Friday, August 20, 2010

You know you have a great mom when........

Moms don’t get all the attention and credit they deserve…..or at least the great ones don’t. I know this because I had a great mom.

Great Moms are committed and preoccupied with the well being of their family, especially their children. They are selfless, generous and always doing for others. Often they will cook, clean and make costumes for the First Grade Circus. Sometimes they are just plain nuts (like my mother who used to do a trial run of her Thanksgiving dinner the weekend before. Who wants to do that twice???). They are there to comfort and protect us. It is their role, the reason they are here.

If a child is sick, they will move mountains or dig ditches to find a treatment or cure. The word “No” is not in the vocabulary of a great mom when it comes to caring for their children.

Great Moms reach extends beyond their own family. They are often ‘maternal’ to and towards a lot of people, regardless of their age. They counsel, advise and care for everyone close to them and seem to have an endless supply of band-aids, hugs and kisses for anyone who needs one.

Usually girls learn to be women from their mom and in today’s world, boys often learn how to be men from them, and I don’t think that is a bad thing. They are teachers, playmates, nurses and disciplinarians. They are God’s gift to us all. Perhaps they are his angels on earth.

I know all this because I had a great mom. If she were alive, today would have been her 75th birthday. She died of cancer almost seven years ago and although she is no longer with us physically, she certainly left her mark on our family and she is often spoken of. Her presence is known and felt in our home. I think of her everyday.

My mom and I were close and spoke often. We saw her regularly and she was a big part of our family and lives. Now that she is gone, I don’t think that I gave her all the credit and attention she deserved. Maybe no Great Mom gets all they deserve.

Happy birthday, Mom. You will live forever in our hearts.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marital Advice From An Expert.....Me!

I am not a psychologist or therapist and have no formal training on how to counsel others. What I do have is a very happy marriage of 30 years and that is what qualifies me to give advice…….experience.

Ask couples who have been married many years what the secret is and you will get a variety of answers. “Respect”. “Friendship”. “Never go to bed angry”. All good answers, all valid. But I believe that my answer to the question trumps all of those answers.

My advise is different and if you follow it, all those other pieces will fall into place. My advise is to be grateful.

Remember why you fell in love and all the things about your partner that you are grateful for and tell them. By telling them you remind them, and yourself, of what it is you love about them. Gratitude is the key to happiness and to staying in love. Unexpressed gratitude is useless. It must be expressed. Otherwise it is like buying someone a present and never giving it to them. Useless.

The opposite of gratitude is taking things for granted. Whenever things go awry in a relationship, one of the parties always feels taken for granted. Don’t let that happen.

Make expressing gratitude a habit. It has taken some of us a long to learn this, but I can tell you from personal experience that it works. Gail and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary, and I can honestly say that I am more in love with her today, then I was on the day we married and I am more grateful too. Rarely does a day go by without me telling her that I love her and why. And guess what? She does the same with me.

The last several years, and in particular, living with a disability, has taught me more about gratitude than I ever could have learned in a life without incident. But don’t wait for a life changing event to learn these lessons. Remind yourself, and your partner, today why you fell in love and do it all over again.

You, and your partner, will be glad you did.

Happy anniversary, Gail. I love you more today than yesterday.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.