All That I Am, I Owe to My Mom

A lovely card arrives in the mail with a touching verse...but when you open it....there's just a signature. This always disappoints me, but not everyone is like me.  If I spend time browsing and choosing for an occasion, I most certainly add a few thoughts before signing, sealing and delivering.
For Mother's Day 2003, I really got carried away; I wrote a message that took up both sides of the card, all over the back... and up and around the edges! It turned into a whopper of a thank you note. Of course Mom saved it....she saved pretty much everything her four kids gave her over the years.






With their 60th wedding anniversary celebration set for the following month, my sister and brothers and I compiled a family video of my folk's long love and marriage. Evidently previewing the video impacted my writing that day.









Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
 me as I was the oldest. I also remember how you always made me feel special! Even to this day you still tell me I'm special....and you know what? I've  always told my kids how special each of them is. Thank you for instilling that in me. Thank you for teaching me how to think with my heart as well as my head, to put myself in other people's shoes; for always believing in a better tomorrow with faith and hope. I still get teased for being too optimistic sometimes....'Pollyanna Joan'....and for not using my head more. But I am what I am and I'm so proud to be your daughter and be part of our wonderful family! 

You and Daddy have given us all the great family traditions, routines, superstitions, "Bickleyisms" and a strong belief in God and prayer. Isn't it interesting that our family has such a mix of religions today......that we were allowed to explore religious paths when we were young. (Remember my first college roommates-a Catholic and Jewish girl?) And boy, did I explore! You never batted an eye when your two Catholic kids, a Methodist and whatever Dave is attend St Andrews Presbyterian with you on our visits home! Thank you for giving me a sense of curiosity and the freedom to try new things. I'm also grateful to you both for allowing us to grow up without any prejudice. In this day and age, living in the south....and looking back on history...I only have to remember riding the bus downtown Detroit and never thinking about skin color....thank you for that.

Thank you for teaching me to find the good in everyone, to forgive and forget and to always believe in myself. As we grow older, I am inspired by the energy and curiosity and enjoyment you and Daddy still have everyday! You are what it means to "grow old gracefully".....thank you for showing me that there is delight in small, everyday things! As much as I love you for being my mother, I love you just as much for your friendship. It's always great fun hanging out with you! 
I am running out of room here, but it's hard to wind it up. You are such a great person, a wonderful woman and I love you now and forever with all my heart!
XXOO Joanie

I'm so glad my parents got to read this card. Exactly a year later in May, 2004, my dad passed away. it's hard to believe he's been gone ten years. Mom and I continued to hang out and share lots of good times...right up until the moment 4 years ago when she left to join my dad.  If you've taken time to read; grab this take-away; take a minute to personalize your cards....and find the chance to thank your parents soon!

          Happy Mother's Day to Moms and Grandmas Everywhere!


28 comments:

  1. I am going one step further and personalizing with a visit! I had a friend who told me that she wished she had one more visit with her mom. So I am trying not to miss that!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Shelley. How wonderful that you can visit your mom....I hope she lives nearby. BTW....I'll be in Michigan most of June....maybe we can meet for lunch!

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  2. Thanking mothers, our parents, is one of the hardest tasks for many. Just...where do you start? Your post was lovely and an appreciated reminder to take time for things that are so worthwhile.

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    1. I'm sure the video had lots to do with my mood that day. But I tend to write too much (and talk too much)....my "mushy gushy" side my kids call it! If one can relate something in their current lives with something from their growing up years.....parents love to know they had influence and did a good job! :)

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  3. What a lovely post - and what nice handwriting you have!

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    1. Thanks, Sharon! The rest of my writing became scribbly as I wrote wherever on the card. But I liked the authenticity of presenting it this way!

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  4. What a beautiful letter! My mother saved all my notes and letters, too. I'm amazed how much they bring my parents back to me when I read them.

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    1. How lucky for you, Joy! I haven't gone through her things for years......so it was wonderful indeed to feel her closeness and the knowledge that it meant enough to save!

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  5. Yes, it's so important to acknowledge while they are alive. So important!
    Beautiful piece.

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    1. Thanks, Carol...I always appreciate your sweet comments!

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  6. This is so beautiful, Joan. Your parents were very special people ... and as you know, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Happy Mother's Day to you!

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    1. They sure were, Helene....thank you for reading and commenting my friend! Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom on Sunday!

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  7. A lovely tribute to your Mom and Who doesn't like to read a sentiment of love and appreciation!

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    1. I love that she saved it...she appreciated it it meant something to her. Thank you for your sweet words, Haralee!

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  8. Oh, you just made me cry. What a beautiful letter - and proof that emails will never hold a candle to handwritten notes. I'm so glad your parents got to read it. I feel very lucky that my parents live close and we will be celebrating together on Sunday. Wishing you a very happy Mother's Day, Joan, and hope you get a nice tribute like the one you gave.

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    1. I agree, Lois...handwritten notes are the best. Thank you for reading and responding with your sweet message! Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom too!

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  9. Lovely, lovely, lovely. We did a video for our parents 55th anniversary and for their 62nd we re-did it. My dad, who never cries, had tears in his eyes! LOVE your handwritten letter.

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    1. Thanks Cathy! Family videos are the best; I'm so glad I have the one of Jim and I from our anniveresary 6 years ago....only needed to update it after twins were born. It means so much to me.....as well as the one from my folks' lives. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

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  10. What I love about such personalized cards is that the gift of them goes both ways. As you look back on writing this card and sharing it with your parents, they received but you did, too! Thank you for sharing this reminder that authentic sentiments are the reflection and the essence of our human connections.

    Lovely tribute to your parents.

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    1. You are so right.....this one gives back to me now and means so much! I hope folks will realize how powerful the written word is when you're using your own handwriting! Thanks for taking time to read and offer this sweet comment!

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  11. WHat a wonderful gift you gave them -- and that you now get so much out of.

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    1. Thanks Kc. It now gives ME warm memories and gratefulness that I felt it and wrote about it! Thanks for stopping by as usual....you're one of my favorite fans!

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  12. I will do this fro my mom this Mother's Day. She saves all the cards I give her. I always buy the ones with the most words because she likes to read them over and over.

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    1. I love this! Have an awesome day with your Mom, Connie. Thanks for reading and responding. I wish you and your Mom a very Happy Mother's Day!

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  13. This was lovely.
    I used to miss my parents every day but that won't bring them back. So I try to live up to the example they set though I know it's hard...

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    1. As we get older, we find more of our parents in us, I think. I like how you try to "live up to the example they set"....what a beautiful tribute to the way they raised you!

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  14. Great advice to not take anything for granted. Hugs to you as you cherish memories of your parents.

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  15. Thanks, Karen! I appreciate your sweet words.

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