“One hand washes the other.” “There but for the grace of God go I.” “I was sad because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” I reread these quotes this morning. They are in a vinyl binder that was given to me for Christmas in 1994. It is a binder filled with many sayings and memories that my parents put together to give my brothers and me for Christmas in 1994. They began it on December 27, 1993. All of these memories and lessons are written in our parent’s handwriting. They are words on a page, but they are so much more than that, especially today.
My mother died 14 years ago today. So, for my family and me, this day has incredible significance. It is a calendar marker. I know that many of you reading this can relate to what this day can bring. A flood of emotions and memories. I turn to the binder of memories that my parents gave me to be consoled, reconnect, remember, laugh, cry, and love. I miss her, yet I am grateful too. She left us too soon, but she has left so many great love moments that for me to try and live them and be them, it will take the rest of my days to do just that!
Today, Jesus says to his followers, “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you….” He is giving his family and friends a life lesson. A poignant and challenging lesson for sure. My mom (and dad) did the same. “If you want people to be there for you, you need to be there for them.” “Never make fun of anyone else. You don’t know their story.” “Count your blessings and don’t dwell on what you don’t have.”
These larger than life people - Jesus, my mom and dad - have such a way of living life and passing on the lessons that call me back to what life is truly about: relationships; using my time, energy and love for building up; remembering and living out of what and who I truly am and not looking over the fence at what I think is “greener grass.”
Who in your life might you remember today for the love and lessons they have given you? Who is someone you will remember today that inspires you to be more of who you are? To not be a minimalist of living life, but reminds you to live life full out??!! Who are the people in your life that call you to be your most authentic self??
I love you and miss you, mom. I look forward to seeing you again some day. In honor of you today, I remember all that you gave me, and continue to give me. Your words and your womb gave me life and I love you for that.
And, in honor of her Italian heritage, today may be a day to make some sauce and meatballs...