Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beauty from Pain

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. She would have been 63. For those of you who don't know, she passed away in 2002 from ovarian cancer.

Whenever I talk about her - I always talk about what a close relationship we had. And we did - we really did... But it wasn't always like that.

We struggled for a long time.

We spent a lot of years not understanding each other.
...not appreciating each other.
...fighting with each other.
...hurting each other.

I had many wonderful years with her too...

Years that were spent really getting to know each other.
...learning how to understand each other.
...laughing (and sometimes crying) together.
...loving and forgiving each other.

In the years since her death, I have spent many sleepless nights regretting our earlier years together.

Asking myself why I couldn't see that our time together was a gift.

Why did I choose to be so selfish with my choices? If I had chosen differently, those years would now provide me with good memories instead of bad ones.

But I've learned something...

I’ve learned that I wouldn't trade those earlier years for anything.

I’ve learned that I’m thankful for all of the years we spent together. The good and the bad.

Those years, and the experiences they provided, made me the person I am today.

They serve as a constant reminder that the time we have is fleeting and once it's gone we can't get it back; so we shouldn't waste any of it.

They remind me that the love I have for my family isn't always obvious to them. It has to be demonstrated - constantly - especially where my kids are concerned.

They remind me that whenever I choose to do one thing - I'm choosing not to do something else.

They remind me of what’s important – and what’s not.

They’ve shown me that I have foolishly labeled a lot of things as “important” while neglecting what’s truly important.

They've brought me to a place where I'm actually thankful for the pain we experienced because I can finally see the beauty that came from it.


shana said...

Thanks Heidi!

Kristi said...

oh heidi...i always wonder how you survive not having your mom around....i can't imagine. you are such a strong and beautiful person. your mom had to have been amazing.

i think we all regret things in relationships...especially with the people we are closest with. thanks for the reminder of how fleeting time is...and how we need to make the most of each day.

p.s. whenever you miss your mom and need a know i always have one to share.

StephanieJ said...

Thanks for sharing Heidi. Your mom was such a nice welcoming woman. I will never forget the time we had at your house before and after your wedding. Your mom made us all feel completely welcomed and it was so nice to get to know her a little better during our time with you there.
Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Heidi--having known your Mom, I'm sitting here weeping! Joyce and I considered one another friends and I'm glad for the years we shared. We were the same age and had a lot of things in common: two children, one son, one daughter. We both married "younger men", we loved to sew, etc, etc. I'd LOVE to give you a hug right now. Blessings to you, Sweetie! Jane Van Ryn

johnsonandjohnson said...

Thanks for the perspective shift. Hang in there.....I know it can't be easy

Bits from Bonnie said...

You made me cry. This is rather a strange coincidence. I got that book signed for you that I promised. Mitch Albom wrote a book titled "For One More Day". He got the idea to write it one day when he was getting ready to call his mother on the phone and it occurred to him that there would come a day when he would not be able to just pick up the phone and call her. The story is about a mother and son and their lifetime relationship. I met his mother and dad also. For some reason, each person that I had books signed for this time, had very special meaning for me. I was so moved by him, and moved by you when I read this. I truly believe that God guided me to have each book signed specifically for very special people in my life, who have made a positive impact on me. By the way, also giving you a signed picture of Louis Gossett Jr.!

VikingMom said...

Beautiful thoughts Heidi...true reminders of what this journey called "life" is all about.

Rick said...

Sad for you today. I'm wishing your mom and my mom could trade places. Working on a blog to explain why.

Rick said...

BTW, I noticed two people offered you hugs. I know better!!

World of Wright said...

That was beautiful. It's hard to find comfort in the bad times but you are an exceptional woman, daughter, wife, mother and friend.
I'm so glad to know you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! Brandi

SingingShrink said...

like a phoenix rising from the ashes...

discomommy said...

I have always enjoyed reading about your Mom. She was lucky to have you as her daughter!