As I sit in the wee hours of the morning my mind is drawn to the date.
It was two years ago that my Mom moved on to life's next great adventure. I've written a tribute before, yet find myself propelled to share additional random thoughts about her and relationships in general.
We often read about the positive impact Mothers have on their children's lives... and how infrequently it is recognized in the moment.
It's the nature of life in the 21st century where stress and worry are a part of our daily existence for us to become self-absorbed and consequently unaware of just how vital our Mom's and Dads are to us.
Their intrinsic importance often goes unacknowledged even as they are guiding us through the choppy waters of childhood, raising a family and coping with the myriad stresses that seem to assail us on a continuous basis.
The concepts of mindfulness and gratitude have existed for a very long time. Yet it is only recently that they have become "popularized" and begun to receive lots of attention. This is positive for many reasons including taking time to catch our breath, living in the moment and beginning to appreciate life and those around us more fully.
Yet despite our newfound awareness, it seems that often the individuals we fail to recognize are those closest to us... our parents. Perhaps it's because we take their love for granted... no matter how much they might aggravate us at times.
For a marriage to be successful we must continually work and acknowledge our loved ones. And it requires extra effort when there is tension, angst and anger as is often the case. Relationships are tough and require focused attention if they are going to flourish. Most of us are aware of this... often we forget it.
But even as adults we subconsciously believe our parents will always be around and here for us. It's only when they get older and more frail do we often realize the need to show them our love and gratitude. What a shame to wait so long when awareness and a little extra effort can transform our relationships and add years of joy and pleasure.
If we are lucky enough to be in a strong relationship our partner should be our best friend and our parents play a secondary but vital role. Unfortunately many marriages (even the strong ones) are often filled with stress and bickering. Often we don't even realize the degree negativity plays on a daily bais.
And frequently we hold much higher expectations for our partners or spouses than we do for parents. Good marriages don't just happen... you virtually earn them through hard work every day.
It's different with a parent. Universal acceptance is a given. Our Mom or Dad will always love us no matter how much we might aggravate them or vice versa. Consequently, we tend to pay less attention and fail to show caring behavior to the ones that brought us into the world. "Oh the difference a phone call can make!"
I was blessed to have a Mom who served not only as a positive role model but also a best friend, confidant and the person to whom I could turn no matter what the need.
I believe a mother knows us far better than most anyone. When you reflect it makes sense. A mom or dad has lived with us since our earliest days and helped shape the adult we've become. It's understandable that they know what makes us tick. And it's great when they non-intrusively share valuable insights with our spouses. Do we give them the opportunity?
You'll often (though not always) find that people who are close with their parents have good marital relations as well. When you actively demonstrate love, caring and communication they become integral parts of your daily existence.
My Mom lived a long and loving life. Did we agree on everything? Of course not. Did we ever argue? Do I need to answer that! What's important is that at the end of the day I always felt loved and treasured. My Mom was always in my corner!
It's a wonderful feeling when there is someone in your life that will always love you warts and all.
As we surge ahead into the era of social networking and particularly texting I sometimes fear that we may lose the traditional ways parents play such an important role in their children's lives.
Then again society is organic and offers new ways of compensating for the many changes in interaction and family communication.
Self-awareness is key. That's one reason introspection is so important and impacts all our relationships. Being both mindful and grateful can virtually supercharge and transform how you celebrate daily living.
If you are content and feel you are maximizing all the opportunities available to you that's great. If not decide you are going to shake things up and create a new model for all your relationships and your life!
Make time every day to be grateful for your parents and all they contribute to your happiness. Acknowledge them! Even if it's only for a minute or two. Life is one great colorful mosaic. Change just one tile and look at the innovative new design and shape your life takes on.
Make that extra special effort with your Mom or Dad and observe how your marriage is affected. The trickle down effect is amazing.
The take-away: Be more mindful and aware, honor your parents and work hard on your relationships. See how soon the sun starts shining and how great you feel!.
As for my Mom, you are remembered with great love and admiration holding a place in my heart reserved solely for feeling your positive presence that is always with me.