Mother’s Day. A Parting Gift.

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My mother has been gone for over 20 years now, but I think of her often. Mother’s Day is now a day for my own grown children to call me, and to talk to my mother-in-law. But this Mother’s Day, my first as a grandmother myself, I’d like to share a personal gift that Mom never got to understand that she gave me – the gift of bravery.

Mom raised 4 very rambunctious children, see photo here for an example of the boys:

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I was older than them, and not very calm or easy-going either. In fact, we all depended on Mom so much that as we got older, it can even be said that we took her for granted. As a military child, then military spouse myself, the moves for both my father and my husband meant that I never lived in the same town as Mom after I left home at 18, but that didn’t stop me from whining and complaining by phone every time a little of life’s problems came up. And she was always on my side, no matter how foolish some of those problems seem to me now.

Then Mom got cancer. I was mad at her – how many times had I complained about the smoking? She was strong and tough and still young – I was sure she’d beat it. And so was she; she insisted we still send the boys, her grandchildren, for visits to Manitoba while she dealt with the surgeries and planned the chemotherapy. But it was not to be. Mom was taken and now who would look after us, all adults though we were?

Well, mom didn’t desert me. She gave me a strength I didn’t know I had. After she passed, I noticed a curious change in myself, and not just the physical one via my first and only tattoo. I no longer feared little issues of life, or even some big ones. Giving a presentation at work? Why had that ever made me nervous before? Building a new house? Who cares if the old one hasn’t sold yet. Raising boys, standing up to bullying hockey parents? What a laugh! Retiring before age 60, becoming an author? How would I do that? No worries – figure it out, it’s only one step at a time. Brave. I became brave about facing life after Mom died. I say she didn’t know she gave me this last gift, but I suspect something else. I think Mom always knew how brave I was. She just waited until she was gone to let me know.

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13 thoughts on “Mother’s Day. A Parting Gift.

  1. Michele,

    I want you to hold in your heart the beautiful and deeply touching moments you shared with me by sharing this story. You brought tears to my eyes. There is a resilience to being the wife of someone who chooses a military life. Her groundedness, strength, determination and love for family carry through to her daily being. So many mom’s had to be mother and father at times. The line in the song rings true; “ you don’t know what you got til it’s gone”!

    Thank you for sharing – Joanne

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  2. Wow! That was very moving and a lesson to us all. My mother is still with me turns 100 in June and i’ve always said the greatest gift she ever gave me and continues to give me, is strength, because without it i would never have survived. I raised 5 kids 4 sons and one daughter after being abandoned by an abusive drunk, I could never have done it without the strength instilled in me by my mother. I could add bravery to that too. Happy Mother’s Day and Michele thank you for the blog.

  3. What a lot of nice words you used to thank your mom for the gift she gave you..your brothers looked like a handful…loved the photo..Wish you a very happy Mother’s Day in this Strange year . Hugs as well.

    1. Atta girl, Mickey! I often think of your mom as well, and yes! She was a very strong lady and nothing more important to her, than her family.!

  4. I too have lost my Mom about 20 years ago too. I really miss her as well. I wish she could have been here to see her great-grandchildren too. She was an older mother when I was born so I didn’t have her as a mom as long as my two big sisters did and now everyone is gone……..She would have loved the great-grandkids, had a lot of fun telling them stories and singing her favorite song to them, The Frog Went A Courtin”. My mom taught me tons of stuff, I feel the most important one was how to grocery shop. I can still hear her say when you see a bargain, buy as much as you can because you never know who will be out of work in a month. She got married at the beginning of the “Great Depression”. She taught me the value of providing for my family, both emotionally and physically I hope I have passed this on to my own two girls,,,,,,,,,,

    1. I’m sure she passed enough on for you to continue her legacy! That’s what’s so great about mothers. Thanks, Kat💚💙💙

  5. Strength, resilience, determination…all qualities I saw in my own Military mom as she schlepped around her brood of five from post to post and then into retirement in Europe. Thank you for sharing this and for reminding me of the gifts my mom left me when she moved to her forever Home. Bravery…you bet. And mark my words, what she passed along to you, you’re regifting to your own young’uns. Happy Mother’s Day, Brave One!

  6. Hi Mickey I know so well how feel having lost my mom you grandma at a very young age iwas seventeen your mom was fourteen a terrible heart breaking time but you learn to live with it and life goes on iwas very close to your mom and miss her and my mom still and always will just have to be thankful for our families we have been lucky enough to have whom she would have loved dearly. Take care love aunt Irene.

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