With Love, from Mom

by Marilynn Halas on August 6th, 2012
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There is something about a mother’s love that is different from any other love we ever receive. Moms love us even before we are born. They wait for us and pray for us and dream of us whether they are waiting for a birth or an adoption. Mom is the first one to hold us and the last one to let go. She is our first teacher and our biggest fan. Moms can make us feel safe in a scary world and brave enough to grow strong and shelter others. Most of the time moms lead by example and show us the blessing of God’s unconditional love by the way they love us.

No mother is perfect and I know that some can be downright toxic, but today I’m not writing about them. Today I am writing about the moms who are doing their level best to love, support and encourage their children of all ages. The kind of mom we all hope to be, the kind of mom I was blessed to have.

For the first time in eighty-one years my mom’s kettle has grown cold. Today there is no one there to answer her phone or worry about the weather, the traffic or the weekend plans. Earlier this month my mom went to bed in New Jersey and woke up in heaven. It has been the most difficult adjustment of my life, but I know that for all of us, life is changed, not ended.

At this moment I have choices. I can pretend that everything is okay and just keep moving on. I can wallow in my sadness and get stuck. I can be strong and have faith. I can succumb to fear and frustration. I can let my children see my grief or I can sanitize the situation. Choices. Maybe it’s because I am from Jersey, but personally I prefer and instead of or.

My choice is to experience my grief and my faith. To show my kids that death is a part of life and that people who are sad can still be strong. To honor my mother’s legacy by being fully human, a real person with a full spectrum of feelings and experiences. To show my kids that it is okay to feel sad and okay to feel joy and okay to express both.

To give myself and therefore my kids the acceptance my mom gave to me. My mom used to tell me not to work so hard, “You’re not a race horse.” She would say when I was working late into the night. She was right, I’m not a race horse and neither are you.

What if we could spend a day giving ourselves the same kind of love and acceptance that we need from our moms? The same kind of love and acceptance we offer our children? What if we could honor our mothers’ legacy by actually loving ourselves?

I think it is safe to say that most of us love our kids in a way that is deeper and more powerful than we have ever loved anyone else. I bet your mom would say that too. I bet most of us plan to love our kids like that for the rest of our lives and even beyond. I bet your mom would agree with that too. So maybe we should offer our moms, the women who love us so much, some sign that we understood them, that we actually got the message they have been trying to teach us all our lives. The message that we are trying to teach our own kids. We are loved.

We are worth loving. Mom said so. We are loved no matter what. We can relax and remember that love is a gift, not earned, but rather, freely given.

Whether your mom is here to tell you everyday or whether you are keeping her legacy alive. Whether your mom has never let you down or whether you were mothered by others because she was not there for you. The legacy of motherhood is still a part of you. Passed down from generation to generation like a miraculous Olympic torch in the relay of life. You are loved. Don’t forget it. Love and acceptance is your birthright.

Be your best self and accept and even love your human weaknesses. Accept yourself so that your children can accept and even embrace themselves. I think it is the best way to honor our moms. The best way to honor our kids and the best way to step fully into the life each of us is living. Love and acceptance were your mom’s first gifts to you, they were your first gifts to your child, now they can become the lasting legacy of your family. With love, from MOM

Here’s to keeping your face to the sun, even when you might not want to.

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  • Beautifully written – heartfelt, touching and incredibly inspiring. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mother… She is still with you know… xoxo

  • Jessica

    You know what, Marilynn? We Goldbergs love you bunches, too

  • So very beautiful and I will hold your words close to my heart to do my best to live by. I lost my mother 2 years ago and 3 mos. later my mother-in-law. Not a day slips away w/o thinking of them and the sadness still lingers. Slowly that sadness is being replaced with more days of lovely, funny memories and acceptance that this is life, just like you said. Living means dying and I think it is a lesson worth teaching our children. Thanks for the memorable words.

  • Laura Baytos

    As always your words, especially in a time of such sorrow, render me speachless. I hope that time, your faith and the love of your friends and family will help ease the hurt. Sending cyber hugs….

  • Lisa Rubenstein

    So sorry for your loss Marilyn – words can’t describe. But somehow, yours do.

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