Mothers Day is a day we aside to honor mom and give her the day off in a sense. But that in itself is ironic. Sure, mom loves the idea of having a day that honors and recognizes her only, but she really doesn't want the "day off." Mom's love being moms every day. Although she won't miss a day of not having to the the mundane stuff. But in short order, most moms miss that too.
You never stop learning from your mom. My mom is 86. One of the cool things my mom gives us, is that being 86 doesn't bother her. Sure, there's all the stuff that goes with being that age, but overall her health has been great, and she is fortunate. She knows it, as there is never any whining. She still drives some, lives on the 2 and a half acres I grew up on in a big old farm house that is 160 years old with her big dog, Summer. She has owned that house since 1957, when she and my dad bought it for $25,000 and stressed and lost sleep on how to come up with a whopping $1,000 down payment and then have a mortgage of $147 a month. And she added on to it three times in the past 10 years. That turned all of our heads, but now I am glad she did.
Summer The Dog
She doesn't complain about her age, instead embraces it, and builds on. She used to say when I was a kid, "No one likes a complainer." (Except for other complainers). She finally retired from being a college professor of speech and theater at 75. She taught us too, that working is a good thing, and that it goes far beyond simply the money. That good and passionate work helps give our lives meaning from within. She redefined "work" for me. That it's not really "work" at all. She loved what she did for decades, and when she didn't love it anymore, she retired. Another great move. In short, she taught me to find something to do for a living that I love. And I did.
She always has some kind of project going. She designed all three room additions to her old house and had an active role in building them. And now she paints. And man, can she paint. Mostly restoring old furniture pieces that are made into works of art. My house is full of them, that she has been generous enough to give me. In fact, my brother and sisters' houses are loaded with her art. All donated to us - by mom.
The Tall Ships Box - It's in my living room
She has never slowed down, and I think that is the best example of all. My dad died when she was 50, and I was 16. She never remarried, (she said my dad was a tough act to follow). And she knuckled down and worked hard. Teaching college, extra classes, weekend college, and even consulted executives at major corporations on how to speak more effectively. She didn't lose her house and is enjoying a retirement that is enviable.
The Citrus Box - she painted for me with vintage Citrus company logo's
When she called it quits, she had something to do - every day. Painting her paintings, her furniture, writing plays, acting some still, and always looking forward to her next project, loving what she is doing. All I've had to do is watch, and learn. That work is not really work when you are practicing your passion.
Sunflower Box - and the painting in the background too!
I think I inherited that from her - and my dad. But mostly from her since she's made all the way ton here, and he was only allowed to go so far. She gives credence to the saying, "Find something you love, and you never work a day in your life." That is apt here, and in life in general. Her natural and unintended example is a gift that I will carry with me till I'm 86, if I am allowed to go that far.
Thanks, and Happy Mothers Day - to your mom and all moms.