It was my mother’s birthday. She’s been gone for almost two decades now. On soft, quiet days I can still hear her voice or feel her hand stroke my head or see her blue eyes twinkle in her smile. On those lovely days when I feel her with me, the world seems lighter – like it did when she was here. Now I know (then I did not) that my mother carried the heavy parts.
After I was married I would call my mother every Sunday afternoon on the phone. We would talk about our week. Mostly mine. (I was young and still selfish.) She would listen, laugh, sooth, offer advice – some I took, others I now wish I had. Always she would love me, always more than herself, in that honest and complete way that mothers do.
Life happens. My mother died too young. For her. For me.
Like my mother before me, I love to hear my daughter’s voice. I hear it in her blog (please write more often) and I hear it in her drawings and paintings (oh, please, one of these for Christmas) and I hear it in her opinions and I hear it in what makes her laugh. I hear my daughter’s voice in what makes her mad and sad and glad. I hear her voice.
Like my mother before me, I offer advice. Some she takes, most … well, she’s still young.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, when families gather, I offer this advice to my daughter and, taking liberties, to daughters of other mothers too:
When you get “there” you find another milestone to achieve, another mountain to climb, another road to travel. There is always a new friend to make, a new job to start, a new home to buy. You never get “there”. Life happens in motion and in movement. It happens every day in every moment in every breath.
Like my mother before me, I offer this. If you take no other advice, daughter, take this one.
Learn to love the journey.
For an incredible, wonderful, terrible, fearsome, awe-filled, breathtaking, beautiful journey it is.