Over my short, but well lived, 27 years of life, you can image the wealth of motherly advice that I was lucky enough to receive. Through the best and worst times, I have counted on her to make everything alright. Amid many Thanksgiving posts of gratitude, I began to think of the things that I’m thankful for. I will not lie to you and say that 2013 has been sunshine and daisies–it has been far from that–but along the way I did learn a bit of humbleness and appreciation for the smaller things that make each moment magical. That is one of the biggest gifts/lessons that my mom gave to me. In honor of that wisdom, rather than posting 30 days of thankfulness (though I am very thankful for many things) I have chosen to share many of the lessons I learned from my mom. I am quite thankful for these because they are pieces of her that will live within me for as long as I value and uphold them.
Lesson #1: Opposites not only attract, but work well together.
Oh I have my days… Chris knows. I am silly, giggly, dramatic and moody and he, he is quite different. He does not spontaneously want to break out into a Broadway song or power ballad. He does not want to sashay while doing yard work. (a-haha… that was funny of me to imply I sashay during yard work. I don’t do yard work! hahaaaa, that’s a good one!) We are quite different but we are complimentary. He is the perfect co-star in this musical I call Life.
Throughout my mom’s illness, I was anxious and frantic. Often times, I couldn’t bring myself to leave her side and simply had to send him alone on a two hour ride home. He never complained. He never disputed. He occasionally called to ask me how to use the microwave… but he took it in stride. He knew that I needed to be with her and I knew he needed to keep busy. I knew that regardless of distance or any other obstacles that could be thrown in our way that we would (and will) be okay.
This is what I have learned from not just my mom, but both my parents. They were different, sure. She was talkative, he is quiet. She loved parties, he loves quiet evenings. She loved to dance, he would rather sit and observe. But they were the same where it mattered. She was always very insistent that I understand that I needed to appreciate the things that make me who I am, while also appreciating the things that make Chris who he is. Supporting him without forcefully changing him, and not changing for him, but with him. Treasuring our individualism is sometimes hard to do, but without a doubt the most rewarding thing we could do.
Now before I start singing love songs at the top of my lungs (sorry, Chris) I will leave on this note: Love with your heart. Remember to love your partner for who they are, and love yourself for who you are, and know that as long as you have that love… the rest is surmountable.