Friday, May 7, 2010

Thanks, Mom!

My folks were never big on Mother's or Father's Day. I don't think they cared for the commercialism. Plus, if you loved your parents, you showed it throughout the year, not so much with gifts, but with kindness, being helpful, showing respect. You didn't wait for a holiday to "honor thy father and mother."

But having lost my mother 25 years ago, I'm coming to really like Mother's Day, and I like celebrating it. It gives me a chance to stop and reflect on all that she meant to me, and that's more than you can possibly imagine. I learned so much from her: all of the basic virtues and values, plus things like the power of positive thinking, the ability of affirmation and encouragement to change lives, and the importance of valuing all human beings. Remember the children's book "The Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can, I think I can" was the little train's mantra, and that was hers as well.

She started the girl scout troop in our little home town of Corcoran and led it for years, changing countless girls' lives for the better. I bet that some of them even now remember Mrs. Barnes on Mother's Day.

Her home was the most welcoming place. No matter who you were, when you walked into our house, you were welcomed, you were asked how things were going, and you always left with a word of encouragement. My friends used to tell me how lucky I was to have a mom like mine. They were right. I was lucky, and am still blessed.

So even though you weren't big on celebrating it, Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for everything.

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