Friday, May 31, 2013

Love like a Mother!

It has been a bone-crushingly disappointing week as I've been trying so hard to make decisions for our little family's future yet have encountered closed doors. I've had to let go of my plans, again. I'm getting a little tired of that, you know? If you are a pray-er, could you please pray for us as we figure out some next steps? Thank you! And if you wouldn't mind praying about my writing, that would be awesome, too!

Stopping by briefly today to share this picture of my dear mom with you. Twenty-five years ago today, my forty-six year old mom died while I held her hand. It was sudden and unexpected. For a while I was able to convince myself that 46 years was a long and full life, but as I'm almost 46 myself, I've changed my tune on that one.

If you are a mom, I want to encourage you in your mothering today. Even though I had my mother with me for only 18 years, she greatly impacted my life through the way she lived hers. You can read more about her HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. You do make a difference!

But I know summer is starting, and we may already have had some parenting lows in the .02 econds since school got out. Or, we're scrambling through all of the end-of -the-year madness and feel like we can't get it all done.

I won't discourage you by telling you about my perfect mom. Because she wasn't perfect, but she was perfect for her three kids. She cussed. She was a closet smoker. She sometimes wore wooden clogs with silk dresses. And remember the time she made me take a pineapple right off the kitchen counter and give it to my fourth grade teacher as a gift? Well, I sure do. She also thought Wrangler shorts were the same as OP. Puh-lease. We never had fancy cars or gadgets, never took a real vacation, and we endured brutal Virginia summers without central air conditioning. But what we did have was a mother's love. And her heart was big enough to include many people outside our family, which showed us love doesn't run out and need not be hoarded. She did her best and didn't let the rest get her down.

When I think of the many lessons I caught from my mom in the years we had together, I am grateful for them all.

One was to find ways to keep smiling and laughing even when life doesn't go the way you planned.

Another was to just let the tears flow.

Thanks, Mom.





64 comments:

Beth said...

Thinking of you today! I hope your decisions and plans work out smoothly. It's hard to see things clearly when you're in the weeds. Wish I had known your mom, she sounds like such a gem. Big hugs.

Robin Gaphni said...

I just came across this little quote on a billboard, and thought you might appreciate it:

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is pulling you back with difficulties, it means you are going to launch into something spectacular. So just focus and keep aiming.

LauraBeth said...

HUGS to you, Anna.

Sending love and prayers to you and yours...

Love from the other side of town

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! It hasn't just been hard, it's been bone-crushingly hard. You're in my prayers.

(What did the teacher say when you gave her the pineapple?)

Peg said...

Hang in there! I loved the OP reference...my parents were the same way. We were definitely the family last to get an Atari, microwave, VCR, etc. too.

Hope everything works out for your family the way it's supposed to happen.

Sending positive writing vibes!!

Kirsten said...

Love. I needed to read this today. Thank you Anna.

Rose D. Frenchtown, NJ said...

She sounds like she was a spectacular mom!! Sending prayers your way.

darsden said...

Much Love and Prayers Anna

darsden said...

oooh I cam back because the next caption said Margaret xoxoxo

Japolina said...

This post came at the perfect time for me. My 15 year old son is testing my patience this week (month, year). He is very moody and very difficult to be around. My husband keeps saying "just love him", it is good advice but hard to take. Your blog today reinforced this.

luv2run said...

Sending you some love!!!!!!!!!!

I was running on Wed and you drove right by me. Only know is was you cause who else has a car that says Anna Vienna . Thought as you passed me to wave you down but then thought .....now that would be wierd of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just want you to know your always in my thoughts and prayers! Even if I dont respond to each post. I check obsessivly for the next one!

HUGS

luv2run

Anonymous said...

Praying that doors will open and writing will flow. Hang in there!

Allyson in Alabama

ellen said...

I love this post; your mom was a gem.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and sending you my best. Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman and I can see you inherited many of her wonderful traits. Prayers and best wishes for you and yours.

Jen said...

You have your mother's eyes! Beautiful.

Love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

PS I wonder if your choice of "generosity" as your theme for 2013 might be a tribute to your mother's spirit, in addition to all the other reasons you might have had, because she understood that love doesn't run out and doesn't need to be hoarded. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I see your mom in you -- quite a resemblance! (in many ways, I am sure)

Best wishes for your plans for your family's future.

Joan in PA

Salvimom said...

Dearest Anna,

It seems as though I should say something to carry you through, but you are always writing something that speaks to me instead! Thank you for encouraging us to enjoy our motherhood. I appreciate the references to your own Mother and the fact that although she wasn't perfect, she was perfect for YOU. I can relate so much to the stories you tell of her, and how she obviously valued love (and common sense) over the material. As always, love, hugs and PRAYERS from our family to yours. God Bless you.

Ury,
Seattle, WA

Gigi said...

Sending prayers. And I love the lessons you learned (and shared) from your mom.

Momma Holmes said...

Love the pineapple story and that you remember your mom with such love and humor and reality. Praying for discernment.

Ellen Jones said...

Hi, Anna. I can't believe it's been 25 years. I love you, and I loved your Mom, so much. Thinking of you and praying for you.

Love,
El

Ellen Jones said...

Hi, Anna. I can't believe it's been 25 years. I love you, and I loved your Mom, so much. Thinking of you and praying for you.

Love,
El

Unknown said...

Anna, we don't know each other but we are friends. Hugging you from NC and praying for grace and strength. Julie

Stimey said...

Thinking of you and your beautiful mom today. Love to your family.

Kim said...

You are a beautiful tribute to your mom.

New Mom said...

Our family will be praying for you... for your writing and also for very obvious open doors!

MaryLou Loconte said...

Hi Anna , I have recently come across your blog and your words dance on my screen.You write from your heart and you are such an inspiration to me and so many. I have told my son about you and Jack and we say a prayer for him now every night. My son Lucas is almost 10 he asked what was Jack's favorite color, maybe you have mentioned in in your blogs but I am new to your world. We want to hang something of his fave color in our yard so we can have his spirit around us. You have such love pouring out from so many strangers and you have touched so many lives. You should write a novel...you truly have a gift when you put your words together. Anna you are so strong and brave and when you have those days that just bring you to your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray. Stay strong... your mom sounds like she was a beautiful soul.
hugs from Canada

Ann Imig said...

Anna, I'm holding hope for you. I have total faith in you.

You've loved and lost so much, and I'm just praying for easier days without so much pain.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Love and prayers to you and your family. The only other person I ever sent prayers to before you taught me that I could was to my dad, who has been gone for 21 years now. You sound like you drew important lessons from your mom's example and I know how much you've given all of us. I hope you find some clarity regarding your current struggles very soon.

Anonymous said...

Sending you much love and strength from around the corner in Fairfax. I hope this difficult path opens up to a wonderful new road for you & your family. Peace.

Kelly Pack said...

Prayers coming your way. I secretly hope you are trying to move and that it helps you the way it's helped me! xoxo

heather blair said...

beautiful memories - and prayers are on the way lady!

The Empress said...

Anna, would you treat us to a picture of just you and her, together? xo

Jenn said...

I think of you & your family, Jack, and your writing so often, Anna. Sending love & hugs, and my own special prayers that things will work out the way they are supposed to in time.

I love Robin Gaphni's info on the arrow - I saw something similar recently too, and it really resonated with me.

Your mom was beautiful, and it sounds like she was a really neat lady. I can see you in her. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Just had to comment today...thinking about you and your family and keeping you in my prayers...and remembering your mom. What a lady!...and what a friend! I still think of her often. Another one of her traits...she didn't hesitate to stop in the middle of sweeping the kitchen floor in order to create something beautiful, like an arrangement of fresh flowers. I miss her..

Love and best wishes

Meredith Self said...

Love, love, love, love. Open doors. Love. Flowing words. Love. Resilience. Love. Courage. Mothering. Love.

Sharon said...

Anna,
I have been following your blog for around a year. A friend suggested that I read your journey because I lost my oldest son on August 9, 2011. Your posts are perfect for my broken heart! You are able to put into words the unimaginable circumstances that we are living as mothers, and families. I will certainly pray for your writting. I will especially pray for you to know that your post has helped me in unbelievable ways. I know you have faith. I will pray that your faith helps you ignore the nasty words that some people feel they need to say. God is only good. Although we have lost our precious sons, only good will come from using our God given gifts. You are certainly using your gift of writting as a special ministry to me and I am sure many others!

I remember the day your precious Jack went to heaven. I was having an awful day grieving and our basement flooded terribly. We were packing to leave for a week's trip to Georgia to watch our second son graduate from Army basic training and to visit our youngest son stationed in the Navy in Virginia Beach. I think all of the rain was God's tears for you.

Keep writting! And most of all, thanks for sharing your journey with me. I need to know I am not crazy!

Steph said...

I will pray for guidance for your family's next steps and for your writing. I'm so sorry for all you've been through. I hope you can be comforted some by knowing how much your writing on this blog helps so many others. Praying for many blessing for you and yours. And now I see where you get your Covergirl looks!

SouthMainMuse said...

I so needed this. I have had nothing of your heartache but my 12 year old is a terror right now. I'm having to be the mommy not the friend -- but you are right. Is is so short and hopefully she won't see me as perfect but will love me in spite of my imperfections and know I was just doing the best I could.

Lesley said...

Of all people, you do not need anthing crushed, let alone your bones, your plans, your dreams. I have no word of advice, apart from the statement my dear friends Yorkshire Mama said when things got hard. 'You've got it to do'.

Kat Biggie said...

Such a sweet tribute to your mother. Mothers are often not perfect (I am far from!!!) but we do learn good things from them. And I can only hope I'm teaching my children some useful stuff. I also hope and pray that I get more than 18 years with them! How difficult that must have been for you. Laughter through the tears is the best! :-)

amy said...

Many hugs. I am also a motherless daughter. I lost my mom to a heart attack when I was 18. Three weeks later I kept my promise and went off to college, out of state.
It sucks to lose a mom so young. Mine was 3 weeks shy of her 52 birthday. I have 4 siblings older than my mom was.
It sucks.

Anonymous said...

I really like Robin's arrow metaphor, too, as others have already said.

I'm so very sorry for Sharon's loss. If she doesn't mind my saying so, she doesn't sound crazy; she sounds loving and resilient while in deep grief.

Gretchen said...

Praying that everything works out as it should. That your heart is happy and your family stays strong. Lost my mother when I was 18, too. Twenty four years ago this September. But who's counting? Oh, that would be me. Love your blog, your voice and your courage.

Jackie R said...

Anna, your words have me both crying and laughing at the same time. Oh course, I rarely leave your blog with a dry eye. Thank you for your candidness and for always "keeping it real".

seekingjoypursuinglove said...

Dear Anna,

I am praying for you. For peace to cover you, for you to feel held and loved and comforted, for you to lean in to our Savior, and for moments of joy and laughter to be sprinkled across these hard hard days. I faithfully read your posts--and though I rarely comment--I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Sending love to you, sweet mama.
Sarah-Anne

Kiri said...

I guess I believe things will come clearer for you when they are meant to. Love your writing, always look forward to seeing a new post of yours in my list. xx

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with clogs with silk dresses?!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog on and off since being introduced to you from another blogger (Glennon maybe?) anyway, today's post totally hit a chord. I loved this:
"But what we did have was a mother's love. And her heart was big enough to include many people outside our family, which showed us love doesn't run out and need not be hoarded. She did her best and didn't let the rest get her down."
Thank. You. Keep writing! I'm not a pray-er, but I keep you in my thoughts.

Lisa C said...

My thoughts are with you as you make your decision.

It's amazing how much you learned from your mom, while you were so unaware of it as a child and teenager.

Love Robin's billboard :)

Great thought.

Anonymous said...

You look just like your mother. Anne of Green Gables said "Imitation is the best form of flattery." I am sure you not only look like her, but act like her also. Can a mother ask for anything more? Chin up--a new week is upon us!

LISA A said...

Just lovely.

monicac2 said...

Your mom sounds like an amazing person! I don't mean that in the way that people say about people whom they don't know (in a somewhat lowered/hushed voice): "It sounds like your grandmother was a wonderful woman." No, I mean that it sounds like your mom was really an interesting person, a hoot! I absolutely LOVE the pineapple story. The thought of her telling you, "Well just take that," and pointing to the pineapple on the counter just cracks me up!!! And I've been known to put a pack of cigarettes in my suitcase on every vacation that I go on. And cussing, well ...

I'm so sorry that you lost each other at such a young age. I pray every day for time, time, more time with my children. I can only imagine how she felt. I am just thankful that one day, you can be together again, with Jack and your other loved ones, all sporting your Wrangler wings. :)

Shenne said...

Anna, I'm so sorry to hear that things have been extra-hard lately. I will be praying for you and your family, and am reminded that there are three ways that God answers prayers: "yes," "not yet," and "I have something better."

Here's to "something better" being revealed soon.

Sending love from California,
Shenne

Lady Jennie said...

I prayed for you today out of the blue - for your family. And now I'm just seeing that you need it. I'll pray more specifically. I'm going to read some of your mom posts. I could use some inspiration.

And ... love you a lot.

Michele Wood said...

Hugs and prayers for open doors and windows for you!!

Kelley said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. My heart is with you, as I am feeling the same way today. 13 years ago my mother passed away at only 53. My mother wasn't perfect either, but she was an amazingly kind person would have done anything for us. She was a motherless daughter as well, having lost her Mom and 15, and only now do I know how hard it must have been for her throughout her adult years. My mother has been gone 13 years, and it seems that some think I should have gotten over it. I still miss her every day. Shortly after my mother's death, a coworker told me in a kind and honest way, "You never get over it. You just learn to deal with it." Love to you and all who miss their Moms who were taken too soon.

Sara said...

I can see so much of you, in this beautiful picture of your Mom. Both the photo, and the picture you show with your words

Thank you for reminding me, for reminding my soul, of what matters.

I believe your Mom and Jack are together. I just wish they could still be here with you.

I'm in constant awe of how you share your heart with all of us. You inspire me, every day, to connect more with everything I wish for, and already have.




macmac524 said...

Could I just say (again) what an INCREDIBLE writer you are. Your mom sounds just wonderful...

Meg said...

Hugs and prayers that the doors meant to open do so soon and the path becomes clear.

Anonymous said...

Your post has made me think of my mum and how she isn't perfect either but full of love for me and our family. I get frustrated at times with how she can be but realise that I've had 42 years with her and others haven't been so lucky.

Hope you get the guidance you are looking for with your dilemmas.

Always thinking of you Anna...

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Praying that God will lead you in the best direction for your family. Sorry you are faced with these decisions.
((HUG)) Sweet words about your mother. My mother passed at 56 and I was 31.

Marinka said...

Saying prayers. Although it's hard to believe you need them for your beautiful writing. xo

Vodka Mom said...

xxx