Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 5

Gratitude Challenge

It seems only fitting that I should follow a post about my father with one about my mother.   My mother is a giver.  She is the first person to ask, "What can I do?".  She's also Italian, which means when all else fails, she will show up at your house with a lasagna or a coffee cake, or an entire 6 course meal, depending on how bad the news is.

Her original plan for her life was to grow up and become a nun.  (For selfish reasons, I am happy that didn't work out.)  That was before she met my father.  (Thanks, Dad!)  She was a cheerleader and he played football.  They met, fell in love and married young.

Then the children started coming along.  I was the second of five.  My mother stayed at home with us.  She was a cross between June Cleaver and Erma Bombeck.  I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a stay at home mother, too.    Unfortunately, by the time I graduated college, the push was on for women to be career oriented.  My dreams of aprons and playpens and fresh baked goods from the kitchen seemed to be slipping from my grasp.  It was just as well.  It took a while to meet Mr Right, and I enjoyed a wonderful career in nursing while I waited for him.   Since we were grown, Mom hit the professional path, too.  She went as far as earning a Masters degree in speech and language pathology.  She had a pretty good career of her own.

Now she's retired.  She's enjoying this time as an amazing quilter, a much loved grandmother, and enjoying her friendships.  Her grandchildren are her greatest joy.

I'm grateful that she has  taught me generosity, volunteerism, faith, fairness and hospitality.  She was my inspiration to grow up and be a stay at home mother.   I know she misses my father terribly, and she has faced many difficult times in her life.  Other people might have chosen to shut down and wallow in misery.  My mother chooses to go out into the world, and do good works.   I'm grateful for her example.

If you are enjoying the gratitude posts, you should visit Brenda's Blog to see what the other participants are grateful for today.