Wednesday, December 18, 2013

With Love for my Mom


I know how lucky I am and you can bet your bottom dollar that I am grateful.


For I'll tell it to you straight, my Mom is beautiful, funny, smart and incredibly loving.


She loves to be silly.


Just the sound of her voice on the phone makes me smile but she prefers it if she can make me laugh right off the bat.

 

She has stood by my wonderful Sister and I through good times and bad, the glamorous and the sad.


She showed us about simple love and it was she who taught me to find happiness in those hidden moments. That yes, the taste of cherry jam counts.


My Mom transferred her fondness for four-legged creatures to us with the instructions that they are to be welcomed as part of the family...


...and encouraged us to follow even our wildest childhood dreams. 

To be true.

We did and do, she cheers.



I am proud to be a contributor to the amazing D.A. Wolf's incredible "blog" (for it is far more than that, she delivers original, thought-provoking content seven days a week) Daily Plate of Crazy. When DA asked if I would like to participate in her series on Mother-Daughter relationships, I nearly shouted out a "Yes!" Oh, this meant so much for me to do. So if you enjoyed this introduction, I would be so very delighted if you would take a look at my post here:



Thank you again for asking me to write this DA, it was a reminder that the best gifts rarely come in boxes. 

I love you, Mom!

For you...


PS. My Mom reminded me of a story that I had nearly forgotten from when I was in my 20s and a little Miss Manhattanite Hipster. I was with a group of girlfriends at a swank martini bar and a few rounds in the subject of Mothers came up. Well, as each girl told her story, the scenarios became increasingly fraught with tension and complexity. All the while I was sitting there thinking, "Oh my, I hope something happens to change the subject before it is my turn. I only have nice things to say!"

Wishing you all a week full of joy...


46 comments:

  1. Your mother surely is beautiful -- inside and out! What fun to see these family photos. I so relate to your addendum. I remember sitting around with a bunch of women my freshman year of college listening to them complain about their mothers -- barely a year after my own mother had died -- and not knowing what to say.

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    1. I can't begin to imagine what a hard moment that must have been for you Judith. I so appreciated reading your post at Shifting Gears for this series, an important perspective for all of us to keep in mind...
      Gros Bisous.

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  2. I love love love your relationship with your mom, and she sounds like an amazing woman. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...) These pictures say so much... "Simple love," and "happiness in hidden moments."

    Very precious treasure.

    Thank you so much for participating in this, Heather. And for the good words above.

    xo

    D. A.

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    1. You are welcome DA and thank you again for asking. It made me realize some aspects about my Mom that I hadn't until now!

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  3. Heather,

    This is so interesting to me that you posted this today of all days. Today we are celebrating my mom's 90th birthday. She is so strong and courageous and continues to set an amazing example for her four children, numerous grand kids and even some great-grand kids. Your story resonated so strongly with me. My mom also got involved in yoga and continues to teach it even now. Two months ago she fell and hurt her knee and has been unable to teach yoga, but today I heard her tell one of her students that they would start up again in January. Facing life when our bodies start to fail us has be one of the hardest things this life requires. I hope that I can always have as much hope and courage as she does.

    Thank you for a wonderful post.

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    1. So perfectly put Cindy. And I wish your Mom a belated Happy 90th Birthday! How inspiring. I so hope that she will be able to get back to teaching soon and that her knee heals completely. What an amazing example she must set for everyone in your family.

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  4. the best gifts rarely come in boxes….ah so very, very true…the best gifts are the hidden ones, the ones that are often there all along but the surprise is in suddenly realising their existence…the love and appreciation of a mother surely falls into this category…although it seems you were wiser, or luckier, than most and discovered this at a young age, looking at your beaming face over the years in this fabulous montage of life….a gorgeous tribute to your mother, and if she is even remotely like her daughter, a rare treasure of beauty indeed.

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    1. Thank you, Virginia. I do feel so fortunate to have made this type of bond with my Mom at a young age but...having had the privilege to have met your beautiful daughter, I know first hand that it is not unique! How she loves and believes in you...

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  5. Hmmm, not sure if my comment went through. But this post is a gift to my morning.

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    1. So glad to hear it G. You give so much to others!

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  6. I'm so glad I happened on this post today. I am a Mother to one wonderful daughter and we have just that same relationship (see from the other perspective!). Oh we love to laugh. We love to shop. We talk almost every day on the phone, or text about the small, silly things. She is the light of my life..and my husband's. No, there is no greater gift!!!

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    1. Oh this makes me so happy to hear Libby! And I am sure you appreciate the fantasticness of having your daughter close enough to be able to do all of those things together too. :) You know, it didn't work out for me to have children but it certainly wasn't from lack of having a wonderful example of what that relationship could be!

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  7. What a lovely tribute to your Mum! Especially when a lot of people feel that it's acceptable to have a bit of a moan session about things that their mothers have said or done to them. It was so full of love to your Mum, that it was a joy to read!
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas!
    Cheers,
    Deborah from Melbourne

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    1. Oh horray! Happy Christmas to you too Deborah! I always appreciate your responses so much.

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  8. Absolutely, without a doubt an amazing tribute.You are indeed VERY lucky.
    XOXO

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    1. I know I am! And while it is not the same type of relationship, I happen to know of a wonderful Mom who is very two close with her two wonderful sons... ;)

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  9. What a wonderful mother/daughter relationship. Sounds like you were raised by a loving and thoughtful person.
    It is evident by the way you express yourself in your writing every week. You are indeed fortunate to have each other!

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    1. What a lovely thing to say, Laura. Thank you!!!!

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  10. “She instilled in me the importance of appreciating « the little things »”
    “joy of talking for hours around the kitchen table”
    “her light, a beacon, and one that I will try to follow for the rest of my life”

    Your love for your mother shows in your beautiful essay and her love and trust in you. Though far apart your relationship with your mother is strong. Best wishes in her other endeavors.

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    1. Thank you so much Edgar, I am sure that she will appreciate that!

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  11. This is so lovely and it is fun to see all the photos - it looks like you two have a good time together. Going to pop over to daily plate of crazy as well!

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    1. NK, it says a lot that we love to go to NOLA together! No obviously not to party but to eat and explore!

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  12. Oh Heather, these memories to your childhood and this part of your life with your mom influenced you
    to be what you are...a sensible but also strong wonderful woman , writer and actor. (So far as I can assess it as a blog reader) . I would like to remember myself so many things which happened when I was young. But unfortunately the most of them are deleted and can't even find in my subconscious. Good or bad? I don't know.
    Must look twice to recognize who is who. what a striking resemblance .

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    1. Oh you couldn't have given me a nicer compliment, Mumbai!
      And memory is a tricky thing, isn't it? I have much that is lost too.

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  13. A very personal, even intimate yet highly inspiring tribute to a life-affirming person as you describe your mother.

    Though it does not make sens but one automatically starts to compare and it sounds exactly like the mother I always imagined myself. But this would be highly unfair towards my own and what one can in fact learn from such a positive person like your mother is to appreciate one's own history and see all the good things within.

    I admire your mothers authentic attitude towards ALL kinds of expectations coming either from the traditional or the so called emancipated side. It shows her strength that she chose what was good for her and her beloved ones.

    How familiar certain things sound to me yet happening on the other side of the ocean because I was one of those who heard the phrase: " You are not good enough". But hey, even the disappointment about the parental lack of affirmation is good for something and I already knew it is not to judge for those who don't know.

    Reading the essay about your mother is as much inspiring and fun as looking at your photography. Your mothers spirit (if I am allowed to say this) is in your work.

    One of the things I sometimes do when I have the Blues and the day is grey (and there are several of those here in Germay) is browsing your blog since there are still a lot of posts I haven't read!
    Each time I do this I am reminded that it is up to oneself to see the luck, to choose the luck and it is a form of art to keep the luck.
    Thank you for sharing yours!

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    1. Thank you so much for this Silke. I love that you see my Mom's spirit in my work here--that just thrilled me. She is a true light shining bright. If I can pass along even a tiny bit of what she has shared with me, well, then that is a successful life, I think. And bravo to you for not listening to that dreaded phrase! C'est une vraie victoire...

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  14. Dear Heather,
    Your Mother is an amazing woman and I can see how very close you both are.
    A lovely tribute to her!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  15. Heather, this is just a beautiful tribute not just to your mom but to the relationship you have with her. Cherish your moments together. . .
    Merry Christmas
    Jackie xo

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    1. Jackie, I do but oh it has been too long since I was actually there. Over a year now which is far too long!! Am missing all of my family in Ann Arbor quite a bit this holiday season...

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  16. I am sure she would be so proud and so unbelievably chuffed to read this...I think you just gave her the best Xmas pressie! x

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    1. I hope so N because I haven't sent anything else!!! :o

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  17. Adored your piece, Heather... one of your very best... :)

    xv

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    1. Oh thank you Vicki, I was nervous to write it!

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  18. Oh Heather, you know that I am sitting here with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I so loved reading your piece and getting know your incredible mother a bit, if only through your beautiful words. The talks around the kitchen table...I had those, too, and they are one of the things I miss so much - my talks with my mom are different now, they take place a lot of the time at the neighborhood Starbucks typically, but happily my mom's lovey spirit remains in tact. How lucky you are to have grown up with such a strong and beautiful mother - and she is lucky to have you as a daughter. I know that nothing can fill the gap of not having your loved ones with you at Christmas, but the beautiful memories just don't fade as I am finding out this year. Love to you. XOXO

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    1. And to you, Jeanne. Your response moved me greatly. Sending strength to you as well.

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  19. I cannot believe you guys look so much alike. Truly amazing. And, the love with which you speak of her and your childhood activities is wonderful. And, that black horse is outstanding and so is the rider!

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    1. My Mom is just a gorgeous rider, Marsha. A true natural (well and as you can see she has been at it since she was a young 'un!). That is Mouse, her last horse. They made quite a pair. And thank you for the compliment--you are the Queen of them and yet you couldn't have said anything nicer!!

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  20. wonderful post. Christmas, they so often say, is all about the children, and it is at this time of year I find myself thinking of the Mom and Dad who worked so hard to make the holiday meaningful for their kids, and thank you for reminding me of that, and those good times. XXXX

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    1. There were some good times, weren't there? I am glad that you had that too George. My parents bent over backwards to make each holiday special. They really did. That in and of itself is an exceptional gift to offer to a child.
      Bisous!

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  21. Heather, what a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I was sure she was your sister when I first saw her photo. Her humor and her way of remaining "strict" when necessary are just the balance this mom, here commenting, would like to try for :-) and all those mother-daughter romps, too. Thanks for the inspiration. And felicitations to your Mom on her engagement. You are a lovely daughter to share and to encourage her happiness.

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    1. Oh thank you, Kristin. From the looks of it, you have a pretty special relationship with your Mother AND your Daughter so I thought that you might appreciate this. Yes, I can only imagine what a fine line that must be to balance for a Mom. She trusted me but she also let me learn from my mistakes instead of keeping me from making them. That too was hugely important. Because I never, ever doubted her love for one instant. And the memories of the trips with my Mom mean the world to me...they last for forever! :)

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  22. Please forgive me for not commenting on my first read through. What you've written is wonderful, Heather, but knowing you I could imagine no less. Your mother is beautiful -- like mother, like daughter.

    xoxo,
    Tish

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    1. That made me verklempt! Thank you, Tish but you know, I thought of my Mom when meeting you and Drea--two peas in a pod, two friends that finish each other's sentences but with the love and respect so palpable.

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