thank you mom

It dawned on me the other day that I was having more irritated feelings, when I thought about my mother, than loving ones. This is not new. My mother has had very firm ideas about what was right and wrong, and she never hesitated to express them!  Growing up, we butted heads…a lot. She has softened and become much more accepting of others, and life, in the last few years, especially since she turned 80. Part of me hasn’t caught up with this yet.

Many times, before we are going to get together, I find myself dreading it. My mind is pulling the limited view of mom up. Part of me knows that she has changed but somehow my mind doesn’t want to accept this?

I start to dread our meeting. Who will she criticize? Who will she complain about? I wish I hadn’t made the date. This happened the other day….again. I said to Jack, “I need to change this. No matter how difficult she has been (believe me she could be writing this story about me too!) she is also incredibly generous. She actually co-signed for the house we are living in.

Where was my gratitude? I felt somewhat ashamed of this. But i did something different. I didn’t call her,  I decided to work only in my mind for a few days.  I started walking around the house saying “thank you mom”…to myself,  over and over. When I opened the front door, I said, thank you mom, when I sat looking out the window, thank you mom. The more I said it, the more I began to feel it. We met for breakfast later that week as planned. I had a wonderful time. I called her when I got home and she said, “You know Mary, I drove home with all of these warm feelings. I felt so loved!” And I also felt loved and accepted and happier.

The power of focused thought, along with the feeling of gratitude …if we could only see these powerful spiritual tools, we would pick them up much more frequently I am sure.

I am imagining you reading this right now. Without you, this blog would not be. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love,

Mary

13 thoughts on “thank you mom

  1. I just love the synchronicity of things! I am about to leave the house to take my mom for some tests. I, too, have been battling with this same set of feelings about my mom. She is 93, independent, young at heart and was a great mom…but very controllling in her own way. She is very generous with me and yet I have been dwelling on nothing but her manipulations of me from the time I was a kid. Your segment today has given me a game plan to try. Thanks so much for being willing to share your thoughts with all of us so openly. You probably don’t even realize what changes you are bringing about!
    Suzanne

  2. Thanks, Mary. Must be something in the air! I, too am experiencing this gratitude to and for my 87 yr old mom. I’ve been ‘convinced’ for all my life that no mom could have been more negative than mine…

    But, there is another perspective; I’m seeing it.

    As Jon Katz says, Life is nothing but strange.

  3. I would take my children with me delivering newspapers. Once they asked ” why are you so nice to everybody else”. Thinking on it I realized that close family had the ability to upset me because I cared what they thought and how they acted. My reaction was to not be so nice to them at times. Strangers did not have the ability to upset me because I did not care for them nearly as much. I would like to tell you that this epiphany changed me. But no, my emotions still react to family and not so much to strangers. I accept this as my nature. Not sure I want to change it. As always thanks for making me think.

  4. Mary — I wish my parents were still with me so I could practice focused thoughts with them in mind. They were good parents — generous too but of course as a young adult we find fault sometimes with our parents. However I can reverse the generational focus and practice it with my children and grandchildren — and others too — thanks for this suggestion — barbara

  5. I wish I had my mother with me to get annoyed at. I lost her unexpected when I was 36 and in some ways, still am not completely over it. My friends and I are all in our middle and late 50’s now and they often complain about their mothers and it is so hard listening to them. I do listen though, and then encourage them to accept their different situations wishing I could change places with them. Often we just think that we are too busy but really family and especially moms need to come first if possible. I’m happy that you still have your mom.

  6. Mary…love the focused way of thinking ….and thanking!
    I’ve been a caregiver for various relatives and friends a long, long time….to the point where I (at times) start to resent the inequality of my life compared to others (they are always traveling…yet not here to help out, they have a good marriage and much, much more income than I have, their Play time is 10x what mine is…they don’t have to cope with things – blizzard, car stuck, Dr’s appts etc., care review meetings, etc. all alone.
    And yet, I am trying hard to focus on just doing what is in front of me….and being okay with it…and even (hopefullly)…like you….thanking God for the situation and my mom. She is nearly 94, can’t move, can’t feed herself, can’t do anything but smile and her eyes light up when she sees me and TedE (dog!). He licks her chin (tell everyone he does that to help our “chin hair” grow!)….
    And so we go on….every few days, weeks after weeks, until God chooses to take her. She’s getting very good care.
    And I’m learning to thank God in all things. Wasn’t it Meister Eckhart who said if the only prayer we would say would be “Thank You” it would be enough?
    Thanks for sharing your struggles…& goodness!
    Blessings to you and the others who struggle with difficult times. karen

  7. Wonderful! Check out “Zero Limits” Joe Vitale. The premise of what you did is the same. “I love you, thank you” To any issue in our life that we are uncomfortable with. So happy that you reached out to your Mom. Lynne

  8. Mary,

    Came to your blog by way of Bedlam Farm. What beautiful writing.
    You’re beautiful inside and out.

    Riley

  9. My Mother passed away five years ago as of last month. I finally landscaped my backyard
    with some help from money left after her years of medical care. I look out the kitchen window every morning, and think of her. I thank her for this beautiful view and everything she did for me.

  10. A wonderful post Mary! My mother is a wonderful, loving woman, and I feel so blessed to have her still in my life. Remembering to be grateful for someone takes practice, thank you for this reminder. Thank you for writing and your welcome for reading!

  11. Thank you, Mary. “My mother’s name was Mary, she called me Mary too”…and your blog brought her back to me. But, alas, I can’t call her up and make a breakfast date. She died in 1997.
    When we were kids (7 of us) – she could be quite fearsome -even erratic. I used to think in the duality of my “good mother” and “my bad mother”. I had to make “a separate peace” with the bad one (and myself) before I could forgive and embrace the good one. Luckily, I was able to do this before she died. I am happy for you that you can still physically embrace your Mother, and thank you for reminding me to spiritually embrace mine. I can imagine her reading this over my shoulder. With gratitude, Mary Rita Scott, Cambridge, New York -3/2/11

  12. Hi Mary,
    AGAIN you have touched my heart!!! I’m so glad you have had a change of heart/mind….and shared how to do it.
    My own mother has passed. I loved her very much. This is not to say ours was a perfect relationship. My mom had a lot of problems. Hard for a child to discern. Like Mary Scott, my mom was extremely “erratic”. I too, was able to come to terms while mom was still alive. Thank God for that, frequently! I’m hoping my own daughters don’t have to write this kind of posting in the future. I really tried to do things differently…but, being a mom isn’t always easy and I am far from perfect. My daughters are adults, I love them fully and am so proud of the women they have become.
    Jill

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