Very few people had a mom like mine. I get that. She was extraordinary. But we should strive to be moms like mine. Our words help mold our children. They should know that they are loved, special, and safe. They should know without a doubt that unconditional love exists. We should remind them that we see their light, their talent and their gifts. We should write them love letters, show them silly bursts of emotion and creativity and keep them in a box for them to find and hold again when we are gone, because words are strong, and love lives on.
I think it’s so fitting that “Mother” Theresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.” Although she never had children of her own, she was a blessing to many. She was so full of kindness, wisdom and love. Moms. Mom’s should be like that.
My mom’s kind words and creativity came to our mailboxes often, but birthday cards were always special. I don’t think I ever got a “normal” from-the-store birthday card where it was just signed and stuck in the mail, ever! Oh no that just wasn’t my mom, she couldn’t contain her creative imagination and silly sense of humor. IF she happened to see a funny card in a store, you can bet it would be modified and personalized. Drawings would be added, thought bubbles appeared over characters, the printed text would be scratched out, or covered and rewritten, and oftentimes actual photos of you, the dogs, donkeys, family members or random wildlife would be cut out and stuck here and there as she needed. And on the numerous occasions that a store-bought card wouldn’t do, or wasn’t handy you got some real art. Multi-page cards with funny stick figures or any number of combinations of her aforementioned techniques would be employed for hilarious effect. They often involved poems, rhymes, or engaging prose that poked fun or told a tale. Always fun to read and share around the dorm, house, or office. They were always blatantly from the heart. I could always picture her in her little office, scissors, photos, markers and imagination in high gear. Her blue eyes dancing with mischievous abandon, tongue pursed between her front teeth, fully engaged with her masterpiece and having a ball. I don’t know if she knew how treasured those silly bursts of creativity and emotion would be to all of us.
As her only daughter and the baby of the family, I was never lacking for attention. I grew up tough, tom-boy and confident. I had the gift of always knowing I was loved, special, creative, adorably redheaded and gloriously covered in “angel kisses”, though my big brothers never missed a chance to stage whisper “devil spits” about my freckles.
Words are so powerful at any age. All words. Their echoes reverberate in our bones and take up residence squarely in our centers. They often make a person who they are. They can break you. They can hurt you. But we choose our words and we give our words. We should gift them. My mom did. You don’t have to be clever or creative with what you say or what you write, just mean it. Genuinely. Make it a thing you do. Send letters the old fashioned way in your own handwriting. Today and years from now your words will be treasured. I know it too well. Seeing my mom’s handwriting and reading cards, letters, postcards makes me laugh, cry, remember, and feel full and warm to my toes. I miss her so much.
I found this poem taped into the top part of a fold-over card. Talk about personally powerful. Even now, at 47, I cherish this.