Lessons From My Mother

Lessons From My Mother

Pretty is as pretty does, she gently reminded me.

Funner is not a word, she reprimanded me with a smile.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have so much to remember, I find myself repeating to my perplexed children.

You look great, she speaks with utmost sincerity even when I was nine months pregnant or swollen with steroids so many years ago.

I’m excited, she offers whenever we make a plan to do something just the two of us.

Life’s not fair, she said firmly when my nine year old self protested the lunch date planned for only her and my big brother.

Do you need it or want it, she asked when I was certain that one sweater would make my life complete.

I’ll think about it, she honestly said regarding my pleas for independence as a teenager.

I don’t know, she said quietly choking back tears, when I asked if my very sick brother would ever be able to go back to college.

I miss you, she shared in letters and phone calls from those months spent in a Boston hospital with that same brother while my 14 year old self was feeling lost at boarding school in North Carolina.

Nice is most important, she commented when I expressed my love for the boy I would marry.

Try to rest, she says so seriously, though she knows it annoys me considering my life with four children.

Keep me posted, those loving words ending most any conversation with the person I imagine smiling from far away.

Love you. Yes, she really does.

Happy birthday, Mama. My gift to you? I have been listening after all.

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