Happy Mother’s Day! Hopefully you’re showering your mom, wherever she is, with love, praise and affection.
As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate, respect and admire her. It also reminds me to aspire to do my best for my own kids, just as my mom did for me. Mom’s provide endless lessons in life, so choosing only two to write about was tough. The reason I chose these two life lessons to share with you is because they are most pertinent to my life right now and what I want to engrain in my daughters.
From as young as I can remember, my mom would tell me life wasn’t fair. I REALLY didn’t like to hear her say that. It’s not that I thought life had to be fair, I just wanted ‘better’ sometimes, and didn’t deal well with ‘less than ideal’. It’s that type A personality I inherited. Clearly she saw that was a lesson I really needed to learn. I’ve been incredibly blessed in life, but I’ve also had my share of lows. What I know now, is that it doesn’t matter so much what struggles you’re going through, what matters most is how you deal with those struggles. Life gets really tough sometimes, but it’s a choice to wake up and start each day new, always hoping for the best and knowing that we are strong enough to deal with life’s unexpected events. We learn a lot about ourselves, our inner and outer strengths by weathering tough times, and these life lessons create a stronger and better version of who we once were.
My best example is my daughter Kalia. She excels at everything she does, is incredibly smart, musically gifted, great at math, science, patterns and puzzles, a talented and accomplished gymnast, super sweet and loved by all who know her. She was just so easy going and good natured. At the end of 2011 she got really sick and started losing weight. In early 2012 she was diagnosed with pancreatitis, but it took 5 months to make the official diagnosis of autoimmune pancreatitis. She was in and out of the hospital for 5 months, endured endless nights of excruciating pain, lost a lot of weight, had a NG tube and when the official diagnosis came in and she was finally treated we radically changed her diet to give her the best chance at healing. Along the way she lost her happy go lucky, easy going spirit. The life she now had was not the life she wanted. It took time but she learned to love her new diet, she learned that the power of her mind and thinking would not only help heal her body, but help her through the pain and difficult times, and she grew stronger both physically and mentally. She shocked the doctors by growing into a beautiful and healthy 5’6″ teen. Her struggles with pancreatitis have made me stronger as well. Any mom with a chronically ill child knows how often you have to advocate for your child. Watching your child suffer tears you down, but there isn’t a mom out there, even at her lowest who wouldn’t advocate for the best interest of her child. It is in those moments that we learn just how tough we are. I am so grateful to my mom for always reminding me that life isn’t fair, because it isn’t, but I can choose every day to be in a good mood and find the positive in less than ideal situations.
My mom taught me to love sports. How did she do it? Before the start of each athletic season she would ask what sport I was going to play. If I tried to bail and say I didn’t plan on playing a sport, she would emphatically reply, ” Oh yes you are, and if you don’t choose, I’ll choose for you.” She meant it too! In junior high I made the mistake of not choosing on my own and that’s how I ended up playing basketball. Let’s just say I don’t have the best hand eye coordination and I don’t like to lose, so it was not a win! From that point on I chose my own sports; fall, winter and spring. I am SO GRATEFUL to my mom for her persistence!! Sports helped me gain mental toughness, confidence, grit, courage, trust, faith, focus, determination, patience, perseverance and respect. I learned how to work as a team to support others, it taught me a lot about compassion and kindness toward fellow athletes and coaches and so many other wonderful lessons. Sports shaped the woman I am today and I’m so grateful!
Mom’s have the most amazing impact on the lives of their children and it’s not only the big things, it’s the little day to day lessons that shape our lives in the most memorable and amazing ways.
Wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day!