I love…for one of my guardian angels

I’ve been trying to decide who I should send my I love message to today.  I didn’t manage to get one done before heading off to work this morning, so doing just one today will have to work.  I’ve been working on a project at home for Hospice.  It’s mindless assembly of their admission packets.  There are about 50 sheets worth of forms in each folder.  I worked for 2 and 1/2 hours and have 20 of the 40 folders done.

I donate my time to Hospice because of the way they were there at the end of my mom’s life, that’s no secret, I’ve blogged about that more than a few times.  I couldn’t help but think about her tonight as I stuffed the assortment of forms into folders.  I didn’t dwell on the past, but started formulating this blog post in my mind.

You one of my love breaks of the day…since reading the book The Power this week I’ve been trying twice a day to tell someone ten reasons why I love them.  I believe that sending out love brings ripples of love into my world…I have realized that I don’t take the time to let people know what an impact they have on my life, and how much I care.

Imagine it..Feel it ….Receive it..

Dear Mom,

I love…the way you enjoyed your birds. For as long as I can remember you had at least one bird feeder full, if not more.  I have a few birds in my apartment to remind me of you. I ‘ve started collecting cardinals mostly.  I remember the last few minutes that we had with you.  As you quietly drifted away from this life, the bird feeder outside your window was filled with birds which included a big fat red cardinal.  I saw that as a sign from you that you were at peace.

I love…that you instilled in me the idea that I could do anything that I put my mind to.  You tried to convince me to go to college out of high school and I thought I knew better.  All I wanted to do was to get married. (What that must have done to you as a parent, that your daughter would have that as life goal.)

I love…that the last year of your life before you got sick that you moved close enough to me that I could visit you often.  I can remember stopping in out of the blue to surprise you and just spend a few hours talking.  One of my last memories before you got sick was a Sunday afternoon spent out on your deck enjoying a great meal and laughing for hours.  It was late summer, just before LeighAnna was to head back to college.  I treasure that day…treasure all of those visits and the time that I got to spend with you.

I love…your love of flowers.  You had all sorts of flower beds around you in each and every place that you lived.  You were always puttering around with your flowers.  You told me so many times that when you died you did not want flowers at your funeral. I took that to heart and sent you flowers whenever I could.  Those last few months when you were in the hospital I brought you fresh flowers every week.  That way even though you were away from your flower beds, you would still have flowers to enjoy.

I love…the way you loved to cook.  I have so many memories of dinners spent around your table.  I can remember the last Christmas dinner that we had together.  You were moving around the kitchen using your little cart making some sort of recipe that you saw on some cooking show.  You made a homemade blue cheese dressing every time I was at your table because you knew it was my favorite.

I love…your work ethic.  You worked hard your entire life as a waitress.  Many of those years was spent as a waitress at Montgomery Inn.  I grew up helping you cater parties and wedding receptions. I can remember when you were a waitress in a bowling alley and would take us to work with you every weekend.  We bowled, played the pinball machines while you worked, never realizing that we weren’t just there for fun.  In your later years you worked 20+ years as a waitress at Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati.  I can remember going there when you were at work and watching you shmoooze the table of diners.  I was shocked at the amount of money that you would bring home at the end of the night.  I realized later in life that you were more than a waitress, you were an entertainer. You understood the importance of making the evening special no matter what.  You were a customer experience.  Even after retirement, you found a way to continue doing what you loved when you were the cook for the nun’s nursing home.  I’m not sure who loved that more, you or the nuns.

I love…that you did the best that you knew how to do at the time.  I marvel at the fact that at one point in your life, you had 4 children 6 and under.  You were a single parent, when being a single parent was a shocking thing to be.  You worked hard and never once asked for help, or went on any kind of public assistance.  I know that you received very little in child support payments.  I remember when that $20 a week check came (to support 2 kids) going to the bank to cash it so we would have money for food.  I can remember bill collectors calling, the power being shut off, but I don’t ever remember feeling that I was going without.  Somehow you found a way.

I love…your unconditional love.  Even when I made it tough to love me during those teenage years.  As a mom, I understand the hurt that I caused you, unintentionally.  There are times when it helps me get past the hurt and the ache I have experienced from my daughters.  It’s part of being a parent and of kids growing up.

I love…the fact that no matter how old I got, I was still your daughter.  I can remember the phone call on Christmas day…my first Christmas after moving out.  I called to wish you a Merry Christmas and thought I could cover up all of the pain and the hurt I was feeling on that day. It was tough being alone.  But as soon as I heard your voice and we started to talk my voice cracked and I fell apart.  I really didn’t want to do that.  I wanted you to think I was ok, that I was strong.  But I wasn’t…and that was ok, you understood. You never judged my decisions, you just supported me.

I love…that you instilled in me a caring and giving spirit.  It was something that you showed my by example my entire life.  I believe that I’ve passed that giving spirit along to the next generation, your grand daughters.  I am so proud of the good deeds that they do, and I know that you would be beaming too.

I didn’t always understand you.  There were times that we were at odds.  But never ever did I doubt the love that you had for me.  I knew that you were proud of me no matter what.  I think of you when I am off on an adventure and I am exploring all sorts of places.  I’m savoring the moment for both of us.

I can remember bristling in my 20’s when people would say, “You are just like your mother.” Yikes, that seemed a terrible phrase to utter.  But as I have grown up a bit (just a bit, let’s not get crazy), I feel that it is a giant compliment.

No one in the world can take the place of your mother.  Right or wrong, from her viewpoint you are always right.  She may scold you for little things, but never for the big ones.  ~Harry Truman

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