Today has been a much better day than yesterday was. I guess there are these things in life that make you realize just how important certain things in life truly are.
As if being all overly emotional and disgusting around my friend wasn’t bad enough, I got home to find my mom crying on the living room couch. Her best friend died. So you know what happened? I sat. And I cried with her. Not just because my mom was sad but because I was sad too. I didn’t know the lady as well as my mom did, but I knew her enough to know that she meant a lot to my mom and she was a great person. I’ll never forget all the things that she did to liven up my childhood. She even helped to construct a local playground that kids are absolutely fascinated with. Let’s face it, I just wish I were still little enough to go there and play!
But back to the topic at hand… today I decided my mom needed something extra special to make her happy. So I decided that I would make her a list of all the ways that she has influenced people from all walks of life and all ages. First, I asked my sister what Mom did to most influence her. Then I wrote down my own ideas. When I got to work, I asked students to do a self-assessment of my teaching abilities and to list one positive way that I had influenced them and one negative way (or criticism) that they had of my experience with them.
I’d love to say my heart was in the right place. Unfortunately, my kids are still too young to realize how useful the truth and seriousness would have been on these evaluations; not just for my mom’s gift but for my knowledge as well. Instead of taking it seriously though, I got completely random answers that were sweet and to the point, but not detailed enough to make a list seem special enough for my mom.
So for now I’ve ditched the idea. What do you do for a mom who has everything anyway? I mean, we don’t have EVERYTHING. We don’t live some rich, fancy life. But we do have each other, and just that realization changes our entire outlook on the rest of the world. Her friend might have passed away, but guess what? My mom woke up this morning feeling much less sad and much more proud to be a part of our family.
If my mom is out there reading this (which I guarantee she is not), then I hope she knows how much she is loved. I hope she realizes how much of an influence she has been to me… to a lot of people. Without even trying it. Every heart that I touch has been touched because of her. Every characteristic that I possess has been carefully created and molded by my parents. She doesn’t think she’s as smart as me or as talented in many areas, but there is one thing I cannot do that my mom can: Love someone so unconditionally that the love influences every part of their lives whether they realize it or not.
To my momma- I love you.
Oh, and just so everyone is clear: My friend stuck by my side and today was an even better day because of what I felt and how I acted yesterday. Maybe, even though I’ve never read the Bible entirely and maybe, even though I don’t have all of the scriptures and sins, etc. memorized… maybe God and Christianity do have some really good points. Not that I was ever entirely doubting. But the more I live, the more I learn. To the point that I might actually be able to explain some facet of my religion to someone else someday! Not to try to convert them or anything, but to share my opinion in an educated, fair, and graceful manner.
Anyway, back to my point: Maybe God does truly watch over me at every second of every day. I don’t like some of the things that I go through because of negative influences and tragic events. But maybe God actually helps walk me through those events so I can find the rainbows on the other side of the tunnel. Maybe by the time I’m old and gray, I will have learned lessons that only I can begin to fathom at this point. Regardless of whether I am right or someone of another religious belief is right; at least I have this to lean on now. At least I have this hope, this faith, and this firm belief that I am loved no matter where I am at. And maybe in that way, my parents and my sister are pieces of God and Heaven themselves. The Lord knows I couldn’t have found any better ones than the ones he chose for me.