A Mother’s Love…

WaymanBacktoSchoolA while ago I wrote a blog entitled Everybody Doesn’t Get A Daddy Like This.  In it, I talked about being blessed with an awesome father.  And while my dad is great, I have a pretty amazing mother too.  Today is her birthday, so I thought I’d write about the woman who I’m blessed to call mother.

Without a doubt, I’ve got one of the most loving, caring, patient and forgiving mothers in the world.  Where I’m the one whose ready to go to war in 60 seconds, my mom often has the patience of Job and can somehow always see the potential in people.  If she says a situation is beyond hope, you can rest assured you’ve gone off track in a major way.  Despite her kindness though, my mother always embraced the policy of tough love.  When it comes to me, she’s always been the one to discipline in love.  Unfortunately, I didn’t receive tough love too well as a youngster…tough love resulted in me saying many unkind things to my mother.  And yet, despite us not always getting along the best, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate how much my mother cares for me.  For her, family has always come first. My mean statements certainly led to some heartache and pain, but they never caused her to love me any less.  Instead, I’m convinced that it caused her to pray harder that she and her only daughter would have a positive relationship one day.  And somehow, through life’s interesting journey, that happened.

My life’s journey to some lonely and dark places opened my eyes to something very important…in the lowest places of life, in the most depressed places of my life when it seemed that there was no one in my corner who truly knew all that I was feeling, my mom was always there.  There were times when I didn’t even have to utter a word, she just knew what I was feeling, and was there.  Everybody doesn’t get a mother like that!

My mom is a mother who knew the value of a family eating dinner together around the table every night and engaging in meaningful conversation and the importance of her family attending church together when we were kids.  My mom knew the value of always being present in school not just to teach other children, but to let our teachers know that she was raising two intelligent black children who needed to be challenged to think deeper on a daily basis.  My mother knew how to love us without spoiling us completely rotten, and, perhaps most importantly, my mother truly knew the value of letting the village play a role in raising us.

I’m fortunate enough to have parents who were all in when I was a child, and remain all in to this day.  They are advisors, confidantes, cheerleaders, and most of all, role models for me.  They certainly haven’t gotten everything right along the way, but they’ve corrected me when I’ve been wrong, and they’ve sincerely tried to put me on the right path in life.  For that, I still look up to them in so many areas of my life.  They’ve taught me how to humble, they’ve taught me how to appreciate the smallest of blessings, they’ve shown me how to value family and never forget where I’ve come from, they’ve taught me the importance of giving back, and they’ve shown me that with God all things are indeed possible.  From humble beginnings, they’ve done amazing things.  No matter how successful I may become in this life, I will never forget that I’m where I am because my parents sowed into my life!  I simply pray that one day, God will afford me the opportunity to try to be a wife and mother that’s half as good as my mom!

Until next time….

Never Too Old!

This weekend I managed to sneak away for my (almost) annual visit with a dear college friend who has really become family to me!  These visits are always refreshing for the soul and tend to be very low key…mainly going out to shop or grab a bite to eat, but nothing that requires lots of exertion!

This weekend, my friend’s daughter desperately wanted to go peach picking.  Unfortunately after venturing out to two farms, we managed to miss the peach picking time at both.  My heart wasn’t completely broken as I’m not the biggest fan of peaches…I’m not sure if it’s the fuzz or the syrup that goes along with canned peaches, but they just aren’t at the top of my list of fruits.  And truthfully, outside of a few fruits…grapes, apples, strawberries, clementines, and the occasional banana (it can’t be too ripe), I’m not too adventurous when it comes to eating fruits.  You won’t see me eating apricots or blueberries or plums or nectarines or cantaloupe or watermelon…nope, it’s not that I haven’t given some of them a try, but they’re just not my cup of tea.  I’m content with apples, seedless oranges that are easy to peel, and grapes.  But this weekend, I ventured into new territory!

Since there were no peaches to be picked, and we had to pick something to make my friend’s daughter smile, we headed out to pick blackberries.  Being the country girl that I am, I was quite content picking the fruit, but I had absolutely no intention of actually tasting the berries.  I planned to pick a pint and take them to my mother for her birthday…but something got into me at breakfast on Sunday morning, I took a giant leap of faith and ate my first blackberry…it wasn’t that bad!  In fact, it was pretty good, so I ate two more and decided to take this delectable fruit off of my banned foods list.

This is certainly proof that we’re never too old to try something new, to look at life differently, to be bold and adventurous, or simply to be open to the new experiences of each day!  I have no idea why I’ve been so averse to blackberries over the years…I honestly wish I had a good reason for not liking this fruit…I’d like to think that because they’re black, I thought they would taste like licorice or something along those lines, but in all honestly, I probably heard my brother or father say they didn’t like blackberries, so I wasn’t willing to give them a chance.

It’s amazing how quickly we avoid the unknown because it’s uncomfortable.  But, as I’ve come to learn over and over and over again these past few years, it’s in the unknown places where we learn and grow so much.  I think about how many other things I’ve avoided over the years because I thought I wouldn’t like “it” and wonder how life would look differently if I had just moved away or changed my major or pursued photography more passionately or seriously studied a musical instrument or did any number of other things.  I guess some things, I’ll never know, but for others, well, I guess it’s still not too late.  I’m not saying I’m about to get up and go try a whole lot of new stuff…let’s just be real, change is difficult for me, but perhaps I can at least be more open to the idea of embracing new things and new experiences.

No matter one’s age…we will always be young enough to embrace the beauty of trying something new for the very first time.

Until next time…live life on the edge!