Happy Mother’s day to all of those who read this. We all know it is not just about this day that makes us count, but hopefully it is a day that YOU are appreciated just a little bit more. The journey from having a mom, to becoming a mom and then losing your mom puts us on the rollercoaster of emotions. There are moments of great joy and sadness. Both equal in measure to what it does to our hearts. I miss my mom every day but I look back on all the lessons she taught me. She shared so much of her life and her passions from her love of fashion to the love of her life, my father. Their love story is worthy of a novel. So today, this post is for her. It is also for my three grown children because I hope I have shared how full life can be when you live within your heart and treat others with kindness. The blog story I started of my last trip to Greece with my mom will continue but the space of stories in between needs its moment. This is that space.
My mother told me at a young age that they would never tell me what I could or could not do because they trusted me implicitly to make good choices. The consequences of wrong choices would be on me. I have never forgotten that lesson from the age of 14. Did this make me afraid to follow my younger dreams? No. Did I always make good choices? No. But guess what? Some of my worst decisions were exactly why I started this blog. It took me a lifetime to learn it but I think I have finally figured that part out and I feel blessed and lucky that I have arrived there. No one can be happy every single day. The journey molds you but you must never give up!
Being a mom is not easy when you do not want your children to hurt but sometimes you must fail to succeed. Failure is a big word so do not misinterpret the definition. How many times have you failed at anything? We grow from it. We can fail at anything and then you just check that off the bucket list of “things I won’t be doing again” because that sucked. Watch your children learn for themselves. It is hard to do as mom but what we do best in that moment is put our arms around them and say “You’ve got this. Now move forward.” My mom was my champion. She made me think about everything.
What else did she teach me? She taught me to drive fast! Not my dad’s favorite moments though. They had a Dodge Colt that was a stick shift. She would take me out shopping for the day in that car and every time she shifted gears to go faster she would literally yell “CONESTOGA”. All I could do was laugh. Here’s how that manifested to me. When I lived in SoCal I had my Porsche and it was a stick shift. What’s a good Greek girl do? She doubles the speed on the off and on ramps and terrifies her passengers up the 405. Here is my official apology to all my friends who experienced this. Did I proudly tell my mom I learned from the best? Yes. Yes I did. Did I do it to her when she visited me. Yes I did. Her response was to put a road atlas over her head so she could not see the traffic as I flew up the 405 to the 101.
What about her love of fashion? Who else teaches their young daughter about this? Who can tell me they know who Edith Head was back in the day? I did. She would find movies that Edith had done all the costumes for and then we would go to this exquisite fabric store where she taught me everything about patterns and sewing. I learned how to make a bathing suit (which is a miserable experience) and I even made a ball gown with moire taffeta and silk shantung. She tasked me at the sewing machine and if the stitch wasn’t correct I had to rip it out and start over. I loved this time with her.
I will also take this space to blame her for my shoe and handbag issues. My daughters have also inherited this love of those items so the gene is strong!
What I most want to remember on this day is that she shared all her love with me and taught me to love myself and to always keep following my dreams. Her only regret in life is that she wanted to become an actress. She was a thespian in high school and was the star of several plays. Her love of the theatre was not meant to be because she was raised in such a traditional Greek home that this was not an option. She was taught that marriage and family were her only path. Because she heard “No” from her parents she never limited me. She told me to chase the world and so that is what I have decided to do.
Our journey on this earth together ended 5 years ago but this past March I felt such a strong shift in my soul and I could hear her screaming at me “Get back to writing!” So here I am and now I have my next path chartered.
Moms….you may not know how much you are loved, but my hope for all of you today is that you feel this message in your hearts and know how important you really are.
Happy Mother’s Day 365 days a year!