I remember the day my mom dropped me off at college. It was only thirty minutes from my home yet I would be living on campus and life as we both knew it was changing forever. Her little girl was growing up and would no longer be sleeping in her bedroom right down the hall each night.
As I walked through the arches on campus I tucked into my heart all the lessons my mom had taught me growing up. At the time she bestowed these lessons onto me I didn't appreciate them. But as I entered this vast unknown territory I had a feeling I would be leaning deeply on all that she embedded into my heart.
Sharing is Caring
This was one of her favorites. She said it often and always reminded us of it when we forgot. There were times she didn't even have to tell us because she showed us. Like when she shared a bit of her sandwich if we were hungry. Or gave us the towel to dry off first if we only had one after swimming in the ocean. Letting us pull up the crab lines to check if something took hold. Taking us to the park when what she really wanted to do was stay home and nap.
Family Comes First
What mattered most to my mom was family. When she was with her family her face would light up. But mother/daughter relationships aren't always easy and there were years my mom and I struggled. Through it all she never stopped showing me how much she cared and that family is always there. On our birthday's she would have us over for our favorite meal which she would cook and you could see what joy it brought her to have us all gathered together.
It's the Simple Things in Life that Matter Most
My mom never went on fancy vacations or cared for the most expensive and extravagant things. What mattered most to her was time together, a memory made, laughter, family trips. She enjoyed arts and craft and creating things. She gave gifts from the heart and knew that it was the moments together that made up a beautiful life.
Take Care of One Another
I remember when I lived on my own and I wasn't feeling great. Nothing crazy, just a cold that knocked me down for the count. My mom showed up at my door with medicine and warm soup. She tucked me into bed, made sure I had everything I needed, and took care of me the only way a mom could. Yet she didn't do that for just me. She took care of everyone around her. From watching after her friends kids while they went to work to caring for a friend who was dying of cancer. She showed up. She picked up tissues strewn all of the floor. She made sure you were comfortable and she cared deeply.
There are many other lessons tucked into my heart from my mom. Lessons I will never forget and follow day after day. It is because her that I am as strong, as brave, and as kind as I am. She taught me to work hard, follow through, and not quit until it's done. She taught me to love deeply, reach out, and invite others in. She also taught me to not take life to seriously; to laugh at the corniest of things and appreciate the feeling of sand between my toes.
My mom taught me so much, but most of all she taught me to be proud of who I am. Some days this lesson is harder to remember than others. But I do know that I am always growing, always learning, and always becoming. And even though my mom isn't here to see it; I know she is still cheering me on.
What lessons has your mother taught you?