I am Thankful for my Mother

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.My mother died very recently. This photo comes from her garden. Be sure to visit to read my tribute to My mother's life in the form of a ThankList. thegardeningcook.com And join the #ThankList #30DayChallenge too! #ad

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.My mother, Terry Gervais

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.Collage of my 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.Mum and Dad's wedding photo. They were married 66 years.

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.The Gervais Family in 1992.

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.My mother - always the joker!

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.My daughter Jess in Mum's garden

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.The quilt my mother made me for my 60th birthday.

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.Mum and Dad at Christmas time

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.Jake and Charlie with my mother in one of her last hospital visits.

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.My mother who loved nature watches over me, I know.

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…My Mother's Poem ~ a tribute to my mum. My mother died very recently. Her favorite flowers were irises. Be sure to visit and read my tribute to My mother's life in the form of a ThankList. thegardeningcook.com And join the #ThankList #30DayChallenge too! #ad

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  44 comments for “I am Thankful for my Mother

  1. 11/17/2015 at 8:49 am

    That wedding photo is simply beautiful! I’m so sorry that your mom passed away. Reading your memories of her have brought tears to my eyes. My mom is in her 80’s and so much of her story is similar to your mom’s – gardening, cooking, loving her family, etc. What beautiful memories and photos. You’ve really touched my heart today. Thank you.

  2. Carol
    11/17/2015 at 9:04 am

    Hi Alli. Thanks for the kind words. It would have been so nice to have been able to share this blog post with my mother.

  3. 11/17/2015 at 9:23 am

    This is such a beautiful post! It has touched my heart today. It is so important to relive all the memories we have of those that have passed. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Jenn. I enjoyed writing this post more than any other I have done.

  4. Nancy P
    11/17/2015 at 10:06 am

    What a great post. I adore my Mom too, I can’t picture my life without her or my Dad.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 11:45 am

      I have lost both parents and two dogs in the last year and a half. Hopefully, I’ll be done with grieving for a while. Huge losses all.

  5. 11/17/2015 at 11:23 am

    what an amazing and touching post! Your mother sounds like she was an amazing person.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Jennifer. She truly was.

  6. 11/17/2015 at 3:01 pm

    This is such a beautiful post! It really made me tear up. You are a very lucky woman indeed to have such an amazing mother!

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Erin. Yes, I was so fortunate to have her as my mother.

  7. 11/17/2015 at 4:38 pm

    My condolences for your loss, she sounds like such an amazing woman. I am sure she read this up above and loved it as much as you did writing it. I too am thankful for my mother who is like yours an incredible woman

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 5:29 pm

      HI Miranda. Yes, she was amazing. Thanks for the kind words.

  8. 11/17/2015 at 6:03 pm

    What really sweet post. Your mom was a special person, and I can tell you absolutely loved each other. I love the quilt!

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you Shell. She made so many quilts. It was lovely to see them all displayed at the reception after her funeral.

  9. Linda
    11/17/2015 at 6:12 pm

    Carol, your post made me cry. You have a talent for writing,and your mother was a beautiful lady. Yes, she is still beside you and in everything you do.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks Linda. This truly was the most special post that I have done.

  10. 11/17/2015 at 7:20 pm

    What a lovely post. I got teary. This is so nice, I am so thankful for my mom who passed away when I was 16 so these posts really tug at my heart strings!

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:08 pm

      That must have been so hard to lose her so young Jeanine.

  11. 11/17/2015 at 8:45 pm

    I’m so very sorry about the loss of your mother. You were very fortunate to have such a wonderful influence in your life.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:08 pm

      Yes I was Jaime. I still feel her presence.

  12. 11/17/2015 at 9:42 pm

    She sounds like an incredible lady to model yourself from. You are blessed to have her in your life as someone who was of good moral character and loved her family. I am sorry for your loss.

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you for the kind words Heather.

  13. Angelic Sinova
    11/17/2015 at 9:44 pm

    My condolences for your loss! Your mother sounds like she was an amazing woman. My friend recently loss her mom to cancer. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through. Sending virtual hugs <3

    • Carol
      11/17/2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you Angelic. Time does start to heal any wounds. This is a big one, but each day gets a little easier.

  14. michele d
    11/17/2015 at 10:36 pm

    What a lovely post that you dedicated to your mom. I am sorry for your loss. What a beautiful woman inside and out. I will admit that I am thankful for my mom too.

    • Carol
      11/18/2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks Michelle. She had a long happy life. Even though I miss her, I am glad she is no longer suffering.

  15. 11/17/2015 at 11:08 pm

    Moms are the best :)

    • Carol
      11/18/2015 at 8:24 pm

      O agree Claire. They sure are!

  16. 11/18/2015 at 8:24 am

    Moms are the best! I had a great mother but sadly she passed away but I get to look through thousands of pictures of our memories. Just to know that I had one of the bests is good enough for me

    • Carol
      11/18/2015 at 8:24 pm

      Sorry for your loss too Kita.

  17. 11/18/2015 at 6:47 pm

    Beautiful tribute to your mother! She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

  18. Carol
    11/18/2015 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks Linda. I was indeed fortunate.

  19. 11/20/2015 at 9:06 am

    So moving. I can’t even begin to comment! I will say that your mom is the FIRST Terry I have met that is older than me! The name became so popular in the 50s so I was pleasantly surprised to learn of her name. what a list of gratefulness you have for your mom. She was so influential. My mom would have a similar list, but she wasn’t into cooking/gardening as much.

    • Carol
      11/20/2015 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Terry. She was such a special person. It was an honor to do this post in her memory.

  20. 11/20/2015 at 7:14 pm

    Beautiful post. It’s easy to see how much your mama meant to you. Your family will always be able to treasure your words about her. <3

    • Carol
      11/21/2015 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Julie. It is comforting to read this post when I miss her.

  21. 11/20/2015 at 9:58 pm

    I am so sad for you and your loss. At the same time, what a wonderful tribute. People say it gets better over time, but I think it just gets different.

    • Carol
      11/21/2015 at 11:04 am

      Yes. Basically, you just get used to it but I’ll always miss her.

  22. 11/23/2015 at 1:01 pm

    You were very blessed to have a wonderful mom.

    • Carol
      11/25/2015 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks Renee. I am very thankful for her. She was the best.

  23. 11/23/2015 at 6:26 pm

    Your mother sounds like an incredible woman that blessed many people. The picture with the chicken hat is absolutely adorable and I have a feeling the photo really captured her personality.

    • Carol
      11/25/2015 at 11:16 pm

      Yes it did April. The look on her face is so mum.

  24. 12/11/2015 at 11:11 am

    What a beautiful post. Your mother sounds like she was one incredible women!

    • Carol
      12/11/2015 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks Alyssa. She really was. I am thankful for her each day.

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