Sunday, May 28, 2006

Life is Passing By

Today is my mother's birthday. She was born in 1912, the youngest of 6 children. She married at the age of 27, and started having babies right away. She had several miscarriages along the way, but she had 6 kids, with the youngest one being me. She was a devout Catholic all of her life - I can still hear those rosary beads clicking in my memory whenever I am under stress, as that was her favorite thing to do whenever stress entered her life (which was quite frequently).

My mom was a bright, intelligent, and beautiful woman. She couldn't afford a college education, but she read a lot - especially the Bible and her prayer books. She kept on top of current events, and she was a wonderful conversationalist.

My mom died when I was 14 of cancer. I can't imagine the pain it must have cost her to leave this world knowing she left behind a child she couldn't raise. I can't imagine leaving either of my daughters at the stages of life they are going through right now. I still can't believe I survived those fragile years without her gentle and strong spirit to nurture and guide me.

For years after she died, I was very adamant about NOT having children of my own. Down deep, I had a fear that if I did have kids, then I would leave them prematurely like my mom had left me. It was extremely difficult to overcome that fear. It took a leap of faith to decide to become a mom. And I am so very glad I took that chance - for life without my girls would be incomplete.

Today was my oldest daughter's graduation from high school. I plan to post more about that on Tuesday or Wednesday - I still have a party to throw tomorrow!!! But, I couldn't help but smile when I thought of how these two women - my mom and my daughter - are sharing celebrations today. Not a coincidence, in my opinion. I saw in my daughter today some characteristics that you don't see in young woman of today very often - she has such a quiet confidence and poise about her. It dawned on me that those are the same qualities my mom possessed. How amazing is it that my daughter has abosorbed some of my mom's personality and characteristics, without ever meeting her face to face!!!

On a sad note, the father of my youngest daughters' godfather passed away earlier today. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Life goes on - graduations, funerals, laughter, tears.


At 7:41 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Oh Val...How wonderful - and how sad.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Great post, as always. You always make me think.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Thinking of you this weekend and will pray for the father's loss. I don't believe in coincidences. I hope you had a great party!!!

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Hey, just how do you think your daughter "absorbed" those qualities?

It was through you, Val. Your example.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

I think God blesses us with these moments of introspectiveness. Your mother, your daughter, a lost father; all gifts from our Maker.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger bigwhitehat said...

Val you know what I think about those who have passed and their relationship with us. Something tells me that she is very very proud of you right now.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Vicki said...

Val, I was just very touched by all that you shared here. God bless you, my friend.

At 2:45 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

I hope the graduation went well - there, you see, yo got there in the end.....

Thinking of you and I pray for strength for you..

love Bx

At 7:31 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Jules - Such a contrast, don't you think?

Tammy - Thanks, Tammy. I hope all is well with you!

Paula - I'm of the same belief about coincidences. God always has a wonderful way of working things out - sometimes in a surprising way!

Jeff - I'm touched by what you have written - very much. Thank you so much.

Stacy - Your wisdom is shining through!

BWH - I hope she's proud. God knows how much I miss her - even after all these years without her.

Vicki - It was so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words.

Barbara - Yes, I got there - and now there is a strange mixture of relief and emptiness.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Bethany said...

I find it interesting how life can mix things up a bit....bittersweet. My graduation from HS was a sad day for other reasons. And a few years ago my bil's father passed away Christmas morning. My daughter and brother have b-day's on the 27th and 28th and I remember that Christmas, both birthday parties, and New Year's all seemed an odd mix of joy, celebration, sorrow, and tears.

Happy Graduation to your daughter. She must get some of those characteristics of your mother from you.

And thanks for sharing the tribute to your mother. It was sweet.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

you made me smile and you made me tear up. life...truly is a mixture of bitter and sweet. We must try to savor the sweet and release the bitter.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Gayla said...

Bittersweet. That was the first word that came to mind for me too.

It's amazing how we are shaped by the different occurrences and 'wounds' in our lives. (referring to your not wanting to have children at first)

But you are a mom, and undoubtedly passed on many wonderful traits of your own mother. What a blessing!

At 7:40 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Hi Bethany - Thanks for dropping by. It's been awhile, and I hope all is well with you.

Mrs. D - You summed it up perfectly!

Gayla - You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for your kind words.


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