Saturday, May 9, 2015 Erin

For Mother's Day, for Marty, I asked our children, Matt and Erin, to write a piece for their Mom....they did and they make both of us proud.  Enjoy.

I am one of the fortunate ones.  I haven’t always felt that way, but today, I can honestly say ….I am blessed.  

Growing up my mom taught me many valuable things from classic “mom lessons” like wash your hands before dinner to more substantial things like how to make a killer guacamole and that a man never has the right to either define or demean you.  Some of the lessons were explicit like how to pick out the perfect avocado and some were implicit and learned simply by watching how she lived in the world.  Example: My mom never allowed a man to refer a female-peer as a girl….she is a woman.  Not a girl.

Other lessons: a deep love and appreciation for music, how to drive a stick shift, how to tell a dirty joke and how to pluck my eye brows.  She taught me about the importance of tolerance and respect for others ESPECIALLY if they are different from me because that means I probably don’t fully understand their truth.  She taught me about faith and how doubting is a necessary part of that journey.  She taught me how to make cheesecake and how small details remembered on someone’s birthday can make them feel abundantly special.

I plan on teaching my girls, Lily Jewell and Lucy Jean, all of these things, but the most important “thing” I learned from my mom is LOVE.  She taught me that I am loved and she taught me how to love.  

This is why feel blessed.  Not a single day has gone by in my whole entire life that I ever felt un-loved….maybe unlovable, as we all do from time to time, but I have always known in my soul that I am loved, fully and completely.  Actually, she used to tell me, “I love you…FIERCELY…” 
It was not until I had my own girls that I truly understood what that meant. 

This “fierce” love is like nothing I have ever felt.  I feel it in my gut.  It’s a warm burning sensation coupled with tightness in my chest that I now recognize as unmistakable love coming from my core and enveloping every emotional fiber of my soul.  It’s a protective, ends of the earth kind of feeling.  It’s an “I have your back, I see you, I know you, and you really matter” kind-of-love.   

I know how to feel and share this love because I was fortunate enough to receive it from my mom. My girls get to experience the security and safety one feels from being loved fully and fiercely because my mom loved me that way.

I will always miss certain pieces of my mom and it makes me sad that she doesn’t get to participate in the “grandmother” experience in the way that we both had planned in our heads when I was growing up.  I hate that she will never get to have my girls at her house for a week in the summer like we both imagined.  It makes me sad for her and for my girls that they will not get to know their Grandma like I thought they would.  I actually even hate that she doesn’t  get to silently but overtly judge some of my parenting choices as I quietly resent her for it (joking?!...maybe).  
But here’s the cool part, even if life isn’t working out in the exact way we had planned, I still know I am loved…fiercely, and my girls will too.  And then their kids will know too and so on and so on.  That is the powerful thing about love…especially fierce love.  It is unconditional and exponential.  It is courageous, healing, and important; so much so that maybe it is why we all exist.  

So I feel pretty blessed on this Mother’s Day.  I get the chance to share a pretty amazing and powerful gift with the world.  All because of what my mom taught and still teaches me today.  

So….Thanks mom….I love you …fiercely.

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