With Mother’s Day approaching, I thought I’d put together a list of all the things my mother has taught me. Ironically, I wrote an article about her in the Danville Weekly (when it was our town paper) for Mother’s Day back in 2007 that you can read here.
I lost my mother unexpectedly to undiagnosed heart disease in 2002. She was 57 years old and I was 26; a time in my life when I felt our family was just getting back on track after my father’s suicide derailed us in 1999.
Kathleen Connelly Lynch was so many things: smart, funny, creative, well read, curious, tough, loving, strong, generous, kind, fair, wise, selfless, beautiful, and the list goes on and on. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her; think about her warm smile, her excitement over a fun song on the radio, her scent of Norell perfume, her signature frosted cookies and watercolor flowers, her deep interest in politics, people, books, and the world around her. Her boundless generosity, warm spirit and her love of children.
People say everything happens for a reason. I never understood the reason why I lost my mother so young, but once I saw how much my three year old son resembles her, I realize that what was taken away from me was given back as an amazing gift. Through him, she is with me every day.
And what has she taught me?
1. Never be afraid to try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
2. Always make sure you’re wearing lipstick. And pinch your cheeks.
3. Those popular girls in high school you worried about? They’ll peak. (And she was right, they did.)
4. Don’t over-think. Don’t over-project. Live in the moment.
5. Things are always better after a good night’s sleep.
6. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
7. The worst they can say is no.
8. Don’t ever believe you don’t deserve to be happy.
9. Be patient with children; if they want to roll potatoes around on the kitchen floor, let them. Time flies.
10. Wear more skirts.
11. How to put together a party and take pleasure in the planning.
12. The importance of going away with your husband and no kids.
13. Always pursue your passion.
14. You have to love yourself first.
15. He’ll make an amazing husband and an amazing dad. How did she know?
To all of the mothers out there, especially my friends who are my family and who are mothers as well, I love you and wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day.
Parenting has been the most challenging thing I have ever done. I may have had my mother for only 26 years, but she served as a terrific blueprint on how to parent well. And for that I’m the luckiest.
(I recently found this photo of my mom (the little blonde!) with my grandmother. I had never seen this photo before but somehow turned up in an envelope in my office files. The resemblance to little P is uncanny.