Mother’s Day approaches. I think about my mother and the gifts she gave me. Not the physical gifts, not the monetary gifts — there were plenty of those over the years. But the pieces of herself that she left in me. Like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be assembled — waiting for all the other pieces to arrive.
My mother and I were quite different, I’ve talked about this in some previous posts. But, she still left me some lasting gifts. Gifts I find when I’m not really looking. Maybe the gift of insight. My mother was a marvelous mental health therapist. She had a gift of insight for others. She could talk to them and calm them and help them. Maybe I have a little of that — maybe. But, I think, it has manifested in me as a way for me to look at my own short-comings…as way to improve on those short-comings. Sometimes I can hear her voice, sometimes I can smell her perfume, sometimes she’s still very close.
I think, as women, we glean more from the women in our lives — the good and maybe the bad. I have had some women in my life that left a piece of themselves with me. My mother, of course, but also my grandmother had a very strong influence on me. I spent three months every year with her until I was in college. She was calm and organized and giving and not afraid to tell you what she thought about any subject. My father had a sister that I adore still to this day. She was always fun and giving and thoughtful…and fun. My grandmother’s youngest sister is soft-spoken and calming and loving and has the best smile. I have two cousins who are easy to give a hug and easy to share a laugh and easy to love. Many women have given a piece of themselves to me — I try to assemble the pieces together. Trying to make it all fit so that the puzzle is whole.
There are others, some I’m not related to — some I’ve never actually met. But they are leaving a mark on me, they are helping me become whole. They are leaving their gifts for me. They give me their time and their thoughts and their words. They give me tough love when I need it. They help me understand that anger doesn’t always mean an end and that love doesn’t always need to be spoken.
Mother’s Day approaches. My mother and grandmother are gone, but the gifts they left in me are here — surfacing sometimes, trying to fit into the puzzle of my life. They mesh with the gifts I’m still receiving from others. I think that’s what we can do as women — we can give the best of ourselves to those who need it. As women, we give the best of ourselves to those we love. We can help assemble the puzzle in each of us. We can be mothers and sisters and friends.
Happy Mother’s Day to the women in my life. You give yourselves to me, you influence me, you love me — you hold my hand when I need it and you make me walk alone when I need to. You listen, you talk, you hear, you laugh, you scorn, you care… you care.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all.