This is the first Mother’s Day without you here. I keep thinking to myself that I wish I could be taking you to a special brunch this morning, but instead we’ll be celebrating your life and legacy.
I thank God every day that I had the opportunity to be with you during your final days. Throughout your pain, you continued to be a spirit of hope. You taught me what it was to fight with dignity. But most importantly, you shared with me some lessons that have changed my life over the last year.
Life has a funny way of teaching us like that—it was during some of your weakest moments that you taught me life’s greatest lessons. And for that, I am forever thankful!
Thank you for teaching me that love multiplies.
As a mother, you think you can’t possibly love anyone or anything more than your children. Then, grandchildren come along and prove you all wrong.
Being a grandma is truly one of life’s greatest gifts and the relationship with a grandchild is one that cannot be put into words. As a grandmother, or as my ten grandkids call me, Mimi, you’re able to love fully with less worry. The pressure of creating the rules or keeping a roof over their head is no longer a distraction. You’re able to live in the moment and cherish your time together. Thank you for reminding me to make the most of each opportunity I get to be with them.
Thank you for teaching me to be courageous.
You shared with me your regret over not confronting some of the more difficult conversations with your children over the years. You told me that you wish you would have said and done more. Please know, that I was listening to each and every word and they’ve helped me to be brave enough to do this with my own children.
As our families continue to grow, we tackle new challenges and changes, and that often means talking with one another through those often-difficult experiences. Although it can be uncomfortable, you reminded me that we have to sometimes continue to be a parent and not a “friend” to our children. We sometimes have to show them how much we truly love them by taking a harder stance. And most importantly, we have to give our children time to go find themselves and to seek the answers on their own.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of hard work.
You had the most incredible work ethic. Mom, you taught me the power of ambition, strength and dedication. You lead by example and I carried those hard-work lessons with me when I started my own business.
My only wish is that you would have rewarded yourself more and taken more time for you‑you deserved it. I share this lesson with my friends who constantly make everyone else a priority. “It’s okay to treat yourself and put yourself first—you earned it.” And today, on Mother’s Day, I think this message is more important than ever. Every woman out there (mothers, grandmothers, step-mothers, aunts, and any women who gives of herself to mentor others) should do something wonderful for herself today, and I hope someone is doing something thoughtful for you, too.
I wish I had said more of this when you were here. I would love for one more conversation with you so I could tell you all this in person. But I hope you’re celebrating today in Heaven with Grandma Jewel, as you told me she was with you during your final days.
Love you always,