Robert Brault said "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back realize they were the big things."
This can be looked at in many ways; but I find it to be very true. I was looking at some pictures the other day and something struck me both in the pictures and in my memories. Mom had smile lines around her eyes. You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes, really. Mom had creases around hers that showed how much she smiled. My dad has them, too. Evidence of what a life they lived together. Sure, they cried, though I rarely saw that. What I did see was a lot of smiles and laughter. Mom's eyes showed that. I will be honest...I think I frown more than I smile. Or I have lately, anyway, though I am working on that. I've been told it takes more muscles to frown than smile. I can't say I've read that as a fact, I've just heard it. Like I've said before, I don't laugh with anyone like I laughed with my mom. My sister is probably the only one. I have laughed at work more lately. That's a good thing. Because it was getting to a point of no laughter at all for me there. I won't dive into that. I'll just say that I know that going to the new job is the right thing for me. And more laughter lately is evidence of that. Funny how that works, really.
But back to my point...to enjoy the little things, as you will realize they were the big things. I soak this in as I realize:
- How much mom did for me every single winter when I had strep throat chronically.
-How much of a memory playing 2 square in the kitchen with my mom is now, when then it was so silly.
- How much it was that mom did for us every birthday (we were all born in July). She could have combined them or done nothing, really. But mom made a big deal out of each one for us. No big parties, but what we wanted.
-How much sacrifice mom made in her time. for me. for my siblings. Especially for dad.
-How many small sewing projects mom did for me. (She was always my "hemmer". I don't know how to still and feel kinda lost now with that....should've learned)
-How mom drove me to friends all the time. Or welcomed my friends over all the time. My friends growing up had as much fun with my mom as I did, I think.
-Little things mom did, like putting notes in my lunches or leaving me a note with some money tucked in it, or cards she wrote me .....those are the things i savor today
-Mom always had homemade brownies or cookies ready when we got home. I mean almost always. We kids always looked forward to this. And I can't say I remember mom ever telling me "that's enough, no more." (How many times have I told my kids that....not to say it's bad. Just now, it seems so irrelevant. and yet special that mom never told me i'd had enough.)
-the hours and hours mom listened to me practice the saxophone. I had to have been horrible starting out, yet she never complained.
You know what I find pretty special? One person said to me at mom's viewing to remember the good things about mom and not dwell on the bad or the regretted things. I thought long and hard on that comment. First of all, i don't really have regrets with mom. Knowing her death was approaching, I was able to say everything I wanted. And spend time with her. I don't regret anything, really. If I revert back into childhood, yes, I'm sure I regret moments. But as I grew up, I don't regret a lot. But the more special part of that statement to me was, as I thought on it, I really don't have one single bad memory of mom. I racked my brain to think of one (as horrible as that sounds.) And I couldn't come up with even one. HOw many people can say that of their mom? Doubtful my kids can say that of me. I will always have mom's example in my life, even though she's gone now. And I doubt I will ever feel as good of a mom as she was. She was one special lady. I miss her a lot.
Tomorrow I run a race. It's a fun one....a different one. I'm running with my friend, Savannah and her boyfriend. We signed up in December. Mom had lost her speech, but I remember telling her all about it. Weird I won't be able to tell her all about it after it this time. I suppose that's been a touch of my sadness today. No, I haven't been bombarded by sadness, but it was in the back of my mind. It's called the Warrior Dash, what we are doing. And though it's just for fun, really, when I hear warrior, I think of mom. She was a warrior. I am going to go out tomorrow and have a blast. And get muddy and just laugh. Maybe I'll develop a smile line :) Mom would be laughing on the sidelines at this one. It's not my typical race.
One last thing, on the idea of smile lines and the little things being the big things looking back. The day was November 4, 2010. It was really nice out for November, and I was off for the day. On a whim, I decided to run the Yellow springs path, just for different scenery. I ran 6 miles that day. I loved it. I can even remember a song that struck me as poignant that particular run called "not afraid". As I listened to the lyrics I thought about all I was going through at that moment, and the lyrics feel in line a lot with what I was experiencing. Mom had a CT scan scheduled for the next day-there were new lumps. Anyway, when I finished running, I decided to head over to mom's for lunch. It was a Thursday afternoon. We had lunch, chatted and we played a game. We laughed, too. I saw her smile lines deep that day. The next day I also was off. I was out running errands. Dad called. Mom was at her dr. But there was a problem. That morning mom had woken up and not been able to talk. At all. I drove quickly to the hospital. Spent the day there. That day it was discovered that mom had 3 brain tumors. I don't think I'm ready to blog about how hard it was not hearing mom's voice or laugh. Maybe Another day. But I shared that story to say that I will FOREVER be grateful that on that Thursday I'd gone out to have lunch with mom and play a game. It was her last day of normalcy in some regards. And who even knew? Only God did. And I'm glad He led me to be with her that day. It was seemingly a small thing that day. Now it is one of the biggest moments ever. so don't discredit what you may think to be a lttle thing. Enjoy it! One day it could possibly be one of the biggest things in life.... you just won't know it until later.