Today is my mother's birthday! Guess which one?
Two years ago I listed 77 things I'd learned from my mother. Last year I added #78, a very important one. You should read both of those. (Go ahead... I'll wait for you!)
So, ready for Lesson #79?
Every afternoon I call my mom. (Well, almost 'every'.) I've always known how lucky I was to have her, but the older I get, the more I realize what a treasure I have in her...I understand the sacrifices she made for all of us in ways I couldn't when I was younger. I know how happy it makes her for me to call, and that's why I do it more than anything - it's the least I can do after all she's done for me.
But you know...I always feel better after talking to my mom. I can say I do it for her, and she can say she wants me to call for her sake, but dang it, she's doing it again...my phone calls to her help me! And I'm sure she knows that!
She hardly gets a word in edge-wise. I just yak and yak and yak. Even when I thought had nothing to say, she knows how to trigger something to get me going...just the thing I needed to get out of my system, of course.
Many of my friends no longer have their moms to call, either in the pretense of checking on them or to blatantly unload their frustrations and problems. I realize how blessed I am, and my daily phone calls are in part, in honor of those friends who can't call their moms anymore.
So Lesson #79 is one I really need to learn...to just listen.
Technically, it's #4 on the original list, but it deserves repeating, because it's such a tough one for me.
My mother is the best listener ever in the history of the world. She has always been able to sit and listen with only minimal (and very wise) interjections...whether it was about old boyfriends or my kids or my time issues. Everyone came to her for advice, because she was such a wonderful, sympathetic, nonjudgmental, empathetic listener. She has a wonderful way of helping you see that "X" is not the end of the world. She helps you see the humor in the situation. She helps you come up with your own solution, when you truly thought it was hopeless.
When you're angry, she's angry with you. When you're sad, she's sad. When you laugh, she laughs.
Me, on the other hand...sometimes I can be a good listener, but other times I either become too involved and give unsolicited advice, or my brain is busy somewhere else, not fully engaged with the moment.
But I promise (again!) to work on it. (She also taught me to never give up! #1, #18, and #33!)
Thank you again for being the best mother in the whole world... for your wisdom, your laughter and your listening ear...
I'm so grateful for you!
Happy 79th Birthday, Mama!