Reading the Mother’s Day entries submitted by some of Pure Romance’s most powerful businesswomen and exceptional mothers was so enlightening. It made me reflect back on the years I was working my business, and trying to balance being a Mom.
I can vividly remember when I used to share the Pure Romance opportunity with servers at our weekly Sunday Perkins breakfast. Remember, this was an era when we didn’t have the benefit of smart phones (or even cell phones at all!) to network and market our businesses; however, you better believe I was still working it from the sidelines of my son’s football games or the regular parent-teacher conferences. Everywhere I went, I was always looking for the chance to share my passion and further build my Pure Romance business.
This Mother’s Day, my children are all grown up. As adults, they now all have their own issues to face, and wants and needs that are completely different from those of a small child. Despite the fact that I am not chasing after little ones anymore, or spending my weekend at various sporting events and activities, I find myself reflecting back on where it all began: before I was a mother – I was a daughter. This Mother’s Day, I want to share how caretaking comes full circle. My own mother has been riddled with illness and the physical hurdles that come with age, and so, once again, I find that balance between running a business and caring for someone I love.
When you are watching your parent struggle to fight death, memories tend to flood in at the most unexpected times. I can say there is definitely not a perfect mother – we do the best we can with the tools we have. There are plenty of things my Mom did as a parent that I vowed not to do, but there are also many traditions, values and techniques I carried on in my own parenting.
One thing I know I inherited from my mother is her work ethic. That woman worked tirelessly until the day she became too sick to carry on another day. She was a clerk for Kroger, and her passion and commitment to her company was evident. She truly believed that if she weren’t there to train the young kids coming in, that Kroger would start to go down hill. Yet, despite her tedious work schedule, she carved out time to show how much she cared for all of us.
I can remember fondly sitting outside on hot summer nights looking up at the night sky. My mom would make homemade peach ice cream and we would just count the stars and listen to the bullfrogs down by the lake. Some of those summer nights she would bring home French Chews and watch as my brother, sister and I chased fireflies. My childhood, like so many, wasn’t perfect, especially being the oldest child with two working parents, but this is a memory filled with nostalgia and happiness.
When I turned 15, I applied for a job as a server for Ponderosa. I wasn’t of age to take on this position and obviously I couldn’t drive. However, my Mother didn’t reprimand me. She made time to drive me to and from work for every one of my shifts. This is just one of the ways she instilled value of hard work in me.
Fast forward to my time as a young mother, I was working for a pediatrician as a Nurse’s assistant. When I was in a pinch, she would help me with the kids and she would often take time to make me a homemade, southern cookin’ kind of lunch and bring it to my work. These are the things that meant so much to me!
Lately, organizing caretakers, doctor’s appointments, Apheresis treatments and handling the affairs as her power of attorney, things can get pretty stressful. However, watching her health and physical abilities decline so quickly over the last year has bulldozed me emotionally. The most difficult are the days she fights with me saying things like, “Why are you so mean to me? I don’t want to get up and walk. I’m just so tired. Just let me sleep.” When people are sick they need someone else to fight for them. It tears me apart to wonder and worry that she is just giving up. Late at night, often in her sleep, she talks to her own mother as if she is a young girl again. Those are the moments that bring tears to my eyes wondering if she is leaving this tangible world for one much more beautiful and brilliant.
Inevitably, the time will come for my beautiful mother to depart this world and leave me forever. In the meantime I will be right there to carve out time and help her fight for as long as she is willing.
This Mother’s Day I want each of you to celebrate yourself for all of the time you carve out and love you give forth daily. Enjoy the moments and reminisce over the memories. Life is fleeting, so today point your face up to the sun, breathe deeply and give yourself the appreciation you so dearly deserve. Happy Mother’s Day!