The importance of stories

This picture is of my mom and her dad.  There is no date on the picture, but she looks about 2 or 3 years old. Even at this age, her smile lit up a room. I never met her dad. He died before I was born. Yet from the stories my mom told and this picture, it is clear the two had a special bond.

Today is my mom’s birthday. She would have turned 90 years old. It has been 17 years since I celebrated a birthday with my mom. I wish she could see how great her grandkids have turned out.

I think about my mom every day. Around her birthday, I think about her a lot. March is the month in which she was born and died. There are so many stories I could tell about my mom.  Like the time I fell out of the car and she kept on driving – she hated it when I told that story. Or how sometimes when she and my dad would argue, she would begin to cry and through the tears say “Well, Shit!” and the argument was over. Or how about time she kept sneaking chocolates to my youngest son when she was in the hospital for the last time.

On her last birthday, I could tell mom was tired. Life and Parkinson’s disease had taken a toll on her mind and body. She was no longer the active vibrant woman of my youth. Yet, there was an occasional twinkle of mischief in her eyes. She wanted to say things but her body and mind wouldn’t let her. But through it all, she smiled when we sang happy birthday. She ate her cake and tolerated the grandchildren running around the room. This is how I remember her last birthday.

Mitch Albom wrote, “Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.” In this post, I shared a couple of stories about my mom. So today, take a moment and share a story about someone you love. If you have a story about my mom, send it to me, I would love to hear it. If your parents or grandparents are still living, call or visit them. Let them tell you a story that you can carry with you forever.

Day 15 of Gratitude Challenge

I’m told that when he was born he was not expected to live more than 10 years. He defied the odds and lived almost 60 years.

14 months ago he contracted Covid and died 11 days later. In the first few months after his death, I vacillated between anger and sadness. Overtime, I made efforts to focus on gratitude. Gratitude for the memories I have. Gratitude for the lessons he taught me. Gratitude for the love he gave. Gratitude for the years he was alive. Gratitude for all he gave to me.

I’m still sad and occasionally angry. But mostly I am grateful to have had a brother like him. Today is his birthday. I’ll celebrate by taking some time to bee grateful for his life.

Today’s challenge requires you to think about somebody who has passed on and do so with gratitude for all the gifts they left for you.

%d bloggers like this: