Sunday, May 10, 2015

What My Mothers Taught Me

I had the unique experience of growing up with two women who loved me as their daughter - the Mother who gave birth to me and the Mom who raised me. You can read the full story here of how that came to be. It's important back-story to understanding the valuable lessons I learned from each of them.

The most important lesson my Mom taught me was to be self-sufficient and never need to rely on a man for my support and well-being. The lesson came directly from her own life, but I grew up knowing that it was important for me to do well in school, that it was important to have a vocation - a skill or career by which I could support myself. It was a lesson that earned me a full scholarship to one of the top colleges in the country, gave me the education I needed to succeed, and taught me the value of hard work. I think it still plays out in my life in many ways today. In how I approach challenges, obstacles, difficulties.  The one flaw in that lesson is that the goal of gainful employment was never tempered with any kind of advice to do something that you actually enjoy. So I ended up with a career that pays the bills but provides minimal personal fulfillment. I've had to learn on my own how to convert that scenario into a happy life. No worries - I think I have it figured out! :)

The most important lesson my Mother taught me was to live for today - to be present in the moment, to stop and smell the flowers, to not always be focusing so hard on the future. I'm sure she didn't think I was listening!  But I did get the message. I understand that this moment is the only one I know I have for sure, that I should live it to the fullest and actually attempt to enjoy it. It isn't quite in my temperament to live with a devil-may-care attitude, so I temper the enjoying of the moment with also planning for the future so that I'm prepared for all the other moments that I may be gifted with down the road.

Do you see it?  The yin/yang, two sides of the coin lessons that I learned from my mothers? It took me awhile, but I do now.  Thanks Moms.

10 comments:

Karen said...

Love this post Cheri - you and your mums have triumphed over adversity and you are a shining testament to both their determination for your future and the love they so obviously had for you x

Cheryl McCain said...

What a wonderful post! I read your "full story"....needed kleenex. But I'm so happy that your experience through all that ended in happiness. I'm just sorry that your lost your Mom at such a young age. So happy you still have your Mother.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
(Visiting from Life Behind the Purple Door)

Melissa said...

A wonderful post and tribute to both of your mothers today! Happy Mother's Day Cheri!

Sian said...

What a wonderful, joyously grateful way of remembering your story and theirs.

Happy Mothers Day Cheri!

Cate Brickell said...

your mums compliment each other so beautifully! They are probably the two best lessons to learn about life.

Karen said...

Valuable lessons, and this is a story you need to scrap if you haven't already! It's a tribute not only to your moms, but to you as well. Hope you had a great day!

quiltingfool said...

So, OK, crying like a baby now. I had originally read your back story when you wrote it, but reading it again just took me back to all of it, and to how much I continue to miss Sue, just as you do. But as you said, if not for the often sad circumstances, we would never have met, Sue & I, you wouldn't have been privileged to be raised by her, nor I to be her friend. I know she shaped you and made you the fine person you became, and I am eternally grateful for that. I hope I tempered her seriousness (because she had to be), with some sense of fun and wonder and the goodness that life had to offer. I take your post today as a tribute to both of us, Sue and I, and think "hey, we must have done a good job". Sue would like that.

scrappyjacky said...

It's definately a tribute to all three of you,Cheri.

Carola Bartz said...

Beautiful, Cheri. I did read the stories of your two moms, and it is a very special story. Both women gave you great lessons on your way into your own life, and I think a lot also came from your own childhood experience.

Miriam said...

Goodness what a truly wonderful story. I read the back story just now. Thanks so much for sharing, you are an amazing lady.