing this and linking up at Frog’s Lilypad’s Thankful Thursdays.

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  4. This is so beautiful! What a special relationship and what wonderful words to share with her. I think we can all say we have done plenty of things to give our own mothers grief throughout the years. My mom now laughs at me because I’m struggling with a strong-willed daughter who is only three! Oh the years to come 🙂

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    • Yes Victoria.. Hahaha, I remember these words, “I hope you have 10 children JUST like you” … I suppose it helps us to appreciate what our mothers went through. Enjoy the years to come with your little one 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady! She sounds like a woman with a lot of perseverance and strength. Thanks for sharing her story (and yours!) with us all.

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  6. Such a beautiful post!! Love your awareness of the importance of treasuring those with us now, and how God uses our stories to shape our callings. Love your mom’s bravery too!!

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  7. Talk about hitting me right in the feels! You made me cry, Rene! That is a beautiful tribute! And you know what, I was raised by a single mom too. I could say I wouldn’t change it for the world. Our circumstances were different but I see how being raised by my momma made me a person I like being today. Thanks for the introspection!

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  8. OH sweetie – I found you on the Link-It To Me party… and I apologize, but I can’t read this tonight. I didn’t get past the first picture. We just lost my mother-in-law 2 weeks ago and I’m tearing up already. 😦 Would you mind visiting me back in a week or two and I promise to try again? I’ll hunt around on your blog for something else to read and share tonight. 🙂 Blessings!!

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    • DaLynn I am so sorry for your loss. Even though we know our loved ones end up in that beautiful place in heaven, we will always have a place in our hearts that ache for the ones we can no longer hold.. My prayers to you and your family. I lost my dad 10 years ago and even yesterday I had tears as I was looking for a Father’s day card for my husband (standing in the middle of Walmart ready to have a cry-fest!!)…. Thank you for stopping by. Blessings.

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  9. This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. She sounds like an incredibly strong, resourceful, loving woman. I think we all say and do things directed at our parents that we regret. What is important is that you were able to grow from those experiences, and it sounds like you have done that and more!

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    • Bev, thank you so much!! She is the strongest woman I know and I am blessed that God gave her to me. We have both grown in so many ways through this amazing path of mother-daughter relationship..

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  10. So beautiful…. my mom has been gone over three years now and she was the most cherished, kind, funny and beautiful person I have ever known. Your post brought tears to my eyes – be blessed!

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    • Thank you Clare. Sorry for the loss of your mother……sounds like she was a terrific woman. She must be up in heaven looking down on her sweet little girl, keeping an eye on you as she did when you were little 🙂

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  11. Darling Rene, I remember the first moment I laid eyes on you. You were so tiny and so beautiful. Your little rosy red lips were pursed into a perfect little O . No matter what your age, when I look at you I see the beautiful baby God bestowed upon me and I have to say it has been my honor and privilege to be your mother. I take no credit for the wonderful things you have done with your life nor for the beautiful woman you have become. Life is a series of choices, trial and error and you have made some wonderful choices. I love you.

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    • God’s perfect plan 🙂 …. Life is a series of choices (and I made LOTS of trials and errors) but in the midst of it all, I had you as a role model. Someone who never gave up on me when thing were tough.. Love you too!!

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