3.07.2013

Sometimes I See My Mom

When I look in the mirror, sometimes I see my mom. It has happened enough lately to make me wonder what's going on. At first I thought maybe it's how I remember her best, at my current age, but that doesn't make sense because I was already living in Texas, a thousand miles away from her, when she was in her early 50s. It could be because I had the good fortune of speaking at that mother and daughter event a few weeks back and it's got me reflecting, about mom and me, about Kaitlyn and me. Perhaps I resemble her more than I'm willing to admit. Or maybe it's just time to get serious about reconnecting with her.

It's not like seeing her in the mirror is a bad thing. Sometimes I do wish that I were closer to mom than I've been. We've managed some time together last summer with my sister and that was a lot of fun. We ate breakfast out, toured some gardens, played canasta, and had a sleep over. But those times are, unfortunately, rare. It's not that we don't have a good relationship either, but the distance in miles has distanced us emotionally, too, over the years, I suppose. 

My mom passed down so many great traits and skills. A registered nurse, she's an amazing caretaker. In addition to raising five children and working as a farmer's wife, she held down a parttime job at Bellin Hospital for years and years as a newborn nursery nurse. She gave many of our neighbors' babies their first bath. One time, she even went to the scene of an accident to see how she could help and came home with a baby because his severely-injured mom was being taken to the hospital. Who does that? She was always the first to come by with a meal to comfort the family that had lost a loved one. Because I watched my mom care for others over and over again, I learned compassion and charity.

She taught me how to cook, bake, sew, and knit. My mom was wonderful in the kitchen and she encouraged me to stand by her side and learn from her as she mixed and served up sweet delicacies like Danish Kringle, Black Bottom Pie, and Seafoam. I have followed her footsteps in the kitchen except I'm afraid I haven't always involved my own kids like she involved me. That was a special gift! I could sew pretty much anything and because of those knitting lessons, I was able to start a Knit Club at my school ten years ago. Because she was multi-talented, I acquired many skills at my mom's side.

My mom volunteered with many organizations over the years. In fact, I'm not sure she ever said no and I'll freely admit that that's me sometimes, too. She served with the Jaycettes in the community and the Ladies Aid at church, as the Secretary for our local AAL insurance branch, as a singer in the choir, and as a sponsor for the local 4H Club chapter. She and my dad also served as Foster Parents for many years, taking in at-risk youth and giving them a chance at something better. And she did all of those things with a kind, friendly smile. Because she was so connected to her community, I learned to connect, be friendly and volunteer.

Seeing my mom in my reflection has definitely helped bridge the distance as I bathe in gratitude for and stand in awe of a woman who has touched the lives of so many in ways that continue to ripple out through those whom her kindness has blessed. I think it's actually a gift that sometimes I see my mom. 


14 comments:

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    1. I see where you get your beautiful smile--and your beautiful heart! AND your sister could be your twin!!!!

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  2. Lovely post. I miss my mum in England.

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    1. Thank you, Catherine. England is indeed a far way away. Do you Skype?

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  3. This is beautiful, Barbara! How lucky you and your mom (and your daughter) are! I'm so behind on everything, including reading blogs (542 in my Reader!), but I just finished up another evening of work, and thought, I'll just read ONE post, and decided it would be yours. And it was this lovely and loving portrait of your mom and your relationship with each other. I feel like I got to know not only your mom, but also got to know you better too. A great way to end my long day! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Rebecca

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    1. WoW - 542 posts waiting to be read? I'm touched that you'd pick mine. I'm so serious that I actually have seen her (albeit briefly) instead of me in the mirror and it just got me to reflecting so this was kind of a spur-of-the-moment share. I'm glad you liked it!

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  4. I have met you and your sister. You are two special ladies that are probably clones of your mom. I am sure Kaitlyn will follow in your footsteps.

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    1. Thanks, Jo. Mom was there on that tour of your school, too, remember?

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  5. Tears Barbara. Thank you for sharing this with your readers!

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    1. Just wait, my friend ... if it happens to you, you'll want to write about it, too ... I wasn't just talking figuratively ...

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  6. Barbara:
    What a lovely post! Would you ever consider sharing this with your mom? I think she'd be touched!
    I think your mom has influenced you in many ways (known and unknown) and I'm sure she is proud of the woman you've become. At the same time, I think she is also impressed that you are very much your own person. (Which likely makes her even more proud.)

    I'm sure I am among many who think you are extraordinarily special and wonderful...

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  7. This is a great post! Go call your Mom!

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    1. Oh, Kim and Rhythm, I did share the link with my mom and she was touched! Thanks for urging me to reconnect with her and share.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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