The Easiest Thing I've Ever Written and My Love Grows with Each Passing Day
This year my mom became 60. I'm 28. She lives in Ireland along with dad and our dog. I do not. Two of my brothers have a home in this town we all grew up in and one is attending College an hour away though will come back home on the weekends. I left Ireland 5 years ago now and it's possible I'll never take up residence there again. I come back as often as I can though it's very expensive, it's difficult to get the time, and so forth. And so I'm always left wanting more of my family.
I know I'm privileged. I actually live a fun filled and adventurous life, I continually meet new and interesting people, I'm both challenged and stimulated with my personal and professional life… I'm extremely lucky and I understand it day after day. But everyday I miss my family. Every day I think just how great it could be to merely call in after work for a chat with Mom or Daddy, or to call to visit one of my brothers in their house, or to have fun with our dog for 20 minutes. Every day I'm just a little heartbroken that i'm so far from all of them. And as a consequence; on birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day, weddings, funerals, and so forth., it's more difficult. It is my opinion it's harder because of the sense of guilt. The actual loneliness isn't an issue that consumes me generally. I miss my family all the time but I'm far from unhappy. I truly enjoy my life. So I feel guilty occasionally. I wonder if they truly recognize simply how much I love all of them, when I decided to live far away and I'm not there to demonstrate my love and clearly show my love.
I feel it especially with my mom. I'm an only daughter and I feel guilty for leaving her with a bunch of guys! They're the very
best bunch of guys in the whole world, nonetheless girls need girls. And so for Mom's birthday, what I wanted more than anything was to present her with the gift of my love. In my family, we love to offer greeting cards for any celebration and we write very much from the heart. And So I decided to handmake 60 personal greeting cards, each of them describing one reason why I love her. You would think this might be a relatively large task, but a testament to how terrific my mom is, is that this was the easiest project I ever undertook. For around one week I kept her in my mind while I went through daily life. This ensured I remembered things from my childhood days, I became able to think about the way she'd respond to scenarios I was in or maybe how she would advise me to react if I asked her for this kind of guidance. Every time I would recall something, or observe something about her, I wrote it down. I could have prepared many hundreds of reasons to love my mother. And easily for Dad too. They are definitely the best mother and father in the whole entire world and I'm the luckiest daughter in the whole entire world.
I informed Mom and Dad that the present was in the post and they must skype me the instant the package arrived and we could “open” it alongside one another. And so that's what we did. Mom and Dad sat on my bed at home, and like a lot of really important occasions since I Ieft home 5 years ago, we celebrated this one through the laptop. Viewing both of my parents faces as they discovered what the present was, was in fact among the best moments of my entire life. The three of us cried like babies for around Half an hour! But I knew at that time, my parents recognized exactly how much I really love them both.
Here's an excerpt from “The Reasons I Love You Mom”:
- She educated my brothers and I how to be independent adults. Though she always helped us with anything at all we ever needed, she also afforded all of us our own responsibilities.
- Growing up, she always backed up Dad if he said “no”, and the other way around. It meant we never got away with anything!! But it also meant we respected both Mom and Dad equally.
- She loves my Dad unconditionally and this has taught me about the kind of love I now dream to have in my life.
- She's proud of me, I know this and I've always known it. She's been proud of all of us, at every step. Even if there are occasions where we don't give her very much to be proud about, she's patient and proud.
- Every time I return home, she's got a new supply of books awaiting me on my bedside locker.
- She spent several weeks knitting me a beautiful scarf when I bought all the materials on a whim one day and then got fed up after about 30 minutes.
- Her hugs.
- She has the best/strongest fingernails on the planet.
- She has the largest selection of wedge sandals I've ever seen!
- She always has a consistent supply of great shampoo when I go home for holidays and will be incredibly generous with it but near kills me if I don't put it back in her shower! Which I forget to do all the time!
- She's emotionally, very very open and isn't afraid to show her vulnerability sometimes. Which just makes her one of the strongest people I know.
- She encourages achievement, but her only expectation of me and my brothers is to be happy.
- When I was a child, in the event that I had a sick day from school, she'd return home at lunch break with probably the most incredible sandwiches and chocolate eclair from a local bakery and rent me a dvd.
- She sings / hums constantly in public.
- She's addicted to house plans and TV shows about houses, and magazines about houses and websites about houses. Addicted!
- I'm always so proud introducing my Mum to anyone / everyone because she is so warm and open and welcoming.
- The reason I can take risks in my life, and live so far away is really because my home and my family is such a constant for me. My mom supports and loves me no matter what. When I moved away initially, I know it made her sad and worried, but all she ever showed me was that she was happy for me knowing I was happy.
- When I have let her down, she has forgiven me straight away.
- She always said to me: “keep your Twenties to yourself and travel a lot”. I listened. It was the best advice anyone has ever given me. I'm 28 now and my entire life is a constant adventure because she facilitated and inspired this.
Karen Whelan is daughter of Joan and John Whelan. She is the founder of LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company devoted to delivering the best quality Wine Aerator Set to market at reasonable prices. Their particular mission is to bring a product into to peoples' homes and onto their dining tables that enables them to get the best flavours and aromas from their wine.