I just spent the weekend in my hometown of Sonoma, California celebrating my Mom's seventieth birthday. It often takes a major event: a marriage, a death, a birth to remind us to have gratitude for those we love. In this case, a flagstone birthday gave me the chance to reflect upon the gifts my Mother has given me.
To start....my Mom gave me the gift of life. Tada! This is a big deal, and I am deeply grateful....however she has done many other things that were far less dramatic, but equally as vital. When I was six years old she went back to school for her second Masters, then back to work. All the while, being an involved rad, parent. She even made it look easy. She told me "get an education, never count on a man to support you, be in charge of your own money." I believed her.
At the same time, she made sure I understood that family is EVERYTHING, and has been selfless in her love for my dad, my sister, my brother and myself. She pushed me to go to college, to find my passion..ART...and to practice it. She taught me to work hard, and to expect the best of myself and others. She taught me to be kind...no matter what.
It is so interesting, the things we do with the gifts our parents bestow upon us. My parents are Catholic. Not surprisingly she invited "the priest" to her birthday party. It made me proud to see the pride in her eyes as she introduced me to this kind, quiet man. I do not go to church anymore... the best I can say is that I am "culturally Catholic". Still I am grateful for the gift of spirituality she embedded in my upbringing. This is integral in the designing and making of the jewelry I create for people.
Last thought..."it is in giving that we receive." This phrase kept running through my mind during her party. Perhaps I still retain some of my "Cathlicness" after all;). In any case, I retain the point. The act of giving is the same as receiving love. Thank you Mom for giving me so much...You are pretty much a celebrity in our family!