In Lead more gently/ Live more simply/ Purpose

Advice from my mother

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.

mommy

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:

Life happens.

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.

You Might Also Like

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Suzie stacy
    at

    I especially relate to this piece having lost my Mother a few short but seemingly a too long time ago. I miss not being able to pick up the phone to hear her voice. But as I reflect on all the advice, admonishment, and love she gave to her family, my wish is that I would someday “grow” into being just like her!

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Suzie, I didn’t know your mother well but from the way you cared for her I would say that you have already grown to be like her. You are a very special person!

  • Reply
    Diane W
    at

    thank you Michele for reminding me how grateful I need to be that I still have my mother in my life. I don’t have daughters but I do have sons and this advice rings true for all who of us who are in the midst of the journey.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Diane, you and your mother are indeed privileged to love each other as mature adults. You have learnt the journey of motherhood and can love your mother all the more for it. And sons, well … that’s a story I’ll write on another day 😉

  • Reply
    Marcia
    at

    Very lovely. I will pass this along to my daughter, and if she is smart, she will heed your advice.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Thank you Marcia. I enjoyed writing this piece. And if your daughter benefits from my musings, my heart will be all the happier.

  • Reply
    Allison Bieker
    at

    As a daughter, I appreciate this advice. I think this is what my mother has been trying to tell all along. I’m still young and have my whole life ahead. Thank you for this post. It has truly blessed my heart!

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      You are so welcome Alison. If this blog post brings you a little closer to your mother, my job is done. Bless you and your mom!

    Leave a Reply