14 May 2013

Happy Tuesday: For Mom

Today is the midway point between Mothers Day and my lovely mother's birthday. The OCD in me who seeks symmetry and synchronization in all things says that this day is the perfect day for a tribute to Mom.

As I sit in my rent-controlled studio apartment, reflecting on the journey that got me here, there are three lessons Mom taught me that stand out in my mind as especially worth highlighting on this inbetween day of celebrating the greatest woman I know.

1. Mom taught me to have a sense of adventure.

When Mom was young she packed her backpack and left the Home of the Free to explore the mountains, meadows, villages, and cities of our motherland to the east. She slept in Irish fields, roamed Italian streets, ate with Nords, Swedes, and Danes. Postcards home were few and far between for this bright-eyed adventurer.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to follow in her globe-trotting foot steps. I did so as soon as I legally and financially could. Mom let me go wherever I wished, as long as I emailed her every time I arrived in a new country. How many mothers let their firstborn, blonde, seemingly defenseless daughters gallavant across Europe, shacking up in seedy hostels and on park benches, living off of cheap salame and bread, with scant means of communication? I asked her once if she ever worried about me. "Sure I worried," she said, "but I couldn't not let you go because I did the exact same thing when I was your age." Mom worried because she's a mom, but she never showed it because there's no point in worrying your children.

This brings me to the next lesson learned...

2. Mom taught me to roll with the punches.

Mom has this miraculous ability to find the good, the comical, the memorable in every unfortunate situation. Never any worries. Never any stress. She calmly faces hardship, frustration and grief with a smile on her face. So when things like surviving as a missionary in Romania and graduating with a European Studies degree and no career plan happened in my life, I leaned on her and on the optimism she instilled in me since birth.

In a phone conversation a month or so ago, she told me all about her new life philosophy: "Have fun!" All she does is have fun. The woman cannot be kept down. Tennis every week, bike rides to the beach, hikes with Dad and the pup, sleepovers with her best friends, dancing at weddings...Occasionally she'll remember I exist and call to inform me of all the fun she's having. Life is to be enjoyed, not stressed over. I thank Mom for that golden lesson.

This brings me, again, to the next lesson learned...

3. Mom taught me to trust in God.

Mom's story is one of steadfast faith. She taught me how to recognize God's hand in my life - the daily miracles that so often go unnoticed, either because we are distracted, absorbed, or otherwise unable to perceive the sweet moments and tender mercies as evidence that God is aware of, and actively involved in, our day-to-day lives.

Everything that has led me to where I am now - new job, new city, new friends - is so far from my own doing. I was guided here by a power beyond me and never could have accomplished as much as I have without the constant guidance (pushing, really) of my Heavenly Father. I'm a West Coast girl who enjoys the slow life. I have little to no qualifications for the unreal job I landed. This clearly wasn't my plan, guys. But it was someone else's, and I trust that this particular Someone knows what He's up to.

So with a combined sense of adventure, utopic optimism and trust in God, I live a pretty darn awesome life and I have Mom to thank for it.

Cheers to my mom, the greatest woman I know.


  1. Aw. This is such a sweet post! Your mom seems cool :)

  2. Just came back to read my earlier post, only to find that it didn't really post. Perhaps I am not supposed to be doing this at work? Probably. Anyway, wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post and how amazed I am with the positive impact your mom has had on me. I have enjoyed her upbeat, positive personality since our first phone call before you moved to Idaho. She is delightful and I am so lucky to call her my friend!

  3. Your mom really is amazing! This is such a sweet post.