My Mother's Gifts
Flowers Create Good Memories
A Mother's Gifts Keep on Giving
Gift 1: Flowers Every Spring
Although my mother is no longer with us, her flowers remain.
Throughout my adult life, every spring Mom would divide up flowers and other plants and distribute the starts and bulbs among her three daughters. At times, I saw this gift as being just another chore to do, because Mom would just unexpectedly show up with a box of starts that needed to be planted right away.
At times, I would just plant them haphazardly, so I could get on with things I thought were more important at the time. Little did I know then, how her perpetual flower growing was working to grow me as an individual, professional, daughter, and mother.
Now that she is gone, I am so grateful to have those flowers, bulbs, and raspberries. Every time I look out into my yard, I see my mother's flowers, and the memories and feelings they evoke comfort me and provide encouragement to keep persevering when times get tough.
A strong work ethic is a gift from my mother.
Gift 2: The Gift of A Strong Work Ethic
My mother was a great example of a strong work ethic. And she expected her girls to follow that example--in our jobs, but also as children when we were doing our chores.
She expected honest effort from us in the tasks she assigned, and when we didn't deliver, we got in trouble!
At the time, her expectations did not feel like gifts. When I was a child, I behaved as a child, and often resented having to do something over again because my slap-dash effort did not meet the standard for quality.
Now, as a working professional, I am grateful for this gift, because it molded me into someone who is able to produce quality work, even in unsupervised situations. Her gift molded my character, and gave me some strength in my backbone.
Great Food, Great Cooking Make Great Memories
Home and Family Matters
Gift 3: Being a Good Hostess
Attention to social niceties was important to my mother. When people visited our home, it was important to her that we all made an effort to make our guests feel welcome, to offer a beverage, and to express interest in the visitor.
Mom always gave visitors her time and attention. She made each one feel as though they were the most important person at the moment. She focused on what they were saying, gave feedback, and was truly interested in what was important to each one.
Gift 4: Cooking With Great Ingredients
The love of cooking was something Mom shared with all her girls. It was important to her to add variety into the food she cooked for her family buy using spices to enhance flavor and color. She took pride in using fresh vegetables and other healthy ingredients to come up with her own spin on a variety of recipes.
She passed the skill on to her daughters, and our households all benefit from her creativity.
Mom was known in our community for putting on a good spread when she hosted gatherings for holidays and special events. Her table was always a sparkling array of color and texture. The table decorations always meshed with the color and texture of the menu, so that her tables were a visual feast that fed both the body and soul.
Traditions are Important
Respect for Family Traditions
Gift 5: The Gift of Comfort From the Past
Another gift Mom gave all of us is the comfort we receive from relying on the traditions we created in our own family unit, but also maintaining cherished traditons from generations that have gone before us.
During holidays and family gatherings, a sense of routine can be comforting. Putting up familiar decorations that have become cherished family heirlooms, the smells of our favorite holiday foods, and activities the entire family participates in, whether it is a board game, or a family outing, brings a sense of security and belonging that lingers long after the holiday has past.
Sharing the Gifts our Mothers Gave
As we go through life, the gifts our mothers shared with us are, in turn, shared with the others we we meet along the path of life.
In going forward, climing the ladder of success, raising our children, and participating in our communities, we can bring honor to our mothers by sharing the gifts she gave to us by becoming a living example of the values she shared.
Sometimes this can be done by sharing a story with a friend, or carrying on a family tradition. In this way, we can give comfort to others and brighten their day in some small way. We can use these gifts to improve our own character, and to instill important values in our children.
This Mothers' Day, why not let your own mother know how much you value the gifts she has given you over the years? In addition to the cards and flowers and other gifts we typically give on this precious holiday, a word of thanks from you could be the icing on the cake for her.
Take a few minutes from the busy day to call her aside and tell her how much you value all she has done for you, and how her everyday gifts to you have enriched your life and helped you to become the person you are today.
© 2013 Nancy Owens