Please join me for a few moments to learn more about the person who has had the most impact on my life ~ my mother.
Today’s world is full of stress and a lack of time. Sometimes, this causes people to be thoughtless and inconsiderate. One simple remedy for what can often be a rude world is to remind people to use these two words ~ “Thank you.” On their own, those words may not do much, but the more people who use these simple words, the greater the impact they can have.
I am joining American Greetings to tell others about their #ThankList campaign. They have partnered with United Way Worldwide to give back during this season when gratitude is more often on our minds – Thanksgiving.
When I first said I would join the campaign, I told them I would choose my elderly mother as the main person to thank for shaping my life. Mum has been my rock, all through my life, so I wanted to share the story of her impact on me with my blog readers, and to talk about this wonderful campaign which is designed to express thanks, through the story of my “mum.”
As life would have it, my mother passed away just a few weeks ago. I had so hoped to share this blog post with her to show her how much I love her, and how thankful I am for her presence in my life. Instead, I am sharing it with you, in hopes that my words “Thank you” to my mother will be an inspiration to you to make sure that you thank those people most special in your life.
I am thankful for my mother, Terry Gervais. She was an incredible woman, who worked her entire life to bring up six children, almost on her own, in light of the fact that my dad worked away much of our growing up years. She never once complained, and did this with love, patience and understanding.
I am thankful for my mother’s love of photography. Her home is filled with albums and boxes of pictures, and this gave our family so much comfort during her visiting hours the night before her funeral, since it allowed my bother in law, Dana, to put together a slide show of her life from age two until a few weeks before her death. This slide show included every person in our very large family.
The photo below is but a tiny part of her collection of photos and shows bits of my life and my family’s life with my mother.
I am thankful for my mother and father’s love. Their devotion to each other showed each of us what a marriage is meant to be. They were married for 66 years and loved and appreciated each other every day of those six plus decades.
I am thankful for the sense of family that my mother instilled in me and in each of my five brothers and sisters. Being with my family during our time of sadness last week at her funeral gave me the most intense sense of comfort. Her death was so painful, but brought us all even closer together.
I am thankful for my mother’s playfulness. Even at age 87, she would put herself into silly situations simply to make her children and grandchildren laugh. She loved to play cards, and even with almost complete blindness near the end, she was still playing Skipbo with her children and grandchildren. It had become the highlight of her days, second only to visiting with those who dropped by to play the game with her and talk.
I am thankful for my mother’s love of gardening, cooking, and home. Her influence in this regard is so obvious here on my blog, called The Gardening Cook. Many of my recipes are those that my mother made as I was growing up. The fact that I have 11 garden beds around my home is a testament to my mother, who spent countless hours looking out at her garden and tending to it. I have irises growing in each garden bed, since these were my mother’s favorite flowers. Seeing my own daughter so happy in my mother’s garden brings me such joy.
I am thankful for my mother’s creative side. She was a painter, embroiderer, and quilter. She loved to knit and made mittens, socks and other items for her grandchildren each year. Her creativity has been passed down to all her children in some way. A huge collection of quilts that she had made for all her children and grandchildren, as well as some of her paintings, was displayed at the reception following her funeral. I still do arts and crafts to this day and it forms a big part of my blog as well.
I am thankful for my mother’s love of Christmas. This occasion brought together family members in her home and made sure that all of her children are what my husband calls “Christmas fairies” who love to celebrate and decorate for Christmas. When she was in her last year, she put together a list of things that she wanted each of her children and grandchildren to have and we all now have a part of her Christmas decorations. For me, that part is the Cries of London Carolers, which is so apt, since my husband is English.
I am thankful for my mother’s love of animals. She had five dogs during her lifetime and Jake and Charlie were such comfort to her after my dad died last year. My dear dog Ashleigh died in her home the morning of mum’s funeral. It is fitting that Ashleigh is laid to rest in Maine to form a tie between my home and my mother’s. It is also incredibly fitting that a rainbow appeared over Ashleigh’s grave as we dug it….welcoming both of them over the Rainbow bridge.
And I am thankful for my mother’s deep, deep love for her family. She and I were the closest of friends. Her love gave me a strong example of how to love those in my life, and of how to treat my family and friends. This love will be incredibly missed even though I know that she is watching over me now.
For whom are you thankful? Is there someone, or are there several people in your life who need to know the depth of your gratitude? Take if from me. Life is short and can be gone in an instant. Be sure to make the time to let those people who mean the most to you know how much you care.
Won’t you please join the #ThankList campaign? For every #ThankList shared on social media, American Greetings will donate $1 to United Way Worldwide. The funds that are donated during the campaign will be allocated towards hunger prevention.
In our world with hateful news feeds and cell phone use, we seem to become more and more disconnected from things that really matter. The simple act of writing down the things for which you are grateful can go a long way towards making each of our lives so much more thoughtful and caring.
To join this campaign, just show your gratitude in a simple form: Tweet a message, share a photo or update your status on Facebook with a post that names the people for whom you are thankful, and be sure to use the hashtag #ThankList.
Do it today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed…
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.